Getting your roof replaced is an investment and pulling a permit seems like an unnecessary delay and added cost. Should your roofing contractor even bother to involve the city and get a permit for your new roof?
The answer is unequivocally yes. There are many safeguards that come with getting the proper permit for your roof
But why? If I trust the company, I know they’ll do good work.
Roofing permits do more than ensure the company is doing good work. It ensures they are following building code, it helps ensure future owners of your home have good records of roof age and it also helps you avoid voiding the warranty. Yes, that’s right. Not getting a permit may void the warranty on the material and installation and prevent you from transferring the warranty to a future owner.
How will the city find out?
They might not. But they might as well. Depending on where you live, city officials are often out and about inspecting other matters. If they happen to notice a reroof occurring and they check their records, they can see that a permit was not pulled. Many times, the permit will be posted in plain sight so the inspector doesn’t even have to check, they just know that a valid permit exists.
What happens if they find out?
You can be fined for violating city building code. The fine and punishments depend on where you live, of course, but that’s only the start. To meet code, the inspectors may require you to undo part or all of the project to verify code was met, in addition to the fine.
If you happen to be in the middle of the project when the city finds out there is no permit pulled, the city may put a stop to your project altogether! That means you could be sleeping without a roof over all or part of your house! Most city governments are not known for their speed in getting paperwork returned or processed, so there may be days or weeks where you are waiting on them for an answer. This could be a costly delay, leading to damage and project delay costs from your roofing contractor.
Short answer: delays, fines, higher project costs, voided warranty and problems selling the home.
What other tips do you have regarding permits?
At the end of the roofing project, call the city and ensure that the permit was “finaled”, meaning all paperwork is filed and complete. This allows you to have confidence that there are no loose ends and you can go about your life with an added peace of mind.