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Residential Construction Building Permits

Are you seeking to have construction done your home or are you considering purchasing a home? Here a few important notes about building permits to take into consideration.


Building permits are a type of authorization that must be granted by a government or other regulatory body before the construction of a new or existing building can legally occur. Normally, there is a time frame for which the work can be executed in and there is a scope of work that entails the type of work to be performed on the property.


Whether you or a licensed contractor have applied for a building permit to start construction on your property, you will want to make sure that the permit is correct and applicable to the type of work you are seeking to have performed. It is important to note that the work does not exceed the scope of the permit, otherwise it would be considered illegal construction. No permits for work performed on property would also be considered illegal construction.


If you are a purchasing real estate, it is crucial to know what type of permits were authorized and what type of work was done on the property. Normally inspectors check permits and verify the scope of the work permits, but are not often reliable in this process.

If there are housing code violations found after finalizing the purchase of the property, you as the current homeowner will be held responsible and the violations will be assessed upon you. However, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself and have the assessment dismissed.

Not only will illegal construction expose you to liability when you try to sell the property down the line, the value of your property may decrease.

If you find yourself in this situation, please contact your local attorney to help counsel you in this process.


Work permits can be easily found online through your local governments housing code regulation site by simply typing in the address of the property. From there, you will be able to see the work permit history of the property.


Check building permits and scope of work for property that you own or are interested in owning. Not knowing this information can be devastating down the road.

Please contact a local attorney in your area for more information.

*This is not legal advice nor an invitation to contract*

*Licensed in D.C.*

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