“An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded. ” Pope John Paul II
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Well I have both good news and bad news. First for the bad news. If you decide to go the route of permitting something that has already been built, you will pay double for the permit, compared to what you would have paid in the first place. Then you will have to hire a contractor to draw plans, do the engineering and have everything inspected. If your addition has electricity and plumbing – and most do – you will need to remove a section of the wall to enable the electric and plumbing to be inspected.
On the other hand, let’s say for instance you hired a contractor to build your addition and later on you find out he never obtained a permit – what can you do? You should start by contacting that contractor and requesting that he file the permits. If he refuses, you should call the DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulation) in your state and file a complaint against the contractor. This should get his attention rather quickly.
Let’s say for instance you finished off a part of your attic, which already had electric, just so you could have some extra space for storage or a place for the kids to hang out in. All you did was hang some sheet rock, install a floor and paint. You still should have obtained a permit, but now your selling and don’t have the time to go through all that. Now for the good news: You will need to disclose the remodel on the seller’s disclosure and to you agent. The buyers can then decide to purchase the home in spite of the addition not being permitted, taking the risk of an un-permitted addition on themselves.