I had written a post in January 2011 on the importance of using licensed contractors and the RIGHT people……
Times are tough, but regardless of that people will always try and save money for home repairs. I have seen the ‘do it yourself-er’ who spaces steps too far apart, railings too far apart, installed decks (as they know what to do), and then of course they call their friends and uncles, and the chap down the street who moonlights as a repairman/handyman…. All done with the best of intentions until there is either a fire, a serious problem or they try to sell their home and discover that since they never used a licensed professional (be it an electrician, plumber, contractor), and obtained no certificate of occupancy, they have to hire an architect, have plans drawn up for that addition/deck/renovation, etc. pay a fine to boot (It is approximately $2000 in New Rochelle), and go through a sometimes lengthy process correcting what was perhaps accomplished incorrectly, just so they can sell the house.
Time and definitely money would have been saved if they used the right people to begin with.
Some home-owners decide to only legalize a room when they are about to sell as the increased taxes they would have been paying all of those intermediate years after the room was completed would be a savings to them. The only catch there is that an agent is not legally able to advertise that room until it has been approved by the local building department. They could lose 2 months or so waiting for that legalization.
Additionally, if you, the home-owner were audited, and it was discovered you had paid an unlicensed repairman, then you could actually be charged with back taxes on behalf of that person as you would be considered an employer…..
If all is done correctly in the first place… the home-owner will have peace of mind knowing that their insurance will cover any damage from an issue since there was a C/O (Certificate of Occupancy)in place, and that they will not have to worry about that deck collapsing!
Lastly, a home-owner should consider the benefits of that renovation before jumping in..An addition for example will increase your home’s value and the taxes will be increased. What are the homes selling for in your area? Will your home be worth more if you undertake that renovation or will there be a cap to its value based on area home sale prices? If you plan to live in the home for many years and that renovation is beneficial to you then go for it, but if you renovate ‘too much’ and thus increase your property value and are taxed higher, will you recoup your investment should you need to sell?
Larchmont and New Rochelle are GREAT!