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Angie's Answers

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Yes, but you won't like what will probably happen (this is a worst case scenario, hopefully you will avoid most):

The purpose for a building permit is to ensure meeting the minimum standards for construction practices and minimum safety standards.  A contractor who works without a permit, does so because they know they are not in compliance (and to save money at your expense).  They knew they should have had inspections and permits for their work.  Who ever built the addition should be reported to both the building official as well as the Better Business Bureau.  It is ultimately the homeowner who is responsible for ensuring the proper permits have been applied for, though.

So when you apply for your permit, you will be pretending as if the work is not completed (you do not hide this fact, you just have to follow the correct process as if it hadn't been built).  Your first stop will be with zoning; can you even add an addition, do you have the proper clearances from the side, front and rear property lines.  If it is a bedroom, does the septic system (perk test) support an additional bedroom.  If your building already meets or exceeds the amount of building allowed on the site or if you do not have the clearances required from the property line, your addition may be required to be removed.  There are appeal processes and variance requests you can try before tearing down the addition (Get an architect).

If your zoning review is fine, next you go to permitting.  Here you will submit plans (drawings) of what was built.  If you do not have these plans, consider hiring an Architect to generate As-Built drawings for this use.  Hopefully the plan review comes back with no changes, or you will alread know your addition is not in compliance and may face rebuilding.  Depending on the type of construction, your zoning and your local building requirements, you will be required to have inspections of your foundation / footings, the framing, the electrical, mechancial and HVAC systems, etc. affected by the work. 

This may require digging the ground back up so the inspector can confirm foundation depth, size and draingage requirements.  The interior wall finishes (gypsum board, panelling, etc) may have to be removed in some or all areas so the framing and electrical can be inspected (If one area fails, be prepared to pull all areas down).  At each inspection, if the work is found to be lacking, then you will have to correct the work before getting permission to use the room.  If there is an electrical or safety violation found, it is possible the Building Official could declare the entire property inhabitable until the offenses are corrected (IE you are homeless until it is fixed).

As you can see, you have to hope beyond belief that the builder constructed everything correctly and that the building officials will work with you to minimize the amount of deconstruction necessary to inspect the work.

Also, you will be charged all the fees associated with plan review and permitting, and you will be charged for each inspection visit (as your builder would have been charged initially had they followed the law).

As for value, here is the real concern:  If your home burns down or faces some similar disaster, your home owners insurance will balk at paying; they will blame the illegal construction as the cause.  As for the value of your building, not having a permit will make any buyer have a difficult time getting their own insurance, thus harder to sell.  The room itself will add value to your property, if it isn't a hazard (IE permitted). 

Also, taxes are based upon assessments, which use the land records.  Building without a permit, can be seen by local officials as an attempt to avoid paying property taxes, since the land records do not show the addition.  Until the official tax records reflect an accurate statement of your building, you may face fines, tax fees and other costs associated with the improvement depending upon how long it has been there unreported.

You may wish to contact a local, licensed Architect who works with the local building department.  They will know the personel, know which forms you need to fill out first and how to protect you from an overzealous Building Official (there are exceptions and options within the Code that the Building Official may forget or ignore that an Architect can request be used to prevent tear down or damage).  Next time you go to build get the Architect first to protect yourself from what this construction firm did to you.

Good luck!
?

     If you are having a friendly divorce you might want to know what doing the repairs would add to the sale price. I think your best bet would actually be to talk to a realtor as to what they think the difference would be. Then get a couple of estimates from a local contractor or contractors.

     Being in a divorce situation I would think sell as is and move on as quickly as you can. Renovation of a home can be a stress on a good marraige and it would probably be worse if in divorce proceedings.

 

Good luck Don

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Property Appraisers in Gainesville, GA

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

24/7 Atlanta Locksmith

24/7 Mobile service
Atlanta

ABSOLUTE APPRAISAL

2730 Blarney Way
Duluth

ADVANTAGE APPRAISALS INC

600 CANDLER ST
Gainesville

Alpharetta Home Appraiser

2400 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta

ANF GROUP

2451 CUMBERLAND PKWY SE
Atlanta

APPRAISAL AUTHORITIES INC

4548 WAHOO DR
Gainesville

Appraisal Litigation Support

4279 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta

APPRAISAL RESOURCES

3645 ELEANORS TRCE
Gainesville

AppraisalsByDana, LLC.

1266 West Paces Ferry Rd
Atlanta

Atlanta Appraisers

1009 Chastain Park Ct NE
Atlanta

Atlanta Condo Appraiser

1280 West Peachtree St NW
Atlanta

Atlanta Marketing Data

3895 Pine Village Place
Loganville

Blackhawk Construction Services, LLC

2270 Northwest Parkway
Marietta

BMW Construction Inc.

1144 Whirlaway Lane
Monroe

BOZEMAN APPRAISAL SVC

4877 NEWTON DR
Gainesville

Brookhaven Home Appraiser

3508 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE
Atlanta

Buckhead Appraisers

3650 Habersham Rd NW
Atlanta

Bynum Appraisal Group

2550 Sandy Plains Rd
Marietta

CHARLES SLAY APPRAISALS

4858 FOREST BLVD
Gainesville

Cheap Home Appraisal

1500 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta

Clayton County Property Appraiser

4460 Jonesboro rd
Forest Park

Cobb County Home Appraiser

2315 Windy Hill Rd
Smyrna

Crossroads Appraisal Group

1755 North Brown Road
Lawrenceville

D W Norris Appraisal

3394 Lambeth Cir
Atlanta

DANIEL FRIES & ASSOCIATES INC

347 DAHLONEGA ST
Cumming

DAVID C BALL

332 WASHINGTON ST NE
Gainesville

DeKalb County Home Appraiser

3818 Brockett Trail #G
Clarkston

Divorce Home Appraisals

1950 N Druid Hills Rd
Atlanta

DON DEAN APPRAISAL SVC

406 BOULEVARD
Gainesville

Dunwoody Home Appraiser

5561 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody

EDWARDS APPRAISAL SVC

333 NORTH AVE
Gainesville

ENOTA ASSOCIATES

1145 LONGVIEW DR
Gainesville

Fair Assessments LLC

3577 Chamblee Tucker Rd.
Atlanta

Formula Forward Motion Incorporated

3235 SATELLITE BLVD
Duluth

Fulton County Home Appraiser

5675 Roswell Rd
Sandy Springs

GA Property Tax Services, Inc

PO Box 1047
Jefferson

Georgia Home Appraisers

200 Waterford Falls Dr
Canton

Georgia Pro Appraisers

2763 Blue Moon Drive
Buford

Golden Insurance Advocates, LLC

4651 Woodstock Rd #208-110
Roswell

GREENE REAL ESTATE INC

600 CANDLER ST
Gainesville

Gwinnett County Home Appraiser

1630 Pleasant Hill Rd NW
Duluth

Handyman on Call LLC

3365 W Hospital Ave
Atlanta

Inifinite Focus

391 17th St. NW
Atlanta

Jeff Thompson Appraisals

931 Monroe Dr NE Ste A-102/480
Atlanta

Jomaz Network

145 Chess Chase
Fayetteville

KENNY & ASSOC

4170 Cumberland Point Dr
Gainesville

LAKESHORE APPRAISALS

3464 BOTANY WOODS RD
Gainesville

Landhouse Leaders

404-923-0118 2 Ravinia Drive
Atlanta

Lanier Appraisal Service

5747 GARDEN WALK
Flowery Branch

Lexington Appraisals

550 Pharr Rd
Atlanta

LRS Surveying

29 Maple Ridge Dr
Cartersville

M Kent Appraisal

110 Magnolia Creek Dr
Canton

Marietta Home Appraiser

600 Cobb Pkwy SE
Marietta

METRO APPRAISALS INC

100 COLLEGE AVE SE
Gainesville

Million Dollar Home Appraisals

111 W Wieuca Rd NE
Atlanta

Million Dollar Home Appraiser

6000 Riverside Dr NW
Atlanta

MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS NETWORK INC

197 W Crogan St
Lawrenceville

North Georgia Residential Appraisals

7465 Tatum Woods Drive
Cumming

Perez Insurance Professionals

2800 Canton Rd
Marietta

Real Appraisals

Po box 311187
Atlanta

ReMax Town & Country - Roslyn Dennis

14205 Highway 92
Woodstock

RJ Palano Realestate Investor

1308 Crane CT #3
Mcdonough

Sandy Springs Home Appraiser

6320 Roswell Rd
Atlanta

The Atlanta Real Estate Appraiser

2100 Memorial Dr SE
Atlanta

The Local Home Appraiser

2440 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta

The Pre-Listing Home Appraiser

5040 Powers Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta

UST Cleaning

5847
Weddington

WES PHILLIPS COML APPRAISALS

332 WASHINGTON ST NW
Gainesville

What's It Worth Appraisal Services LLC

454 Pine Ridge Trail SE
Marietta

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