To Permit or Not To Permit? There Is No Question


Kareen Kinzli Larsen, Realtor with RE/MAX Alliance, Wellington

As a real estate professional, one of the first questions I ask after hearing about homeowner updates is if the owner obtained a proper permit for the improvements. Many homeowners are unaware of the need for a building permit, even for something as seemingly simple as a deck remodel, new fireplace or a new air conditioning unit.

Although it involves extra steps and expenses, obtaining permits insures that the improvements were completed according to current building codes and standards. This gives any future buyer of your home peace of mind. Most buyers will expect to receive copies of any permits as part of the sale. So, what if you didn’t get one?

If you are located within city limits of a municipality, contact your city or town building department. If you live in an unincorporated county, contact your county building department. Ask about the As-Built permit process. Once you pay for the permit, a building inspector will come to your house and assess the improvements. The catch with getting a permit after the fact is that your improvements must comply with current building codes and guidelines. You may have to make changes before your final permit is issued.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to building permits. We have seen instances where homeowners were required to remove drywall or rebuild walls to obtain a basement permit. So, whether you are installing a new deck, roof, or finishing your basement you are well advised to start and end the process with a proper building permit.

Local Resources:
Unincorporated Larimer County –
City of Fort Collins –
Town of Wellington –


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