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If your contractor is expecting you to pull the permit, find a new contractor.  Yes, it’s really that simple. 

The permit process is in place to protect residents and maintain a safe community overall.  Pulling the permit is not a homeowner’s responsibility unless they’re planning on doing all the work.  However, in this case, a contractor has been hired, so it is their duty to pull any permits associated with the construction of the deck. 

Why is my contractor responsible for pulling the permit?        

Contractors have the necessary training and experience to know which permits are needed for each unique project.  The following are important reasons why your contractor should be pulling all permits.

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Municipalities can have individual ordinances and may require special permits.  This includes not just decks, but a wide range of associated details.  If you plan on running electrical to your deck and a fireplace is included in your design specs, it’s possible that both features will require their own permit.  Additionally, if you currently have a covered deck that you want to be refurbished, a permit specifically for re-roofing may be necessary.

Permit fee amounts vary from municipality to municipality.  Just like the circumstances listed above, an experienced contractor will know how much each permit costs, accurately explain the permitting costs, and document them accordingly on the contract to demonstrate that they aren’t overcharging for the permitting.

Counties can have different permit requirements.  While it may seem a bit silly in hindsight, it boils down to how the vast percentage of properties are zoned in each county.  For example, County A contains wide swaths of properties that are zoned residential, so it will usually have stricter permitting requirements because they have more safety and beautification standards.  Meanwhile, County B contains properties that are mostly zoned for agricultural use, so their permitting regulations will not be as stringent.  Any local contractor worth their salt knows how to navigate the county’s permitting process and would never expect the homeowner to handle this important step.     

The clock’s ticking!  All permits have time limits, and all contractors understand that the clock starts ticking the minute the permit is pulled.  An experienced contractor can accurately predict how long a project should take from start to finish.  If the permit expires and your dream deck isn’t complete, this could cost you in more ways than one because your property is now in violation according to the regulations.  In this situation, the contractor must obtain a new permit or attempt to get an extension for the permit that expired.  When the homeowner isn’t the one who pulled the permit, he or she has the freedom to hire a new contractor to finish the deck properly within the timeframe allotted by the permit.

When a Contractor Pulls a Kansas City Deck Permit, They’re Legit

Contractors who take their profession seriously will always pull their own permit(s) because they don’t want someone else taking credit for their work.  When a contractor tells the homeowner to pull the permit(s), this should raise red flags for the following reasons: 

  1. The contractor doesn’t want their name associated with the project, which enables them to hire unlicensed and unskilled laborers.
  2. The homeowner gets scammed into paying for the permit(s) when the permitting fee(s) have already been built into the contract.
  3. The homeowner is now responsible for the quality of the work and any problems that arise.
  4. The contractor probably is lacking proper licenses and insurance and is, therefore, unable to pull a permit.

What is the homeowner’s responsibility?     

When a person hires a contractor to build a deck, they are required to do the following:

  1. Approve the final design specifications.
  2. Read every word of the contract and ask questions if something is unclear.
  3. Sign the contract and retain a copy of it.
  4. Sit back and relax knowing you’re in capable hands.

Qualified contractors are always happy to answer questions and go over everything in detail.  If a homeowner feels that the contractor is reluctant about explaining things or is providing inadequate answers, it’s best to thank them for their estimate and search for a different contractor.    

If you’re ready to stop dreaming and start enjoying a gorgeous deck, give us a call at (913) 206-1974 or contact us online today!  As professional deck contractors, we understand the permitting process and are happy to handle all the responsibility that comes along with it.