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Home Improvements That Are Not Legal To Do Yourself

GOBankingRates Logo By Jami Farkas of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 11: Spending so much time at home during the past year has exposed the pluses and minuses of our properties. The main living space might shine and sparkle, but the bathrooms look old and dreary by comparison. You've probably also noticed deficiencies in some of its core systems, such as heating, plumbing and electrical. Read: 20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value Related: What Homes Will Be Worth in Your State by the End of 2021  The desire to repair, update or bring more comfort to our spaces led to a push in home improvement projects in 2020 that has dipped only slightly to start 2021, according to the nonprofit Home Improvement Research Institute. In fact, a recent report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies said that Americans spent nearly $420 billion on projects in owner-occupied and rental properties in 2020. And between a hesitancy to bring strangers into their homes as the virus spread and a desire to save money, do-it-yourselfers tried to give many projects a try themselves. But that might prove illegal. “The legality of the repairs you perform on your property are subject to the rules and regulations of your local building department,” said Bill Samuel, who runs Blue Ladder Development in Chicago. “The rules will vary from each town but in general you will be required to pull a permit for any property alterations beyond basic cosmetic improvements. Not pulling the required permits is considered performing illegal work. Many villages also require specific work to be performed by a licensed professional.” Before you strap on your tool belt, read the wise words that home improvement pros and others have to share about the dangers of DIY projects. Last updated: July 27, 2021

Spending so much time at home during the past year has exposed the pluses and minuses of our properties. The main living space might shine and sparkle, but the bathrooms look old and dreary by comparison. You've probably also noticed deficiencies in some of its core systems, such as heating, plumbing and electrical.

Read: 20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value
Related: What Homes Will Be Worth in Your State by the End of 2021

The desire to repair, update or bring more comfort to our spaces led to a push in home improvement projects in 2020 that has dipped only slightly to start 2021, according to the nonprofit Home Improvement Research Institute. In fact, a recent report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies said that Americans spent nearly $420 billion on projects in owner-occupied and rental properties in 2020. And between a hesitancy to bring strangers into their homes as the virus spread and a desire to save money, do-it-yourselfers tried to give many projects a try themselves.

But that might prove illegal.

“The legality of the repairs you perform on your property are subject to the rules and regulations of your local building department,” said Bill Samuel, who runs Blue Ladder Development in Chicago. “The rules will vary from each town but in general you will be required to pull a permit for any property alterations beyond basic cosmetic improvements. Not pulling the required permits is considered performing illegal work. Many villages also require specific work to be performed by a licensed professional.”

Before you strap on your tool belt, read the wise words that home improvement pros and others have to share about the dangers of DIY projects.

Last updated: July 27, 2021
© Neil Lockhart / Shutterstock.com

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