New to rehabs, need your opinions!

Ok, my partner and myself have just purchased our two first properties in Texas. We found an unlicensed handyman/contractor that can do most of the work. Some of this work is major, like moving a kitchen from upstairs back down to the 1st floor. Putting up some walls for bedrooms, and adding a bath. MLS stated this house was a 3/1 but when we saw the property we noticed it was a 1/1 and decided to purchase it anyways. So we are putting it back to a 3/2, but we’re not sure if we’ll need to pull permits. Does anyone have experience in this arena?

You definitely need permits and that’s tricky. You can pull home owner permits or your contractor pulls contractor permits. If you live in a city that watches these things, then you need to live in the home yourself or hire a licensed contrator. Also, some inspectors really dislike home owner permits and are especially picky if you do the work yourself. Some inspectors are very helpful.

interesting…im currently doing my first rehab as well. what sort of work requires permits and what doesn’t? i need to replace the kitchen, maybe the bathrooms…sand & polyurethane the floors, and past the walls.

i’m guessing i’d only need a permit for the kitchen…if that, right?

Check with the city/county - they will be able to tell you what needs permit and what doesn’t. It will vary from city to city, county to county and state to state.

Make sure you have enough info to go after this guy if he leaves. Never pay in advance or give him/her any money to get supplies get them yourself, and keep an eye on your stuff. I would get somebody who is licensed, so you could go after them if they bail with tools, supplies, etc… Had some tough lessons learned from un licensed handymen and I am not sure if you know this person, but don’t trust anybody unless they have something to lose, i.e. their license.

wow, thanks. I’ve been on another chatroom for REI’s and they said if i keep the house as a 3/1 as described on the MLS then i should be ok. however, since i’ll be moving the kitchen downstairs would we need permits? how would anyone know if the kithcen was originally upstairs?

Not from a legal standpoint, but It depends on where the home is in my opinion if you have neighbors who are close or are still in a neighborhood where new const is going on (IE county people driving around) you should get that permit. They just check codes and what not when you get that permit. Best thing is always pay and get it…

As stated by all .best thing to do is invest in an afternoon at City Hall.Literally walk into the building inspectors office and ask for information on what needs permitted.DONT TELL THEM YOU ARE MOVING THE KITCHEN DOWNSTAIRS. Simply say you are looking to remodel your home (He has no idea where you live and I have never had one ask) and you would like to know what needs permitted and what doesnt.Every code office I have been in has had a slotted wall hanging with all the permit applications hanging in it .I take one of each and throw out the ones that dont pertain to what I m doing and I read the ones that do pertain so I know what to worry about and what not to.Then decide weather I need to keep the paper on the windows for the entire job or just a few weeks ;DI was in a code office a few weeks ago in a town we are looking into investing in and I didnt find any applications for anything I was going to do so I asked the code man what I need a permit for in his town and he said .Electrical & plumbing .I said what about everthing else like new windows ,doors, putting up a wall to make a bedroom.He responded ,electrical and plumbing,anything else as long as its safe I dont care what you do.Needless to say I went back to the realtor and offered on the house I was looking at.