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I can tell you that not getting a permit when you need one is costly. Items that are not correctly permitted can lower your property value at the time of sale. What buyer wants to buy something that may or may not have been done correctly?

Take the advice of a real estate agent and pay the little extra that a permit will cost. It will probably pay for itself in the end.

1. Fences
The old saying, “Good fences make good neighbors,” is as true now as ever. Fencing in your yard can be one of the best additions to your property. A well-designed and installed fence can increase privacy, add home value, and give you that nostalgic “White Picket Fence” look. Just make sure the dream does not become a nightmare. You wouldn’t want to build a fence on your neighbor’s property in error, would you? Which would you prefer to do? Make a few calls to the building inspector to check on what size of a fence you can install, have the proper set, pay for a permit, or build it and be told you have to take it down because it is not up to code. Many towns and cities have stringent fence height and material regulations and some homeowner associations. You might even want to double-check surveys.

2. Water Heaters
Sometimes the things that look the simplest are the worst DIY projects. Water heaters fit that example. The job appears simple to do. Turn off the energy source, disconnect the water intake and output, and maybe a flue pipe. However, if done wrong, this can be extremely dangerous. From gas explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning to electrical fires, the hazards of improperly installed water heaters are severe. No one should put themselves or their families at risk to save a few dollars. All water heater installation requires a permit, and it is suggested you use a licensed plumber to perform the work, or at the very least, after installation, have an inspection.

3. Sheds and Outbuildings
You want a shed. You go to one of those big box hardware stores and buy one already made. They come and drop it off on your property.