It probably comes as no surprise to the majority of contractors, that most homeowners want to save money when it comes to remodeling and/or building their homes. Indeed, there are probably even some out there that may on occasion ask a contractor to do work without obtaining the necessary permits – all just to save money. However, contractors need to be very wary of any such requests – particularly because the homeowner may not be the only one to face fines and liability if the non-compliant work is discovered or reported to the Department of Building and Safety.
Contractors need to be aware that a contractor that knowingly installs work in violation of applicable building codes and laws is subject to disciplinary action by the Contractor’s State License Board, and may even be subject to criminal prosecution. (Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 7109, 7110; Mickelson Concrete Co. v. Contractors’ State License Bd., 95 Cal. App. 3d 631, 157 Cal. Rptr. 96 (3d Dist. 1979) In other words, it will not just be the homeowner facing the music if the work done without the necessary permits is discovered.
There is no doubt that the economy is still in a slump and there is undeniable pressure to bid low to obtain jobs, but do not make the mistake of cutting corners when it comes to obtaining necessary permits – saving a homeowner a little money in order to get the job is never going to be worth risking your contractor’s license or facing criminal charges.