If you plan on selling a home in Colorado Springs and have a finished basement that has not been issued a permit, you may run into problems when selling your Colorado Springs home.
For example, if the buyer is obtaining VA financing, the buyers’ VA loan will not be approved because it will not pass VA’s inspection due to the basement not being permitted by Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.
There are different options the home seller can consider when it comes to addressing this issue:
1. Obtain an after the fact permit for the basement– Seller will be required to bring it up to code unless he/she goes through the Variance Process. The Variance Process is where the seller requests the building department in Colorado Springs to excuse any deficiencies (items not to code) in the basement (i.e. electrical, window wells not going out 36″, not having floating walls, etc…).
Is it free? No. They charge $50.00 per deficiency and do try to group deficiencies into categories (i.e. all window or plumbing deficiencies). After the homeowner pays the fee for each deficiency, the requests are reviewed and may or may not be accepted by the review board. The board may not excuse the lack of floating walls or other
major building code violations.
Also Read: What you need to know about permits
2. If the basement was not framed with floating walls– Seller may have an engineer look at the basement and indicate in writing that floating walls are not required for the home if no expansive soils are present where the Colorado Springs home is situated. Seller may take the engineer’s letter to the regional department and a permit may be issued as long as everything else in the basement is up to code (electrical, plumbing, etc…).
The engineer may or may not write the letter, it depends if the soils are expansive in the area. If there are expansive soils in the area,
floating walls are necessary.
3. Do not do anything– If the seller chooses to leave the basement alone it must be disclosed to buyers that there are no permits for the basement and must disclose any building code violations known by seller.
*This article is for informational purposes only, consult Pikes Peak Regional for more information or with any questions regarding permits and building code violations at (719)327-2880 to speak to a professional inspector.