A few months ago, we wrote about the importance and some of the legality of having a permit on the job when performing a furnace replacement or installation. We noted that it’s often difficult for homeowners to know if permits are necessary for specific home improvement projects. Furnace installation and replacement sometimes falls into this category. Many who need the work done are left wondering if this falls into the “permit zone.” This is where the help and knowledge of licensed contractor comes in. They can let you know the right answer to this question.

That answer? Yes. In Washington State, a mechanical permit or furnace permit is required by law in order to replace and install a furnace. These are major home projects that require a great deal of work by contractors and installation teams and require skilled work (such as gas piping, exhaust venting, and electrical) to be performed correctly. Homeowners should always have peace of mind that the contractor performing this work is fully licensed, knowledgeable and follows all proper laws and industry protocols when completed a job like furnace replacement.

Unfortunately, there are some “contractors” out there that, in order to grab a quick job, trick homeowners into thinking a permit isn’t necessary for this type of replacement. They offer them a low cost, do the work quickly, and get out before anything has a chance to go wrong. As you can imagine, this is wrong on many different levels.

First, there are specific inspections that come along with the permit process that involve checking the work of contractors to ensure the safety and well-being of the homeowners and their families. These inspections make sure the work is done properly and to code. Without the permits in place, these other dubious contractors never get their work checked. This is an even larger problem because these individuals typically have far less training and experience than licensed contractors, so they often make mistakes, cut corners or overlook safety steps.

These shortcuts and mistakes can lead to serious problems for the homeowners. We’ve talked at length about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. CO leaks are a far too common occurrence resulting from improperly installed furnaces and heating systems. Fire hazards are often results of this quick and inexperienced work.

Contractors not pulling the proper permits during a furnace replacement or installation should be a huge red flag for you as a homeowner. The permits can be cheap insurance of a job done right–$100 or less in many cases. If they aren’t pulled by your contractor, it likely means they aren’t the contractor you want working on your replacement or installation. They could be skipping out on other extremely important safety steps during the project. At BelRed, we take safety and careful, detailed work very seriously and always follow appropriate code and manufacturer guidelines for installations. Please contact us today if you’re at fear you’ve been talking to the wrong contractor about these types of issues.

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