Homeowners in communities north of Orlando, Fla., increasingly are asking remodelers and builders to ignore getting required building permits and having their homes checked for lead paint, the president of a local building material supplier says. Don Magruder of Ro-Mac Lumbercretxbcqrwcrybebutyr recently wrote in his hometown Leesburg, Fla., Daily Commercial that he's even hearing of cases in which a homeowner gets hostile when told their job requires a permit. Magruder adds:

By law, projects that involve the envelope of the home or a major remodel must have a permit issued for the project. If this is not done, the contractor could lose their license. The days of contractors doing work without a permit are just about over because of jealous neighbors, other scorned contractors and the use of property satellite photos by property appraisers.

Magruder warns homeowners that aside from it being unethical to ask a contractor or subcontractor to break the law and risk their license "the hassle the local building department will put you through with paperwork after a red tag stop work order has been issued makes a root canal look enticing." He conceded that some requirements--particularly involving lead paint--could dramatically increase the cost of a project. But he adds that the laws were put in place to protect homeowners. "All of these rules are the result of public outcries for improvement in the building industry," he wrote. "Don’t blame the contractor for following laws that the public has demanded."

Read more of Magruder's column and see Remodeling's web section on the lead-paint rule