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Get Permission Before You Build

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Know the Rules about Building Permits

While many homes being built today look similar to everything build around them, people use home improvement projects to make these spaces truly theirs. Even minor repairs, such as a new coat of pain or updated lighting and fixtures, can make all the difference when it comes to redecorating a home. However, major renovations can be a little trickier. While this usually involves the hiring of a home improvement professional, it also involves building permits and inspections to ensure the safety and viability of all the changes. Here are some things to take into account before starting on your next remodel.

Why Get Building Permits?

First and foremost, building permits are required by law for a range of projects at your home. Furthermore, there are multiple reasons that cities require permits. First, obtaining permits ensures that contractors agree to follow health and safety guidelines. Also, following certain codes ensures uniformity in construction which makes things easier for inspectors, real estate appraisers, and others.

What Projects Require Permits?

There are quite a few projects that require permits. Additionally, one must file the correct paperwork with the local building and zoning authority to obtain the permit. Projects that require permits include new construction projects (homes, buildings, gazebos, sheds, etc.), new additions (new rooms, garage, patio, decks, etc.), major remodels (complete kitchen/bathroom remodel), structural changes (foundations, footings, etc.), electrical work, and plumbing changes. Be sure to check locally to ensure you get the right permit for the right project.

Do I Also Need an Inspection?

Not only will you need to obtain a building permit before starting, but you’ll have to adhere to certain inspections throughout the process; this ensures all construction and renovations ad here to current building codes.

What are the Consequences?

The consequences of not obtaining a building permit can vary depending on the project and the part of the home. Also, without a building permit, and the subsequent inspections, you may forfeit some homeowner’s insurance coverage. However, you may also expose you and your family to shoddy workmanship, which can provide dangerous and even fatal (think electricity…yikes!).

Local Requirements

Requirements for building permits can vary depending on the governing body that you fall under. You’ll want to start locally, in your city. Apply only for the permits that your planning and zoning board requires.


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