It’s Home Improvement Season – Do You Know Where Your Permit Is?

If you build it, they will come.

And by they – we mean consequences….if you don’t have a permit for those remodeling projects you’ve completed for your home. 

When you’ve decided to remodel or make improvements to your home, it’s important to take a step back and research whether or not a permit from the city government is needed.

If your remodel requires a permit, it’s crucial that you get one – not only will these changes go on record with the city, but permits will also help sell or refinance your home; buyers and lenders want to make sure all projects comply with building codes, so if you’ve got the proof, you’ll be good to go.

But how do you know which projects require a permit? Luckily, not all of them do.

Projects that Require Permits

  • Fencing installation or repairs: check with your city to see if there are any height restrictions.
  • Window installation: if you’re installing bigger windows, a permit is required to cut holes for them. This also includes skylights and new doors with windows.
  • Plumbing and electrical work: installing or replacing pluming or electrical wiring (whether that’s an outlet, switch, etc.) 100% requires a permit. However, if you’re completing smaller projects, like a repair or a light fixture installation, a permit isn’t usually needed.
  • Structural changes: this includes changes to load-bearing walls, balconies, decks, porches, roofs, or foundation flooring.
  • Heating maintenance: replacing your water heater, ventilation system, gas and wood fireplaces, and ducts all require permits.
  • Additions: new construction, replacements, upgrades, and additions to the home all require permits. Detached garages or sheds are examples of what an addition might look like.

Projects that Don’t Require Permits

  • Paint or wallpaper projects.
  • Installing new countertops.
  • Landscape work.
  • Installing flooring – hardwood, carpet, etc.
  • Installing or replacing a faucet.

If you’re still unsure of whether or not you might need a permit, you can call your local city office, or you can hire a professional contractor!

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