Buying your first home or even updating your existing home is an exciting time, you can make the changes you desire and enhance your living experience. Typically, the first thing people think of when making changes in the design, color options, or how the change will increase the property value.
With significant changes, it is essential to research and understand that many times, home renovations require permits. Surprisingly, even smaller changes often need permits as well. To save you a headache later on, before starting any projects, make sure you understand the ins and outs of building permits and when they are required.
So, what even is a building permit?
Building permits are written authorizations issued by a city or country that allows you to continue with construction for a project. They ensure that the project minimizes any health or safety risks that may be involved. These risks cans can include things such as structural collapse, fire hazards, and even electrical issues. While going through the process may seem tedious it’s important to understand that these permits are put in place to keep your family and your neighbors safe.
What kind of home renovations require permitting?
The types of projects that require permits will vary based on where you live. Local codes will dictate which renovations need a permit but as a good rule of thumb, the following renovations typically require a permit before starting.
- Structural Changes: Any demolition or structural changes to your property will require your contractor to obtain a permit. This includes changes to your roof, deck, flooring, etc.
- Additions to your home: New construction or upgrades that total more than $5,000 will require a permit if they are larger than a 200-square foot change.
- Plumbing or electrical work: Smaller items like replacing light fixture installations do not require permits however, if you are updating wiring, outlets, or plumbing you will most likely need to submit a permit.
- Pools: This will vary based on where you live however typically pools that hold over 24 inches of water will need a permit.
Which home improvement jobs don’t need permits?
As one may hope, smaller projects like landscaping work and others do not require a permit. Other projects that do not require a permit may include things like:
- Installing hardwood floors or carpets
- Replacing a faucet
Essentially, any cosmetic improvement will fall into the category of no permit needed.
What happens if you don’t get a permit?
The permit process can be frustrating but, if you don’t receive a permit for your home project it can lead to major issues with your city. Not receiving a permit can result in you having to pay hefty fees or in some cases your renovation work may be destroyed as there is no way for the city to know if your work is up to code.
If you hire a trusted professional contractor to handle your home renovation they should know whether the job requires a permit or not but, as the homeowner the responsibility will fall back on you so be sure to handle your due diligence.
All in all, it’s the safest bet to reach out to your municipality to ensure permit requirements are met, it’s also important to hire someone you trust if you are not sure where to start download the Dibbs app to find professionals near you.