Knowing when a permit is necessary can save you a tremendous amount of money and stress. Pulling permits for the necessary renovations is imminent for quite a few reasons. Most projects that require a permit, do so for a reason. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry! Accidents happen, permits are there to ensure none of these are construction related. Also, just because you slid under the radar now, doesn’t mean you will in the future. Unpermitted work will catch up with you one way or another.
Ignoring local approval requirements not only poses safety and legal problems but also can potentially derail an otherwise smooth sale, should you try to sell your home. When selling your home, you must disclose the permits, any unpermitted work can be subject to demolition.
Also, without pulling the proper permits, you can’t ensure you are getting quality work. We’ve seen and heard of numerous horror stories due to this. Without the necessary permits, you won’t know if your contractor did a good job until a few months down the line when the project falls apart. Don’t let that happen to you! This is easily avoidable, all you need to do is make sure you have the necessary permits!
So when is a permit necessary?
The IBC (International Building Code) is a uniform code that has been adopted throughout most of the United States.
A permit is always required for any addition or structural modification to your existing living space. A permit is required for electrical modifications, plumbing work, window modifications that enlarge openings and for mechanical system installations.
A permit is also required if you are modifying the roof line of your home. Sewer modifications, major demolitions and added fireplaces are other examples of work that typically requires a permit.
When is a permit unnecessary?
A permit usually isn’t required for interior cosmetic changes like new carpet, hardwood flooring, new paint, paneling and the installation of trim like crown molding, baseboard, and casing.
Depending on where you live, certain permits may be required. Always check your city requirements before proceeding with the project.
What permits may be necessary?
Exterior work such as adding a deck, cutting down trees and building new fences or retaining walls are all elements that may or may not require a permit depending on design, location and the extent of the work.
Exterior work on your home, like repairing siding and repainting, may or may not require a permit and can only be determined in context with the rules of your community.
Replacing light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and appliances are all examples of work that historically did not require a permit but now may technically require one in some cases.