Practical Homeowner Guide – Instances When a Building Permit is Required

What do most homeowners ask when planning home renovation? One of the major concerns confronting homeowners is whether a building permit is required or not when doing home renovation. This concern seems to be a pretty simple issue that has a fairly straightforward answer, but this is not the case. The issue is not as simple as it may seem. The requirement for building permit will depend on your location, the type of renovation that you are planning to undertake and even what you do to earn a living.

There are certain locations that will require building permit for all types of home renovations and repairs beyond painting, while there are other areas that are less rigid and allow extensive repair jobs without permits. There are also specific jurisdictions where you have to get a building permit when building a deck that is attached to your home but will not require one if it is a deck that is free-standing or attached to your shed and garage. There are even areas where businesses and farmers are exempt from needing building permits for the same projects where homeowners are required to have one.

The main challenge when it comes to building permits is the lack of standard rule that is applicable for all locations. Thus, it is important for you to determine the existing regulations that are applicable in your area before commencing with the home repair or renovation.

Here are some typical circumstances where building permit is required:

o Altering or modifying your supporting wall or home exterior
o Renovating your roof line
o Building additional structure that is attached to your home
o Constructing a large detached structure
o Installing a new plumbing or electrical

Here are some of the situations where you need to confirm with local authorities whether a permit is required or not:

o Building a small detached structure such as shed and deck
o Building perimeter fence
o Complete renovation of a room
o Modifying a partition wall

Even with this partial list, it is pretty obvious that there are a lot of grey areas. Will you need a permit if you are installing vapor and insulation barriers? It all depends on your location. There are certain jurisdictions that require permit for such jobs while others allow them without permit. Manual J There are places that permit is required if the project involves upgrading of plumbing and electrical installations to current code requirements.

In most cases, permit is not required if you are doing general or routine maintenance. For instance, building permit is not required if you are simply replacing your siding, eaves trough or roof shingles. Similarly, you will not need a permit if you are replacing an existing fence or deck. This same rule applies if you are replacing windows and doors, bathroom and kitchen fixtures as well as your flooring materials.

The rule of thumb in determining whether you need a permit or not is that when you are in doubt, you must consult with the agency that issues the building permits. A quick phone call is all that is needed for you to confirm with the authorized agency whether a permit is required or not.

In most instances, you will have to consult with the planning agency that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. They are the best persons who can give you a rundown of specific jobs that require building permits. It is essential that you consult with the proper agency before you start drawing up your renovation plan.

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