Permit For Remodeling: Why And When You Need One

You are thinking about remodeling your kitchen, your bathroom or even your whole house, but you don’t know exactly where to start. Doing homework seems to be the best starting point. Once you have figured out precisely what kind of work is involved you will be able to apply for the right permit for remodeling. Always check with your building department before you get started on the work, even if you think you do not need a permit.

When do you need a permit for remodeling?

Today, the local, county, state and federal governments are involved in construction and remodeling projects performed by individuals and companies alike. Chances are, no matter how big or small your project is, your will have to have a permit of some sort, especially if:

You have to remove a load bearing wall

You may be able to do it yourself, most permitting agencies will allow you to, but it’s a very heavy project and requires a little more than just demolishing. The load will have to be supported by a beam (or else the house comes crumbling down, we don’t want that). That directly implies adhering to building code and pass subsequent inspections.

You plan on major structural changes

Think plumbing, electrical, natural gas... (moving a sink, replacing an electric stove for one that uses natural gas). Because of the obvious dangers involved with working on electrical, heating and plumbing - and because any change will still have to be up to code - the right materials and techniques will have to be used to keep your home and your family safe.

You alter the roofline

When re-roofing requires modifications in structural elements such as roof pitch or roof material (if weight exceeds 10 pounds per square foot), you need a permit.

You change the footprint of the house

A permit for remodeling is required whenever the scope of the project includes demolition or a part of the house or a room addition. Same goes for building a deck 30” above grade, building a carport or converting a garage.

You install windows, doors, skylights

If a new opening is required, count on having to go through the permit process.

You add fireplaces, chimneys, wood burning stoves, water heater and furnaces

Even for projects such as demolishing a non load bearing wall, replacing existing windows and doors, cutting down trees on your property and building retaining walls over 4 feet high, a permit for remodeling may be required. It depends on where you live, so always check with your local agency.

Why do you need a permit for remodeling pretty much anything?

There are several reasons for the increase in building and remodeling permits requirements. One is generating revenue. But mainly, it is about obeying to codes and regulations to ensure your safety and protect your assets and the matter of public safety and health. For instance, when remodeling your sewer system, you may inadvertently alter the flow of waste of the main sewer line down from your house, therefore presenting a health risk for your neighborhood along the main line.

The purpose of building and codes is to assure homeowners, as best as possible, of the safety of the home. Permits and inspections are on record and guarantee that the building does not represent a fire hazard due to electrical malfunction, that the structure is strong and sound, properly insulated, etc... The permanent records are also a way for a home buyer to know exactly what type of work has been performed on the property.

When doing your homework prior to starting any kind of remodeling project, you will find that if you don't know exactly what the project implies, you won’t know what to apply for. With the help of a licensed general contractor, you will have a precise idea about what the completion of the project will take, permit for remodeling included.

You deserve the Collom Construction quality.