Remodeling Your Home? Understand When A Permit Is Necessary

When doing a home improvement project on your own, it is easy to forget about getting permits. While laws are different depending on which city you live in, there are some jobs that will always require a permit.

Jobs That Require A Permit

A good rule of thumb is that any time you are changing the structure of your home, it requires a permit. This includes common projects like opening up a kitchen where the countertop extends into another room, or even merging two bedrooms into one.

Changing the location of your kitchen sink even requires a permit because it is creating another structural change, but this time it's to your plumbing system.

Electrical work often requires a permit, especially if you are running new wiring throughout the home. This could be because of a big kitchen renovation where you are moving outlets or adding a bathroom to your basement. All work will need to be certified by an electrician before the project is complete.

Tree cutting only requires a permit if your tree is above a specific height. Typically, it is necessary if removing the tree risks damaging a surrounding structure if it falls the wrong way.

Jobs That Do Not Require A Permit

Even though your floor is part of the structure of your home, adding new flooring on top of it does not need a permit. This includes refinishing hardwood and adding laminate hardwood, tile, or carpet. However, if you were ripping out your old hardwood and replacing it with new wood, that would require a permit.

Having windows installed will only require a permit in certain situations. If you are simply replacing the existing windows on your home, there will be no need for a permit. However, if you plan to add a new window in your home in a place where a window did not exist previously, that will require a permit.

Of course, exterior and interior painting will never require a permit.

If you are not sure about if your home improvement project requires a permit, you can always check with your local permit office. If you are hiring a general contractor, like, to do the work for you, ask if they will take care of acquiring all of the permits for you. Getting permits can be time consuming and frustrating, but it will prevent potential problems if you are caught doing the work without one.