Most major construction or renovation projects require obtaining a building permit. However, because not every project requires a permit, it can be difficult to know if your particular plans require one. Here is a simple guide to help you determine if you need a permit:
You will likely need a building permit for:
- Demolishing any walls or structures. This includes interior and exterior walls, as well as separate structures like free-standing garages.
- Changing or replacing the pipes in your home. Building permits are required for major plumbing projects to ensure the work is done correctly and safely.
- Re-roofing your house.
- Converting a garage into a living room or similar projects. Changing the major use of a room often requires changes to plumbing and electrical systems, which always requires a building permit.
You don’t usually need a permit for:
- Repainting the outside of your house.
- Replacing minor kitchen appliances.
- Replacing kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
- Installing new flooring.
- Building a small fence in your yard.
How to get a build permit
There are multiple steps to obtain a building permit for any of the above scenarios. Here is a basic guide to the permit process:
- Download or obtain a permit application from the local permit office for the specific project you’re planning.
- Prepare a site plan. You may need an architect or other contractor to help you draw the plans.
- Schedule an appointment for plan approval. The timing for this part of the process can vary depending on the extent and type of your project.
- Once you obtain your permit, you’ll need to schedule one or more inspections during the process. These inspections make sure you’re following the agreed-upon project plan.
- Once your project is completed, all that’s left is to get final city approval.
This is only a basic guide to building permits for major home projects. For a thorough list of the proper permits, consult a contractor or construction professional for details regarding your specific project and plans.