“Why & When You Need A Building Permit”
By: Don Vandervort, HomeTips
A permit protects the homeowner and the future occupants of the home. If a professional suggests that you do not need one, check with the building department yourself; you probably do, and it is to your advantage to get one.
In fact, the suggestion that you don’t need one is usually a red flag that your architect or contractor is trying to cut corners to your detriment. In most cases, you will pay a fee based on the value of the project.
A permit ensures oversight of your contractor’s work (or yours). The scrutiny of an inspector can guard against mistakes and shoddy workmanship and ensure that the work adheres to building codes. You’ll sleep better knowing your project meets safety standards for materials and construction techniques.
A permit will also help you avoid headaches in the future. If building officials discover you have done work without a permit, you could be required to dismantle your remodel. If you sell your house, you might be legally obligated to disclose that you have remodeled without a permit, and the buyer could demand that you bring work up to code.
You probably need a permit if you plan to . . .
Change the footprint of your house
Move a load-bearing wall
Alter the roofline
Create a new door or window opening
Replace an electric stove with a natural-gas model
Move a sink
Install new electrical wiring
But not if you plan to . . .
Install new floor coverings
Replace doors or windows without altering the structure
Change a countertop
Replace a faucet