Building Permits

/Building Permits

Do I Need a Building Permit for My Home Improvement Project?

By | February 23rd, 2018|Building Permits|

Why are building permits required for home improvements? When are they needed? How can property owners best navigate the quirks of the permitting process? Building permits often rank right down there with doing your taxes, or going to the dentist. They are also just as important. It is essential for homeowners to understand the need for permits, when they are needed, and the penalties of trying to make changes to a property without approval. Here’s what you need to know… […]

Top 9 Exterior Remodels that may Require a Site Plan to Get a Building Permit

By | March 25th, 2017|Building Permits, Home Additions, Home Improvement Costs, Plot Plans, Remodeling Ideas|

Major exterior remodeling upgrades such as building a new deck, adding a sun room or reshaping the landscape architecture on your property are exciting and fun, but these projects can go a lot smoother if you have a solid plan in place before any work is done. In many municipal districts i.e. local cities and towns, the local government will normally require a building permit to be “pulled” aka obtained prior to any major remodeling work commencing. Wait, What’s a Building Permit Anyways? A building permit provides a legal verification that the proposed project and its explicit plans meet the local building code requirements and state ordinances. Often times, many homeowners aren’t sure which projects require a permit and which don’t. Not surprisingly, most major projects do. It’s always prudent to contact your local zoning office to double check if your upcoming project(s) will require a permit. Doing this in advance can streamline the process, as approval can sometimes take weeks. When is the Building Permit Required? As a very general rule of thumb, most municipalities go with a figure of $5,000. If your project is priced at over $5,000, then plan on having to get a building permit. But, even if it costs less than that, you may still need one. Remodeling projects where building permits are almost always required include: yard fences over 3 feet tall, room additions, decks, garages, sheds, new windows and siding (to name a few). Upgrades that normally don’t require a permit are: installing hardwood floors or carpeting, minor electrical repairs, interior painting and/or wallpapering. What Happens If I Don’t Pull a Building Permit? Not having a building permit pulled for a project that actually needed one can have major repercussions for you later on. For instance, if you decide to sell your home at some point in the future, then any major upgrades for which the permit was not pulled, could open you up to a law suit, unless you disclose all the “unapproved” upgrades prior to the sale. If a home inspection or appraisal discovers an “unapproved” upgrade (especially, if on top of not having the permit pulled for, the upgrade in question is not in compliance with the local building code), then the buyer’s loan could be denied until or unless the project is remedied in such a way that a proper building permit is obtained. In other words, a time consuming process that could cost the seller a lot of money. There are also potential issues with your home insurance company denying a serious claim and nullifying your policy for non-compliance with the local building code requirements i.e. not pulling the permit and knowingly engaging in unauthorized improvements to your property. A Site Plan Can Help You “Hack” and Speed Up the Whole Building Permit Obtaining Process Part of what obtaining a building permit for some of the larger, outdoor home improvement projects may be significantly less painful — less costly — less time consuming, if you provide a site plan to accompany the proposed renovation. […]