A building permit gives you legal permission to start construction of a building project. Basically, a permit is the city's way of recognizing you are changing or adding a structure or system in your home and assuring that this work complies with all city and state codes.
You will pay a small percentage fee of the overall cost of the job to have a professional inspector come out (multiple times if needed) to ensure all the work is done as it should be.
Why are permits required?
Permits are required when major alterations are going to be undertaken. Local building code will dictate if a permit is necessary. Inquire with your city's Building Department for more information.
Common projects requiring permit:
- Water Heater Installation
- New roofs, and roof repairs - depending on size
- Solar Installation
- Structural Additions
- Adding/Relocating plumbing system
- Adding/relocating electrical system
- Installing or replacing an Air Conditioning Unit
- Converting an unoccupied space (garage, storage) into a conditioned space
What does a permit do?
A permit helps you save time and money by helping to avoid potential problems with your project. By working closely with an expert code official, you can be rest assured your project is accomplished correctly, is safe, and will last. Their knowledge of building codes helps to ensure your projects goes off without a hitch!
Permitting protects you from potential lawsuits as well. If something were to happen with your project causing damage or injury, having a permit proves that you took all necessary precautions.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a permit helps protect the population by reducing the potential hazards caused by unsafe construction practices.
Your home is likely one of the largest investments you will make in your life. It is particularly important to protect this investment to ensure you benefit long term.
If you to choose to modify your home, you can lower its value by not pulling a permit.
Building Officials also have the authority to require owners of new homes to bring projects performed by previous owners up to code or otherwise they may face penalties. Therefore, it is so important to have your home inspected by licensed professionals before you buy.
Building Inspections are Important!
When an inspector comes to your home to inspect a project, they should ONLY be there to look at specific project that is permitted. They are NOT supposed to look around your house for code violations.
What are Building Inspectors Roles?
The inspector visits the permitted site and you want to make sure that the contractor has scheduled the inspection in a timely manner.
If the work is up to code, the inspector will approve the inspection at that time. The inspector will let the contractor know if changes need to be made and re-schedule the inspection. Once the inspector approves all needed inspections, the inspector will file your completed inspection results with the Building Department. You may also keep the permit that the inspector has singed of on.
It is also especially important to keep your permit taped to your door or window where the contractor has placed it, at all times. Removing the permit before the job has been completed and inspected, could cause the inspector to fail your inspection.
Hopefully, your all caught up on what permits & inspections are and why they are important for your home, your family, and your community.