you need a permit?
How do you know if you need a building permit?
|You'll need a building permit to:|
remove or relocate interior walls.|
a room addition, garage addition, patio cover, skylight or large shed.|
Install or replace siding and certain types of windows.|
a masonry or retaining wall.|
Demolish an existing structure.|
will need an electrical permit to install, relocate, alter or repair electrical
wiring, and a plumbing permit to install, relocate, alter or repair water, sewage,
draining or gas systems and to replace or install water heaters, dishwashers and
fixtures. If you use a general contractor, these subcontractors will usually pull
their own permits.
|In most cases, you do not need a permit to:|
the interior or exterior of your house.|
existing fixtures such as ceiling fans and track lighting.|
Lay carpet, vinyl or other types of flooring onto the subflooring.|
Replace existing doors.|
Replace a sink or toilet.|
Replace kitchen appliances.|
obtain a permit, you submit design drawings or blueprints to the inspection office.
By law, they must accept or reject your application within a given time period,
usually 30 days. Once you pay the nominal fees, you are given a checklist of different
individuals who must sign off on your work: zoning officer, city planner, fire
marshal, wetlands director, tax collector, etc.
that some projects, such as a bedroom addition to a house with a septic system,
may require approval from the local board of health because septic systems are
usually regulated by occupancy, and occupancy is usually based on the number of
What happens if you don't obtain a permit? Some jurisdictions
will fine you double the fees, but all have the power to "red flag"
or shut down your project and even force you to undo your work if they can't determine
if it's been done to code.
Fisette says for best results, bring
your building inspector into your plans early and always save him a doughnut.
have a lot of power. If you're nice to them, they will be nice back and they will
instruct you through the process," he says. "If you're nasty to them,
they will make your life a living hell."
Next comes the delicate dance: Who pulls the permit?