Do I Need a Permit for Home Renovations?

Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 2:00PM


In an age of online video tutorials and “weekend warrior” projects, many people today choose to take a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to home maintenance, repair, and even remodeling.

For some, it’s mostly about cost savings. Others simply enjoy the work. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to know that many projects require permits to be in place before starting work.

The following popular questions will help ensure your project is safe and legal:

Why Are Permits Required?

Safety should always be the top priority for any home improvement project. Well before getting started, you must consider personal and structural safety, and be aware of plumbing, electrical, natural gas, and other considerations. Hasty and poorly-thought-out decisions can easily end in disaster.

Permits are handled through your local permitting office. Depending on the scope of the project, local officials may wish to inspect project plans and even the work site. This is rare for most DIY home projects. However, for larger projects, multiple inspections may be required, including mid-project and final review.

Some permit departments prioritize commercial projects over those centered on DIY home improvement, but this is not always the case.

What Projects Require Permits?

Most projects that will alter or update a home’s structure require a permit. That includes:

  • demolition of walls and load-bearing structures
  • layout expansion (new room, garage, porch, driveway/sidewalk)
  • changes or updates to the roof and/or roofline
  • changing or updating home openings (windows, doors, skylights)
  • anything that involves sewer lines
  • installing/replacing gas stoves, water heaters, and more
  • electrical installation, including all wiring and circuits
  • changes or upgrades to HVAC units, plumbing, and similar

In addition, some yard fences, decks, and other in and out-of-house projects require permits.

Typically, minor projects don’t require permits. These include installing new flooring, replacing kitchen and bathroom sinks, simple landscaping, painting, and appliance upgrades. Still, to avoid confusion, it’s always a good idea to first check with your local permitting office before starting any project.

Are There Alternatives?

It’s possible that previous owners of your homemade upgrades and renovations without proper permits. This could have been done for many reasons, including cost and time savings, project requirements, delays caused by inspection, and more. Some homeowners simply enjoy the thrill of not getting caught.

The problem is, non-permitted work is often done incorrectly or not up to code. These upgrades might not be covered by homeowner’s insurance. In addition, if discovered, officials may require non-permitted work to be removed or replaced according to standards. That all requires time, money, and energy.

Luckily, there is an alternative. Fully licensed and insured, our award-winning company has earned the trust and respect of countless Central Florida homeowners through our many years of service. From new home construction to renovations and improvements on your existing home, our professional and qualified experts can handle it all.

We obtain all permits and requirements, giving you the peace of mind that your project is completed safely, legally, and to the highest of standards. Contact us today to get started.

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