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When Do You Need a Permit for Your Renovation Project?


Removing Interior Wall - How to Pull Back Studs to Remove Them

Removing Interior Wall - How to Pull Back Studs to Remove Them

It's often difficult to know when you need a permit for your remodeling project. Many homeowners want to know, "Do I need a permit for this project?" Depending on your locality, here are some instances when you may or may not need a permit.  Please keep in mind that the operative word is may.  I cannot predict the nuances of every local government.  

You May Need a Permit

  • Moving a sink.
  • Demolishing a load-bearing wall.
  • Demolishing a non load-bearing wall (even though this type of work does not structurally compromise your home, some permitting agencies want to be overly cautious and make certain that do-it-yourself homeowners do not undertake dangerous repairs).
  • Changing the house's roofline.
  • Punching in a new window or door.
  • Altering the footprint of your house.
  • Installing new electrical wiring.
  • Parking your roll-off dumpster on a public street.

You May Not Need a Permit

  • Laying in a new roof.
  • Parking your roll-off dumpster on your own property (however, if you happen to live in an association-controlled neighborhood, make sure you do not run afoul of your own housing association's rules).
  • Putting in hardwood floor.
  • Installing carpeting.
  • Replacing doors or windows on a one-for-one basis.
  • Upgrading your countertops.
  • Freshing up the exterior with new siding.
  • Minor electrical work, such as replacing an electrical outlet.

    A phone call to your local permitting office is the best--and only--way to determine if you need a permit. Believe it or not, many permit officers are happy to discuss permitting issues with anonymous callers as a way to ward off future code violations.

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