Why A Permit Is Important
What Is A Permit?
According to the International Code Council, “A building permit gives you legal permission to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawings and specifications.”
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.
When Do You Need A Permit?
Permits are required when major alterations are going to be undertaken or when mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical) will be modified.
The best way to find out if you need a permit is to call your local building department.
Common projects requiring permit include:
- New buildings
- Additions (bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
- Residential work (decks, garages, fences, fireplaces, pools, water heaters, etc.)
- Renovations (garage conversions, basement furnishings, kitchen expansions, re-roofing, etc.)
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems
What are the benefits of having a building permit?
Increased Value — Your home or business is an investment. However, if your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied or do costly repairs.
Protects — A property owner who can show that code requirements were strictly and consistently met, as demonstrated by a code official’s carefully maintained records, has a strong ally if something happens to trigger a potentially destructive lawsuit. In addition, building officials have the authority to require owners of new homes to bring projects performed by previous owners up to code or otherwise face penalties. This is why it is important to have your home inspected by licensed professionals before you buy it.
Ensures Safety — Your permit also allows the code official to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends or future owners.