If you’re considering a home improvement project, you may need a permit. Permits can cost as little as $25 and up to $1,000 or more, or can be calculated as a percentage of the total remodeling budget.
How do you know if you need a permit? Permits are generally not necessary for projects that update the aesthetics of the home, such as new appliances, flooring and carpeting. Major renovations, such as a kitchen or bath remodel, almost always need a permit. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate whether the project will disrupt the layout of the home, i.e., cutting a new window or tearing down a load-bearing wall.
For safety purposes, some municipalities require permits for projects that can affect the wellbeing of the home’s occupants. These projects include things like electrical wiring, plumbing or a new fence.
If you’ll be enlisting the help of a qualified contractor, research their practices before hiring. Don’t be afraid to ask for the contact information of the person responsible for pulling permits, and verify that they are, in fact, playing by the book. Your contractor should also tell you if their estimate includes permit fees – if not, ask.
If you’re going to complete the work yourself, always check with your local permitting department before beginning any project. Talk to someone who can tell you whether a city inspection is necessary and what documents are needed before you apply.
Published with permission from RISMedia.