One of the things that you need to address early on in the remodeling process is the need for permits. You do not want to be served with a stop work order in the middle of your project and have to let it sit until you comply with the permit requirements of your municipality.

It is best to be upfront with your municipality. In most cases, they are looking out for, not only your safety and well being, but also the interests of subsequent owners of your property.

While many construction practices have remained the same over the years, there have been some advancements in materials and processes that have precipitated the need for changes in standard construction practices. Your local municipality is given the charge to enforce the current codes that are in place for the safety of the families and individuals that are located within their jurisdiction.

Here are some projects that most certainly would need permits:

1. Additions
2. Decks
3. Patios
4. Porches
5. Garages
6. Basement Finishes
7. Kitchen Remodel
8. Bathroom Remodel
9. Roof Replacement
10. Window Replacement

It may be obvious sometimes that a permit is needed. However, in some cases it may seem that there is no way that the project you are contemplating would need a permit. We recommend that you call your municipality for any project, no matter how big or small, just to be sure. If you are instructed that no permit is needed, you should record the date and time of your call and the name and title of the person you talked to for future reference. This information comes in handy should a municipal official stop into your project and say that you need a permit. As long as the scope of work has not changed, you will have the information pertaining to your initial call to their office.

Some projects may not need permits for everything, but may need permits for its components. Remember, you may not need a permit to remodel a bedroom, but if you are doing some electrical or HVAC work as part of that project, permits may be required for those particular areas of work.

Here is a list of specialty areas that might need permits as part of a smaller project or as sub-categories of larger projects:

1. Electrical
2. Plumbing
3. HVAC – Mechanical
4. Insulation

These specialty areas may also require a licensed professional to complete the work. And it may take time to find one and get on their schedule.

Remember, the permit process, including drawings, may take up to two weeks or more to complete. So don’t wait till the last minute to start the application process.

It is best to work alongside your municipality and view them as an ally and a resource, rather than a necessary evil. A well planned and inspected project will go smoother and will give you peace of mind in the end.

Next Time…Kitchens

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