Projects that might require a building permit

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All too many homeowners have experienced the joy of completing a home improvement project only to learn upon completion that the project is not in adherence with local laws. That realization, while heartbreaking, is often the result of a homeowner’s failure to secure a building permit prior to starting the project. Homeowners who secure a permit before the onset of a project will know what they can and can’t do and can rest easy knowing that an approved plan complies with engineering principles and local laws.

Another disadvantage to forgoing the permit process is the potential perils such a decision cause when homeowners want to sell their homes. Projects completed without a permit might hurt a home’s resale value, and such projects are not often covered by homeowner’s insurance policies, meaning damage to areas of the home where an illegal project was conducted won’t be covered. While homeowners should always check with their local municipality before starting a project, it might help to know the following are a few of the many home improvement projects that typically require a permit before they can go forward.

• Above-ground pool

• Attached storage shed

• Awnings

• Carports

• Deck installation

• Demolition project, interior or exterior

• Fireplace addition

• Garage conversion

• Handicap ramp

• Handicap restroom

• In-ground pool

• Patio enclosure

• Patio installation

• Partition wall installation

• Porch

• Retaining walls

• Roof change (i.e., flat roof to sloped roof)

• Roof replacement

• Room addition

• Room remodel

• Siding

• Sliding glass door (if area is increased)

• Skylight

• Spa or hot tub installation

• Windows, new or replacement (if area is increased)