What is a Building Permit and Why Is It Needed?

What is a Building Permit and Why Is It Needed?

If you are planning construction or remodel work on your home, chances are you will need a building permit. Building permits help to ensure the development of your home is safe, and that records are kept on all the work done on your home. It’s essential that your contractor acquire all necessary permits so that you are protected during the construction process. You will need to determine whether you need a building permit, and obtain the required permit before work starts if you are doing the work yourself.

What is a Building Permit?

A building permit is a document issued by your local building department which provides official approval for a construction project, ensuring it will comply with local standards. The building department will review the plans and engineering as well as inspect the project for proper construction. Some of the main issues that a building permit will address are structural integrity, zoning, sanitation, water lines, sewer lines, fire safety, and electrical service. The ultimate goals of a building permit are to maintain construction safety in your home, ensure that your home meets local building standards, and to keep a record of all of the construction work that has ever been conducted on your home for future reference.

building permits with remodeling

How Do I Get a Building Permit?

Building permits are available from your local city or county building department. These departments will also have detailed information about what kind of work requires a permit, the process to obtain a business license, and other information like documents and fees that are necessary for permit applications.  Design-build firms should include all permitting requirements and acquisition into the cost of the approved construction agreement. Work done without a permit may incur fines and issues when trying to sell the home, and work may need to be removed and redone with a permit.

Why Get a Building Permit?

Legality

It’s illegal to fail to get a permit for construction work that requires a permit.

Safety

While careless contractors may want to cut corners and reduce their costs by avoiding getting permits, this ultimately means you’re paying for poor quality work. Building permits ensure that contractors used safe and approved methods and materials in your home construction to maintain your ongoing security and the lasting value of your remodel.

Home Value

Getting a building permit is also a matter of public record. When a home is put up for sale, investigations are usually done on any defects and previous work done on the property. This will reveal work done without a permit. If unpermitted work is found, it can cause lower home sale price, delays to the home sales process and increased costs for the home seller.

Insurance

If damage or injury occurs on your property due to construction work, your insurance may not cover it if you don’t have a building permit. This will make you financially liable for any fire damage or injuries that occur on your property whether or not they’re your fault.

It’s essential to check with your local building department about what is needed for your project. Work with a trustworthy and experienced remodel contractor for significant work on your home to ensure that building permits are always attained, and work is high-quality, safe, and legal.

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