Right now is a busy period for home improvement projects. One element to an add-on or remodel to your home is whether or not a building permit is required before starting a home improvement project. Would a new deck require a permit? What about a new kitchen island? Homeowners should understand the rules for obtaining building permits before starting general renovation projects. Read below to view some frequently asked questions about home remodeling permits, including are permits required for home remodeling projects.

What is a building permit?

A building permit is a legal declaration that gives permission to start construction or make changes to an existing building. For example, a permit to build a single-family home requires much more extensive plans, taxes, and inspections than a permit to replace the roof of a single-family home. In California specifically, there are certain energy-efficiency requirements to meet before you can be issued a permit, specifically involving lighting, insulation, windows, and fire sprinklers.

Why is a permit necessary?

Permits allow you to apply codes by law from a state, county, city, or municipality to ensure safe construction, whatever the particular project may be. The regulations are enforced to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the population. Permits also set guidelines that will help reduce the potential risks of unsafe construction.

What projects need a building permit?

Although building codes vary from state to state, any project that modifies your home’s existing support system requires a permit. Any work that includes installing new electrical equipment, new mechanical work, new gas lines, new plumbing, installing a swimming pool, building new decking, balconies, or installing porches will require a permit, to give a few examples. 

What projects do not require permits?

When replacing posts or railings, changing heights, or moving a fence from its current location, permission (like from your HOA) is required. Still, typically a permit is not needed when renovating an existing facility. For example, updating the appearance of existing cabinet doors with laminate does not require permission. For minor plumbing work that does not require cutting or removing pipes, a permit is not required.

How much does a permit cost?

The authorization fees, plan review, and other services depend on several factors and vary from city to city. If a person wants to know approximately how much their permit will cost, they can ask for an approximate amount for what the permit fee will be.

Does a contractor require a permit?

The contractor must have a permit issued for their construction project, though local legislatures vary in their permittance requirements. Your contractor needs a business license with the city when a permit, and they have obtain a permit before carrying out any work, unless otherwise specified by their local officials. 

Are Permits Required for Home Remodeling? What happens if I don’t get a permit?

The property owner can be sued for not obtaining a building permit. If you are running a renovation project that requires a building permit but does not have one, a stop-work order can be issued until a permit is obtained. It’s important to have the conversation with your contractor about permitting before breaking any ground on your remodelling project.

We Are Here!

Are you ready to get your remodeling project started? Gordon Reese Design Build can guide you through your home renovation every step of the way, and we will do all we can to meet your needs. It’s easy to book a call with a team member here, or feel free to call us at (925) 885-3770. Don’t wait, get dreaming about your ideal living space today!