If you are planning on completing some home renovations, you will first need to find out about getting a permit. Many major renovations require a permit; otherwise, you could be facing some steep fees if someone finds out about the renovations. Here are some tips for getting a building permit.
Know When You Need a Permit
Before you do anything else, you need to figure out if you do indeed need a permit. Minor remodeling projects don't often require a permit, such as installing new drywall or flooring in your home. However, if you are doing major electrical or plumbing work, you probably need a permit for that. For example, many cities require a building permit if you are moving electrical outlets, doing re-wiring of the electrical system, or replacing the plumbing pipes. However, if you are just installing a new plumbing fixture with the existing pipes, you probably don't need one. Also ask the permit office if you need a permit when adding an extension to your home as it is often required in this case.
Find an Appropriate Contractor
If you are going to be using a contractor for the renovations, now is the time to find one. The reason you want one now is because they can actually help you with the permit process. Some permit offices want to know you have a contractor and actually see the plans drawn up before approving the work. Some work even requires a contractor, such as installing new electrical wiring. If you try to get a permit for DIY electrical work, the building permit office might deny it.
Pay Your Permit Fees
There will be some permit fees when applying, but they are considerably lower when you take the right steps, as opposed to not getting the permit and having to pay fees later on. There isn't a single fee for work, since it depends on a lot of factors. For example, your home extension might be simply to add an attached garage, while someone else may be adding an entirely new story to their house. The fees for these two permits are going to be different. Some other things that can affect the fees to be paid include how many different building permits you need, the size of the project, the value of the work, and how much it costs for the inspection.
Get the Proper Building Inspection Completed
Speaking of a building inspection, this might also need to be done before the permits are issued. Some inspections are done before they even look at the permit application, while others are actually done when the work has already begun. Make sure you use an approved building inspections services that will be able to work with the building permit office.