The Dos and Don’ts of Getting a Building Permit

city permits

If you have been tossing around the idea of remodeling your home for a while and you’ve finally decided to make your dreams for your space come true, there are a variety of things you need to take into consideration before the project can begin. One of the issues you’ll have to consider is whether or not a building permit is required for the changes you intend to make.

Building permit regulations differ from town to town, so what is required in Asheville, North Carolina probably isn’t the same as what is necessary for Richmond, Virginia or Charleston, South Carolina. Due to this, it is imperative for you to look into what the rules are where you live. That said, the following guide will help you understand more about when building permits are generally required and when they are not.

Why are permits necessary in the first place?

Before we dive into anything else, it is important for you to understand why building permits even matter. There are a couple of key reasons. First, building permits allow municipal building and planning departments to maintain some control and uniformity over what occurs as their cities grow and change. Secondly, building permits ensure that the occupants of homes and commercial establishments are safe. These permits typically abide by the regulations in the International Building Code (IBC), which details everything from the height railings need to be to the distance apart outlets must be spaced.

When are building permits always necessary?

No matter where in the Carolinas you live, you are almost certain to need a building permit if you have plans to change your residence in any way structurally. This includes adding either interior space or exterior square footage, such as a deck or a patio. You must also get a permit when you are making any alterations to the electrical or plumbing systems in your home, even if the project seems minor. As long as you are working with a reputable contractor, he or she should know whether or not a building permit is needed for your upcoming remodel.

When are building permits not necessary?

Building permits are almost never needed to make cosmetic changes to a house. This means you can paint, add crown molding, replace floors, and do anything else non-structural to your heart’s content. The only exception to this might be if your home is on the Historic Register or another similar list; if this applies to you, talk to your contractor and your local building department before undertaking any renovations whatsoever.

When should I ask someone if I need a permit?

When it comes to some remodeling projects, such as adding a fence or a pool to your yard or installing new appliances, you may not be able to determine whether or not a building permit is required easily. In cases like these, talk to your contractor first and, if he or she doesn’t know, don’t hesitate to call your municipal building department. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

At Hatch Homes, we never hesitate to tackle any project, big or small. Whether your next job is a minor cosmetic fix or a whole-house renovation, we want to talk to you about overseeing the project. Give us a call to schedule a consultation whenever it is convenient for you. We’re excited to get started.

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