Building Permits versus Home Improvement: How Much Do You Know?

Remodelling and making improvements to your home is something you might have to do in due course. As the years pass, some fittings, designs and materials appear dated and dent the image of your house. Additionally, remodelling can also be prompted by the need to sell the house, forcing you to make some changes to make the most of the sale. One thing people don't pay attention to when remodelling their homes is the acquisition of a building permit. The following discussion sheds more light on building permits in the context of home improvement projects:

What Home Renovation Projects Require a Building Permit?

When remodelling your home, you make changes to different areas depending on the design or age of the materials. You will need a permit when remodelling the following areas:

  • Window Installations: Windows are an important selling point for any house in the market. The size and design of the windows determines the quality of the lighting and indoor air. If you need to enlarge the windows, you must get a permit for increasing the size of their holes. This includes other lighting and aeration structures such as skylights or doors with windows. Note that increasing the size of the windows significantly affects the load bearing capacity of the wall.
  • Fencing Repairs: Remodelling the fence also requires you to get a permit. The permit ascertains that you have checked with the local authorities and you are aware of any fencing height limitations applicable.
  • Sewage Lines: Sewer lines are shared facilities in most neighbourhoods. Any changes you make to your sewage line may affect the standards of hygiene in the whole area and affect the health of other tenants. Therefore, you need a permit to show that the expert considerations have been taken accounted for and any safety measures thus considered.  

What Remodelling Projects Don't Need a Permit?

Some remodelling projects in your home do not require you to seek a building permit. They include repainting walls, wallpaper installation, minor electrical repairs, replacing countertops and kitchen fittings and changing the floor. Additionally, landscaping work within your property doesn't call for a permit either.

What Is the Effect of Remodelling without a Permit?

Most buyers often hire a professional inspector to evaluate the systems in a home before they can splash their cash on it. Major renovations to windows, walls and other systems without a permit will catch the attention of the inspector. Inspectors will not be willing to put their reputation at risk, and they are likely to advise their clients to walk away from the deal. No building permits, no deal.

About Me

Building a basement

We have a small house on a small block and we can't extend the house up due to council restrictions. We really need some more storage room though, which is why we have been building a basement extension. It's quite a big project to build a large basement under an existing house and we definitely didn't realise how much work it was going to be before we got started! Now it's finished I'm glad we did it because it has given us a lot more space. This blog shows our project fom start to finish and should be useful for anyone attempting the project.


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