Many common household upgrades and repairs require a permit where the average homeowner or property owner is not aware of the need for a permit. As a general rule when in doubt, ask!! Who answers these questions? And where does a property owner go to get these answers? Best place to start is with the Development Services Department or Building Code Department for your community. A quick internet search can usually lead you to a phone number and often a list of what needs a permit and what does not. It may seem like a hassle obtaining a permit. But there are safety issues that the layperson may not think about.
Depending on the project, other public work departments may require a permit for the work where the Development Service or Building Code Department may not. When talking with a representative from the Development Services or Building Code Department, ask a very important question, “Is there any other department I should check with before I start my work.” Please keep in mind that as much as it may seem inconvenient to obtain a permit, the intent behind a permit is to keep you safe from faulty installation and construction.
Please note not every type of project is listed here. Below you will find a list of common house hold and general construction projects that require a permit and that do not require a permit.
The following common house hold items that need a permit;
- A/C unit—non portable
- Deck (greater than 30 inches above finish grade or floor level)
- Electric outlets or fixtures installation, new
- Dishwasher, new
- Fireplace, new
- Screening in of porches
- Solar system, PV or Water
- Wood burning stove
- Window replacements
- Water heater new or replacement
- Roof work (structural)
- Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
- Tents or membrane structures
- Swimming pools (including residential prefabricated that are minimum 18 inches deep, exceed 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground).
Common construction projects that require a permit;
- Agricultural buildings
- Demolition of building or structure
- Electric reconnect of services disconnected longer than 36 months.
- Fixtures including sinks, toilets, tubs, etc.
- Pipe work, new
- Propane tank
- Public Right-of-Way work
- Remodel improvement
- Replace existing electric outlets or fixtures
- Septic only
- Sewer connections
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
- New siding work
Common house projects that do not require a permit;
- Addition of attic insulation without remodeling a space.
- New carpet,
- Clearing or the repairing leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures
- Temporary decorative holiday lighting
- Door replacement
- Drywall (unless shear or fire walls are affected)
- Painting, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, etc.
- Portable cooling unit
- Portable evaporative cooler
- Portable heating appliance
- Portable ventilation equipment
- Replace existing evaporative cooler with like cooler
- Replace/new gutter
- Roof work tile/shingles (re-roofing with like material)
- Non-retaining walls/fences of maximum 7 feet in height
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings (duplex)