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Do You Need a Building Permit?

Maybe. Local governments determine what type of work requires a building permit. Check with your local civic office before you start your project. The home owner is responsible for getting the permit, but in many cases, the contractor will handle the application.

A building permit protects the homeowner against substandard workmanship, faulty materials, and building code violations that could result in hazardous situations because a building inspector will make sure the work is up to code.

Typically, projects that involve major structural work, heating-air conditioning installation/replacement, or swimming pools require a building permit.

Projects that are not structural don’t require a building permit (paint, wallpaper, roof re-shingle, new siding, replacement windows). Fences, on the other hand, may require a building permit – it depends on your local government. So before you block your neighbor’s view with a privacy fence, find out what’s allowed in your town.

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Last Updated: 12/14/2017