home exterior

10 Home Improvement Projects That Need Permits

A lot of home improvement upgrades don’t require any permit to carry out, especially if they are simple and small projects. However, some home upgrades need certain permits before you can start working on them. Here are some home improvements that you didn’t know needed permits:

10 Home Upgrades That Require Permits

1. Structural Changes

Although this one is already a given, most folks aren’t aware that you need a permit for projects that will involve changes in a building’s structural support. These projects include changes in load-bearing walls, porches, balconies, and decks among other things.

2. Fences

Improving fences, such as replacement or new installations, may seem pretty simple a project but some of these projects need approval from the city hall. For instance, Chicago requires permits for fences that go five feet or higher.

3. Plumbing and Electrical

Any work that will require major changes in plumbing and electrical work will need the approval of the local building inspector’s office. Even a simple work such as adding a convenience outlet needs a permit so before you call electrical contractors or plumbers, work on the permit first.

4. Door and Window Replacements

While almost everybody knows that installing new doors and windows require permits, especially if you’re making new holes on your walls, some municipalities require the homeowner to apply for a permit for straight replacements.

5. Floor Plan Changes

Similar to changes in a home’s structural support system, changes in a house’s floor plan also needs the approval of city hall. Any form of alteration to your home’s footprint, like bedrooms, garages, additional spaces, and most decks, have to go through the proper authorities first before they are carried out.

6. Water Heater

Replacing your existing water heater with a newer one will need a permit. Even changes in your home ventilation and air conditioning system, such as rerouting, need the city hall’s written permission.

7. Sidings

Unknown to many, most cities and towns require permits for siding projects, whether you’re replacing or adding to your home.

8. Roofing

Fixing the roof

A lot of places require permits for roofing projects — installation of new ones or even just a simple patchwork over a portion of your roof. Check with your city’s building department before you start any work to save you from any inconvenience later on.

9. Sheds

While some shed projects don’t necessarily need to have permits, it is always best to get in touch with your building inspector if you need one for the project that you have in mind. In most cases, permits are needed if your shed will have plumbing and electrical work done to it.

10. Basement Renovations

While basement renovation and remodeling is a great DIY project, you still need to go through the proper permit processing procedure. Certain requirements need to be taken into account and these can only be determined by the building department.

When you work on improving and upgrading your home, make sure to always check in with your local building code for restrictions and provisions. They are there to ensure that your projects are safe for everyone, especially your family.

Scroll to Top