How do I know if I need to take out a building permit? I thought the rule
was that it is needed if the outline of the house is changed with an
addition, major change, deck or shed. But inside, the owner can do
whatever he wants. Of course for the money, the Town will do a very quick
inspection. In return they will up the assessment and get more tax money
from the owner. In this town, there are permits (published in the paper)
being taken out for $600 of wallpaper!
Depends on the locale. Generally you can't make any "structural" changes.
Some places are reasonable, and want you do work on your own place as long
as you do a decent job of it. Other places are in the grip of the trade
interests and don't let you do anything yourself legally. In
Massachussetts, you can't legally change a faucet washer yourself.
Make an anonymous phone call to the authorities to inquire, telling them
what you want to do. If they won't tell you what you need to know, then
you're likely in Massachussetts or a place like it with regards to building
Call your city and ask what the permit requirements are for the various
things you want to do.
In my area, you'd need a permit on the inside for finishing of unfinished
areas, like basements.
Also permits are needed to replace water heaters and furnaces, adding or
modifying electrical, hacking into plumbing, etc... Of course the external
things you mentioned also need permits, like adding attached decks,
replacing roofs, etc..
Around here the county assessor comes by and inspects every couple years, so
whatever we add to the house gets included in the assessed value. The
county assessor doesn't know or care about permits, they just want to asses
the value of the property. Could be different where you live.
if you want to know the truth, call the city and ask. most permits are city
things based on city laws.
if you want to deny the truth, dont find out the truth. sometimes its
easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
if you saw a notice in your local newspaper where someone had $600 worth
of wall paper installed. then you probably need a permit for anything
you do in your home.. in my county they dont give out or you need
permits for alot of things... nothing for a fence, nothing for a
concrete driveway.... new roof... new paint jobs on the house, nothing
for new gutters on the roof and a whole lot of other stuff.. but when i
built a 15 by 20 shed/garage in the back yard i needed a permit and they
came out and checked it twice, once for digging and setting up the
concrete slab, then when i was finished building the shed/garage, i did
not finish the inside of the building... and they came out and gave me a
final approval.... now in one and maybe two adjacent counties you can
read i the local newspaper where someone had a $300 permit for replace a
fence in the front of their house... repair wall that was fire damaged..
$200.... new gutter, new roof.. house painted, etc.. and in one county
they have strick laws and you need a permit to pour a driveway and it
can only be so many feet wide etc.... each local has its own set of
rules.... i guess eventually my area will have all the stuff that the
other adjacent places have now... gotta make a job for somebody and
collect more fees...
but then if no one complains you could probably commit murder and if no
one complains then you will neverbe bothered over it.....
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