I am considering various remodeling projects on an older home and
wonder just how these have to be handled to avoid trouble. When is a
building permit required and how does that whole process work? I would
prefer to do as much of the work myself as possible. Will I need to
have my ideas blessed by an architect as "structurally sound?" Thanks.
<< When is a building permit required and how does that whole process work?
Go down to City Hall. In the lobby there will be a directory of offices. Find
the one that says, "Building Inspection" or something like that. Walk in and
explain your mission to a friendly clerk. They will nearly always have some
handouts, code books or other material, some for sale, some free. If you're
lucky, you may get a few minutes with one of supervisors in the office. Even
better offer to buy him/her lunch and prepare to take notes. These people have
a world of info to share and more often than not all you have to do is
pleasantly ask. As a source this has worked for me many times and I know I've
saved a lot of money on projects by getting good advice. HTH
You can probably do a lot of preliminary stuff on the internet. Find
your city's website, and their building code enforcement department.
They will (should, ennyhoo, in this day and age) have the requirements
on their website. Where I live a building permit is needed for any
plumbing, electrical or structural work. That's what the code reads,
not what the city enforces. (The city is having trouble currently with
building a bridge that won't stay up :o) The city may even have some
"engineering standards" posted for basic stuff. Our city has a nifty
one for seawalls, the only one I've examined. A homeowner here can do
his own work, as long as he lives in it or won't rent it out for a year.
Plumbing, elect., AC or structural work needs a license if yer not
doing it in your own home. The code looks nice, because I know some
"expert handiguys" who can't make a puddle of concrete flat or know how
to drain a water line :o) I've made drawings for permits, and they just
have to be tidy and accurate. After you've laid out what you want to do
is when I would go to the building dept. I wouldn't take any of them to
lunch, but each to their own. You'll need inspections at various
stages, probably, depending on the project, and a notice of commencement.
Our city code specifically exempts the installation or removal of non-load
bearing walls, window or door replacement if the header isn't being altered,
maintainence / upkeep / replacement of roofing and siding, decks not more than
24" above grade, and detached sheds no more than 120 sq. ft.
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