We’re in Keller, ourselves…but the DFW Metroplex has more than a DOZEN cities of 100,000+ people. Dallas and Fort Worth alone have more than two million.
Each of these cities has its own rules when it comes to requiring permits for construction and home renovation projects. Remodeling your home can be ENOUGH of an emotional roller coaster…and then, permit departments can frustrate a project with extra steps and requirements.
So, there are a lot of cities in the area we serve…and each of them has its own rules for when you need a permit for your remodel. But there are some general trends, and you can simplify the question in one even bigger way: you’ll want to have a permit for most home remodels!
I’ll give you 5 reasons why…
1: When it’s required by law…
If you’re dreaming of that big remodel, or even a small one, no matter WHAT city you live in you can bet these projects will probably require a permit…
You’re probably not going to have house inspectors making surprise visits. They’re not going to knock on your door just because they see a Signature Home Services truck outside. But…God forbid, if an accident ever DID happen in your home, you could lose a LOT if you didn’t have a permit for these key projects:
Expert tip: Note that a permit is STILL OFTEN REQUIRED for many other types of projects. In fact, the projects that do need permits might surprise you. Be sure to talk to your contractor about anything that has to do with…
- And windows
- Or even cutting down a tree outside
2: Someone looking over your contractor’s shoulder…
So, what’s the “why” behind your remodel? Are you looking to enhance the return on enjoyment in your home? Are you “taking care” of something you probably should have a year ago? Or are you getting ready to sell the house?
If there’s ANYONE else in the picture with something to say about your home remodel, that person will be looking to your contractor to see that work is done RIGHT…and with the right permits…
In the end, a permit is the way the city ensures that building and home renovations are done up to code.
For example, if you’re selling your house, your realtor will be looking long and hard at any contractor you choose. They might even be more critical than you are…
Getting every required permit—and even the recommended ones—will keep anyone with a stake happy…at ease…CONFIDENT.
And, really, what else would you want going into a remodel??
To read more, check this article out.
3: Disclosure statement when selling your home…
Looking further into the picture if you ARE renovating in order to sell your home, it’s not just about keeping your realtor happy.
It’s also about protecting yourself with a Disclosure Statement when you sell your home.
Doing work on your home in compliance with ALL the health, safety and structural permits required means keeping things MUCH simpler when it’s time to sell. You’ll have agreement with the city guidelines for zoning. You’ll avoid fines. And you’ll avoid stop work orders when you get into your remodeling project, too.
Your permits will be all you need to give the necessary proof of a home’s “soundness” when it’s time to sign paperwork for the sale.
4: You want to stay covered by your insurance!
The International Building Code and the International Residential Code give contractors, homeowners and realtors baselines for the standards we have to keep. When it comes to permits, city-by-city you’ll have to know what’s required in order to make sure you’re protected in the case of an accident.
If you did have to file a claim, whatever the case…as though it weren’t bad ENOUGH that you had a fire, or a flood, or your home was broken into…without the permits for work done, your protection goes right out the window.
Permits not only keep your contractor to the highest standards, they give YOU peace of mind…
You can always take a chance and not pull a permit. Maybe you’d even get away with it, if you’re not on the brink of selling your home…
But in the case of ANY accident, if something happens while the contractors are doing the remodel…if someone trips and falls on a stairway that doesn’t meet code…you would have MADE THE DECISION to forgo protection when legal problems arise.
Not to mention, permits are NOT arbitrary! Building, home maintenance and carpentry that meet permit requirements is not only safer, but higher-quality and longer lasting. You don’t want to invest in any less!
Who should get the permit—me or my renovator?
I LOVE this question…
Technically, the homeowner is the person who’s legally responsible for getting the right permits.
HOWEVER, your contractor can apply for permits on your behalf. If you find the right contractor, they should also be able to give you lots of consultation and first-hand accounts of what permits are required in your municipality…
Before ANY permit is granted, your plans and drawings will be reviewed. This approval process requires a LOT of the materials your contractor will be working up for you in your remodel, so no matter what, they’ll be a big part of your permit process.
Permits can be a pain in the neck…but they ARE designed for your protection. They ensure your contractor does the work right, and they can help move you down the path of whatever you’re out to do—be that enjoying your home with the beautiful renovation you’ve been dreaming of, selling your house, or aging in place.
Bonus, get a free resource!