Sometimes, it seems like bureaucracy exists for the sole purpose of creating rules and making you jump through hoops. If you’ve ever tried to get approval to make any improvements to your home or business, you know that there can be a lot of runaround trying to get permits. Sometimes, even simple projects seem to require permits for no logical reason at all.
Here are some examples of things homeowners and construction companies have been told they have to get a permit for that they thought were silly and over the top. This roundup is from BuildZoom.com:
- Hanging a 22” TV (a job that involved putting two screws in a wall)
- Installing a screen door
- Building a dog house (full engineering plans were also required)
- Putting a child’s wading pool in the backyard
- Painting a house
- Tearing out old carpet
- Getting a drip pan for an existing water heater
- Replacing a light fixture (no new wiring required)
Homeowners and contractors also tell stories about jumping through hoops to avoid having to pull permits. One contractor was told that he could repaint a bathroom or replace the vanity without a permit. But if he did both at the same time, that would trigger the need for a permit. Another person revealed the importance of language in determining if a permit was required. If she described replacing her broken commode with a new one as “repair”, it was permit-free. But if she described the project as “installing a new toilet”, she would be faced with paying for a permit. In some locations, any remodeling over $500 requires a permit. And that’s just talking about permits from the city or county. Throw in approval from an HOA and the rules get even more difficult to navigate.
So, When Do You Need a Permit…and Why?
There’s no simple answer to that question. You can find a list that serves as a starting place over at Spruce.com. But the only real answer is to contact whoever is in charge of issuing permits in your municipality and ask.
Of course, for all this complaining, there are good reasons for getting building permits.
- The first reason is to have someone double check basic safety. An inspector is not going to look at every single aspect of the work, but they can often spot serious issues that could pose a problem if left unaddressed. For example, a solar system installed without a grounding wire in place poses a serious problem since a lightning strike could damage the expensive equipment. A building that has the exterior doors changed in a way that limits egress in the event of a fire is another example.
- The second reason to get permits is to ensure that any alterations that could affect the official tax descriptions of the property are on the record and approved. That way, renovations won’t end up causing issues when the house or building is being sold.
- Finally, there’s the issue of consequences for violating zoning and other types of code compliance. The last thing you want to do is spend time, effort, and money putting a new structure in place only to find out that you’ll have to tear it down—or spend thousands of dollars in court defending your right to keep it standing.
Let Us Take on the Headache of Pulling Permits
Here at Peak Steel, we are happy to navigate the complexities of permitting for you and ensure that your project is compliant with local codes. That gives you peace of mind and helps the project move forward faster. Naturally, the amount of time this takes varies from one location to another. So, the best way to ensure a speedy completion is to get started now! Contact our team to learn more.