Jarod Tanksley

Home remodeling is back to being big business in the United States this year with the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University suggesting that it could easily exceed the $300 billion spent last year as the housing industry continues to improve. Many Baby Boomers are contributing to these numbers as they are choosing to stay put in homes where they have considerable equity, but Millennials and Gen Xers are also gaining confidence to make improvements as the economy recovers.

The popularity of home improvement shows has also helped with this confidence as more and more people watch countless examples of ways they can use their preferences and styles to change up the look of their homes.

If you’ve been considering handling the bulk of the remodeling projects around your home, one thing you need get right from the outset is whether or not you need a permit for the work you have planned. According to How Stuff Works, “Building permits are the way counties, towns and municipalities enforce their building codes. Local governments adopt those codes in order to ensure that all buildings meet minimum safety and structural standards. They update them every few years as new building methods and materials are introduced.” If you are hiring a contractor to do the work for you, it should be his or her responsibility to secure these permits for you, so always be sure to ask the right questions when hiring your contractor.

There are a range of fees that go along with these permits to cover the costs of having a professional engineer study and inspect your plans to make sure your project is safe and up to code. Any time you change the use or structure of a room, you need a permit, even if the change is to completely demolish the structure. Smaller projects such as painting do not require a permit, and each state may vary on what needs a permit and what does not. It is best to seek out those answers before you get started. Here are some great guidelines to help you determine if you should seek a permit: Home Renovations Permit

Permits protect you by keeping your project in code with modern building practices. This insures that your home will be safe, and it keeps you from incurring hefty fines for not following the rules. Also, permits will help keep you covered by your insurance in case there is an accident that relates to your renovation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Once your project is complete, an inspector will come behind you to make sure all plans were followed as outlined from the beginning. This might take some time to get fully approved, but being legal and staying within code is worth it in the end.

Planning is a huge part of the renovation process, so make sure checking on permits is included in those plans from the beginning to avoid costly delays and errors.