As a homeowner or a contractor who plans to execute a construction or home transformation project, you will need a little time to consider the changes you want to be done on your structure which may include a unique style of preference or color. Whatever your choice might be, you have to consider if these changes or construction you intend to execute require a permit.

What is a Building Permit?

As a contractor or homeowner who is in the process of initiating a construction or remodeling work on your property, a building permit is needed to guarantee that your structure complies with building standards of your region. A building-permit also is known as building regulations approval is a government-approved license for you or your contractor to start/proceed with a construction or remodeling work on your property usually issued by the local government agency.

Building permits provide the means for cities, towns, and municipalities to enforce their building standards. Cities and towns utilize these building codes to guarantee that all structures meet minimum safety and structural requirements.

A building permit is usually valid for six months after issuance, which means the permit starts running from that time. The permit will remain valid all through the time of the construction until completion, however, it may be required to apply for an extension of the tenor of a permit if work is suspended or takes longer than six months.

The only way to be certain if you need a permit is to contact your local building office and specify the kind of project you intend to execute because the requirements for permits vary widely within cities and towns. Some regions may require permits the type of work other regions don’t require as a result of differences in regulations. However, most permits are enforced to assess the risks that the project might pose considering the present and future residents who will utilize the structure.

The construction that most likely requires a permit is those that make changes to the structure or use of the structure or have the potential to create unsafe working conditions. Examples of projects you will likely need a building permit for includes:  raising or removal of a wall, change in the use of an open space (such as by converting a garage to a living room), change the piping in your house, roofing operation your house, or demolish a portion of your house.

Why you should get a Building Permit

Although an awful lot of people don’t buy the idea of calling local building inspections and permit office, due to fear of scrutiny which is not true most of the time. The purpose of permit offices is to guarantee that any home improvements or construction projects executed considering the safety of the potential residents of the structure; and of course, everyone wants to stay where they are comfortable and safe.

building permit approved

Building permits are primarily about safety. By exerting building codes that vary depending on the state, it ensures you and other residents of the building the best chance to prevent fire outbreak, structural failure or something as minute as falling off the stairs.

As a homeowner potentially trying to sell a property, If you execute a project or construction without acquiring the necessary permit, it’s safe to assume that your buyer will discover the truth. This is because the process of acquiring a permit is a public one. Acquiring all the necessary permits before the execution of a project or any adjustment makes the sale proceed without any record of hassle.

As important as building permits are, it is not all home changes and projects require a building permit. Most times, there is no need to acquire permits for simple Repair works and changes are easily executed by professional contractors or homeowners. There is an absolute need to obtain permits, However, for constructions that have to do with additions or overall changes to the use of your structure i.e changing a garage to a room.

Building permits also keeps your structural engineers and contractors honest. The majority of contractors who try to make extra gains on the projects are assigned an attempt to cut corners by beating out prices. There’s no way you can detect if he did unless you know the quality of materials or an idea of how the construction should be handled.  A building permit prevents a contractor from cutting corners, thereby enabling the use of safe and quality materials and techniques. Inspections carried out on the project site ensures he does so.

It is usual for a contractor to take responsibility for obtaining a permit as they are easily familiar with the application processes and are liable for complying with its requirements. If a building owner wishes to do work personally, they are required to obtain the permit and assume responsibility for complying with the building requirements.

Your insurance company might also not honor policy if they discover that you execute a project or construction without obtaining the necessary permits. For example, you could left all alone in the situation if a fire outbreak or an accident occurs from a construction without a permit.

In most regions, you can start and complete the entire application online. You will never need to see the inside of your municipal building unless you are dropping off construction plans or other paperwork that cannot be submitted with your online application. Contact your municipal building to see if they have online access and application capabilities.


As difficult and long as the process may be, it will be better to get the required permits than dealing with the city if it finds out you should, but don’t have the necessary permit. The permit fee that you need to pay might be doubled or tripled depending on how much risk or damage could occur from the construction. As a worst-case scenario, your construction might be demolished and your project shut down.