Do I need building permits?

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Old 05-01-08, 10:54 AM
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Do I need building permits?

This isn't flooring-specific, but I couldn't find a general forum so I figured I would ask. I've been fixing up my house for three years, and have never gotten any permits or done anything involving code. I'm not knocking down walls or anything, mainly refinishing floors, replacing old electrical outlet switches and light switches, patching drywall holes, etc. Now I am ripping up a linoleum floor, and replacing the subfloor. I also plan to sister in new joists since the span is 24".

Do I need building permits for this? Do they cost money? Do I have to have stuff inspected after I'm done? And more importantly, why? I realize why building codes are important, but if I'm doing everything correctly, what advantage does a building permit provide me and why is it in my best interest to get one? Do I need one if I'm doing small stuff like replacing a plaster wall with drywall? Won't getting a building permit let them know I'm improving my house, thereby raising my appraisal and my taxes?

I'm not completely adverse to getting a permit, just want to be convinced if I should. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-01-08, 03:22 PM
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Your best option is to call your local town offices and speak to the building department. They can tell you what permits are required for what because it fairys drastically from town to town.

Typically, major renovation require permits. Permits do cost money, typically, but not that much. For most situations requiring a permit, the building department will want to see plans, blue prints, etc of what you are doing. Some permits can only be pulled by a licensed contractor as well.

They will require an inspection after the work is done, but before you put walls up, etc.
 
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Old 05-01-08, 03:56 PM
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I also plan to sister in new joists since the span is 24".
The span of the joists isn't really 24" right??? Do you mean 24' span (I hope not) or do you mean your joists are 24" on center???
 
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Old 05-01-08, 04:13 PM
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Spooks,

I agree with the call your office or stop by and talk to one of the people there. To my knowledge, none of the things you've mentioned require a permit, I think they would all be considered repairs. Some repairs do require permits, gas water heaters and total re-roof comes to mind.

Also, the city normally only cares if you convert non-living to living space, add square footage somehow (addition), or add out buildings (garage, shed). Thats the extent of my experience. Now is the time to go down with a list of things you think you may do, and talk to one of the inspectors. Get there card and ask any questions. They can be a great friend or a nightmare.

You may see people post about things not being covered by insurance if you don't have permits. I'll leave that to others. What would be even more of a concern to me, is if I built a shed or garage, and after it was all done, I got a notice that it wasn't built correctly or in the wrong location and would have to be torn down.
 
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Old 05-02-08, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by HeresJohnny View Post
The span of the joists isn't really 24" right??? Do you mean 24' span (I hope not) or do you mean your joists are 24" on center???
I guess I mean the joists are 24" on center. I thought the span ran perpendicular but I guess that doesn't make sense.
 
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