6 Types of Construction Permits

construction worker filling out work permit with phone

Even when you're a homeowner, you can't always complete whatever project you want on your property. Certain structures and remodeling plans actually require a permit through local government, usually at a town, city, or county level. You may even need to clear your plans with a local committee or neighborhood association. Before you start your DIY project full-throttle, make sure you're aware of some of the many different types of construction permits you may be required to file.

Skipping the permit process can be an invitation for a legal headache later. In a worst-case scenario, you might even have to take down something you built (along with being charged a hefty fine).

Projects and Permits

You don't want to run afoul of the homeowner's association or the local government. If you have a good working knowledge of the types of home construction that may require permits, you'll be more prepared to get all that work done and make your DIY ideas come to life.

1. Fences

Lots and lots of places have rules about fences. There may be height requirements or height limits, not to mention lots of other rules. Always find out about permitting requirements and neighborhood restrictions about fences because, in most cases, you neighbors will want you to follow them.

hand screwing wooden fence with cordless drill

2. Windows and Doors

If you're going to replace existing windows and doors, no problem. But if you’re going to cut a new window or new door anywhere, you probably need a permit for that. This is because cutting away parts of a building can potentially damage the structural integrity. Since this is a safety issue, a permit is required. You'll also need a permit if you plan to cut a new skylight into your home.

3. Siding

Replacing or installing siding may require a permit. There may also be color restrictions as far as neighborhood groups go, so be sure to check into this as well.

4. Water Heater

If you're installing a new water heater, you definitely need a permit, and you need a licensed plumber to do the job. The water heater is such a common part of the home that it feels very safe and familiar. The truth is, water heaters can truly be deadly if they are installed incorrectly or if they malfunction the wrong way. You want a professional for this, and you want to be sure to get all proper permits.

worker installing water heater

5. Infrastructure

In fact, all plumbing work and electrical work may require a permit. This can be something as simple as installing a new lighting fixture or replacing your toilet, so make sure you check with your local housing or construction office and any neighborhood groups that may be in place.

6. Swimming Pool

Lots of people dream about having a swimming pool. If you can find out how to do the work yourself the right way, you can cut back on the costs of this project a lot. However, you can't cut out the permit. If you're going to install any type of pool on your property, even a small one, check with your local clerk's office and ask about permits. You'll likely need to get a permit before you can build your pool. The same goes for all ponds, water features, and hot tubs you may e thinking about installing.

Go Big or Go Home

If you've got a lot of different stuff planned and a wide range of plans for renovation projects, consider getting a remodeling permit. This permit can cover many projects and help you cut back on the number of permits you need to take out.