NJW, your Columbus, Ohio general contractors, know it is tough to understand the 9-5homeownerins and outs of residential renovations. One of those confusing matters is knowing when you need a permit and when you do not. 

Our friends at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) have broken down this very topic so you can truly understand when you need a permit. NARI wants homeowners to understand the rules regarding building permits before beginning any remodeling projects

As they point out building codes vary from state to state, and a permit is generally required for remodeling projects that involve changes to the building’s existing footprint, electrical system or plumbing. Things such as adding new windows to existing walls usually require a permit. 

Also, you are likely to need a permit for any project that goes beyond a simple repair or aesthetic upgrade such as:

  • Adding supporting walls or taking down load-bearing walls
  • An in-ground concrete pool or a porch/deck
  • Replacing the roof
  • Backyard shed
  • Concrete sidewalks, driveways and slabs           

From the article:

“There are two major reasons why a homeowner needs a permit on projects,” says Michael Harris, president of BRY-JO Roofing & Remodeling, in Richardson, Texas, whose company won a National CotY 2014 Award in the Residential Addition Under $100,000 category. “The first is because when a permit is filed, city officials will inspect the work completed at different stages to insure the work complies with current safety and health building codes. The second, and most significant reason, is it protects the homeowner’s investment they are making to improve the property.

On the flip side the article points out that when work is done to refresh an existing structure, however, a permit is usually not necessary. For example, updating the appearance of the existing kitchen cabinet doors with laminate layering does not require a permit. Other remodeling updates such as flooring/ceiling coverings, painting/papering, tiling or carpeting and interior wall decorations can usually be done without a building permit.  

Because permits need to be obtained before the project gets under way, it’s recommended that you use a professional contractor, such as NJW. We can pull all the necessary permits.

While it may be tempting to not get the permit, a remodel or addition done without one can be a problem if the homeowner decides to sell or refinance. As the article points out-If the appraiser’s total of the square footage of the home differs from county records, it triggers a search for a permit. If not found, the bank may decline to issue a loan on the home.

For more information about permits and remodeling, visit www.nari.org or contact us and we will help you get started!

We currently build in Westerville, Worthington, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, Powell, Pickerington, New Albany, Lancaster, Hilliard, Gahanna, Dublin, Bexley, Columbus and all of Central Ohio.