Types of Home Improvement Ideas for Phoenix, AZ Properties That Require a Building Permit

October 22, 2019

When it comes time to remodel or make changes to your house, homeowners must find out whether or not they need a building permit to proceed. Here’s a look at the reasons for needing a building permit and the types of home improvement ideas in Phoenix, AZ that require them.

Why you need a permit

The main reason why cities require residential building permits for major home improvements is to keep track of the changes made to your home so they can go on record with the government. A permit is generally required for projects that involve rewiring and working with electricity. Before your permit gets approved, you or your contractor must submit a building permit application to an inspector for review—this is for safety and ordinance reasons. Also, when the time comes to sell your home, having permits on record shows lenders and potential buyers that your renovations are in compliance with local building codes.

Home improvement projects that need a building permit

It’s important to note that the majority of improvement work that is structural, mechanical, electrical or plumbing in nature will require a residential building permit. In fact, all additions and any structural changes will require that a permit be granted. Below are a few such projects:

  • Window installation: In most cases, you or your window technician will need a permit to cut holes for new windows that are bigger than the old ones. This category also includes cutting openings for new doors with windows, as well as for skylights.
  • Fence repair or installation: Before installing or repairing a fence on your property, check with your city to see if there’s a height restriction where you live. The fencing contractor you hire can check for any restrictions to avoid having to tear down a new fence that has violated a city ordinance.
  • Structural changes: This category includes room additions, roof installation and changes to decks, balconies, load-bearing walls and more. In short, the contractor will need to get a permit before making any kind of structural changes to your property.
  • Electrical or plumbing work: Big plumbing installation or replacement projects will likely require a permit. The same is true for new or replacement electrical wiring, including outlets, light switches, ceiling fans and other overhead lighting. Smaller electrical projects like repairs and certain smaller light fixture installations don’t typically require a permit.
  • HVAC replacement: When you’re replacing your home’s central heater or air conditioning unit, the contractor you’ve hired will need to get a permit to do the work. New ventilation systems, wood- or gas-burning fireplaces and ductwork also require a permit. Services that don’t need permits include air filter changes, equipment cleaning and parts lubrication.
  • Room additions and remodels: Most home remodels, repairs, upgrades and new construction projects that total $5,000 or more will require a permit. While there are some exceptions, you should also check permit requirements for detached structures like sheds, garages and others that need foundations.

If you want help designing your dream home or brainstorming home improvement ideas for your Phoenix, AZ property, contact Renovations by Design.

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