The 9 Licenses and Permits You Need For Your Home



Performing home renovations or upgrades requires obtaining proper permits and licenses to ensure work complies with building codes and is safe. Even simple projects like electrical changes, plumbing, fencing, decks, and sheds need permits in many municipalities. Homeowners undertaking DIY work risk inspection failures and potential fines by neglecting to permit. Understanding key home project permits helps navigate requirements.

1. Building Permit

Property additions, structural alterations, or major renovations need approved building permits before starting. These verify projects meet zoning, code compliance, and inspection requirements. Details like the scope of work, materials, dimensions, and plans are submitted to the building department for review. Building permits are required for significant construction work.

2. Electrical Permit

Any home electrical system modifications require electric permits, including new wiring, circuit boxes, fixtures, generators, and devices like ceiling fans. Licensed electricians handle permitting to ensure electrical safety and proper installation. Homeowners doing minor DIY electrical work still need permits. Unpermitted electrical hazards endanger occupants.

3. Plumbing Permit

Plumbing permits are mandatory when installing or upgrading sinks, faucets, pipes, water heaters, sewer lines, gas lines, drainage systems, and other home plumbing components. Licensed plumbers obtain plumbing permits verifying adherence to codes and water usage regulations. Trying DIY plumbing without permits risks major problems down the road.

4. Fence Permit

Erecting a new fence or replacing an existing fence necessitates a fence permit in many areas. Requirements vary based on height, materials, and fence location relative to the property line and neighbors. Zoning laws may govern boundary fences. HOAs could also require approvals. Fence permits help avoid disputes over encroachments.

5. Shed Permit

Storage sheds require permits because they are accessory structures like secondary buildings. Details submitted include the prefabricated or custom shed’s dimensions, materials, position on the property, distance from other structures, and foundation. Even small DIY sheds need permits to comply with codes for setbacks and construction standards.

6. Deck Permit

Similar to sheds, elevated decks require deck permits confirming they meet building codes for safety and structural integrity. Load capacity, railings, stairs, materials, and anchoring to the home get reviewed when seeking permits for DIY or professionally built decks. Deck collapses cause major damage without proper permits.

7. Pool Permit

For in-ground pool installation, permits ensure adherence to regulations for enclosing barriers, gates, covers, drainage, electrical hookups to pumps, and water conservation practices. Even temporary above-ground pools may need permits. Pool permits aim to prevent drowning hazards and unhygienic conditions on surrounding properties.

8. Home Business License

Residents operating small businesses from their homes, whether brick-and-mortar or online, need home occupation permits allowing limited commercial use in residential areas. There are often restrictions on signage, employees, deliveries, and customer visits to maintain the home’s quiet nature. Home business licenses permit limited enterprise.

9. Streamlining Permitting

Navigating the various licenses and permits for home projects becomes more manageable using permitting software. Solutions like MyGovernmentOnline optimize homeowner workflows for faster approvals. Home permitting apps track applications, allow online submissions, set reminders, and provide status updates for convenience.

To Wrap Up

Home upgrades and renovations require research into permit needs for electrical, plumbing, construction, fences, decks, pools, sheds, and business use. While permits aim to ensure safety and compliance, the process can be confusing for homeowners. Leveraging permitting software assists DIY and professional projects in obtaining proper approvals.