The 5 Licenses And Permits You Need For Your Home

As a homeowner, you are responsible for ensuring your property meets certain standards set by the local government. Failure to obtain the proper permits and licenses before conducting repairs, renovations, or other types of construction can result in legal trouble, fines, or even having work halted or reversed. It is important for all homeowners to understand what permits and licenses may be needed for their homes. Here are five of the most common permits and licenses you may need.

Building Permits: Required For Major Construction And Renovations

If you plan to build an addition to your home, convert your garage into a living space, renovate your kitchen or bathrooms, or make any other major changes to the structure or layout of your home, you will likely need building permits from your city or county building department. Building permits help ensure that the work is done properly according to building codes and zoning laws. To obtain building permits, you will need to submit detailed plans for your project, and an inspector will review the plans to verify compliance before issuing the permits. You can use government permitting software to submit your request. Throughout the project, inspectors will also conduct site visits to approve the completed work.

Plumbing Permits: Needed For New Plumbing Installation Or Repairs

Any installation or replacement of plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, water heaters, etc. will require a plumbing permit. Plumbing permits help guarantee that the plumbing is installed by a licensed contractor according to the plumbing code. Failure to obtain plumbing permits could allow leaks, contaminants, or other issues to go undetected, creating health and safety hazards. To get plumbing permits, schedule an inspection with your local building department and pay any required fees.

Electrical Permits: Required For Electrical Work

Like plumbing work, any new electrical installation or upgrade requires an electrical permit and inspection to ensure the work is done properly according to the electrical code. Electrical permits are needed for tasks like installing new lighting fixtures, wiring an addition or garage, upgrading your electrical panel, and more. Electrical permits help confirm that the work will not overload circuits or create potential fire hazards. Electrical inspectors will review the work during a site visit when permits are issued and again once the work is complete.

Mechanical Permits: For HVAC And Other Mechanical Equipment

The installation, replacement, or repair of mechanical equipment such as air conditioning, heating, ventilation, exhaust fans, etc. will call for a mechanical permit. These permits ensure the equipment is installed according to mechanical codes to guarantee safe operation, prevent issues like carbon monoxide poisoning, and make sure the equipment is properly sized for your home. Mechanical inspectors will review plans, inspect the installation site, and test and approve the completed work.

Certificate Of Occupancy: Required To Legally Occupy Your Home

In most areas, a certificate of occupancy or CO is required for any new home or addition before you can legally occupy the space. The CO signifies that the entire structure meets all building codes, zoning laws, and other regulations. To obtain a CO, building inspectors will inspect the finalized work to check for any outstanding issues that need correction. Once approved, the CO is issued, allowing the space to be occupied. For major renovations, a new CO may also be needed if the work impacts fire exits, mechanical systems, structural stability, or other key elements before re-occupying the space.