Blog When Do You Need a Building Permit? March 9, 2018December 26, 2018Chelsea WelshHome Improvement The world of home improvement can be a confusing place. While you would think that owning a home would give you the right to do whatever you want with it, that’s not always true. There are many areas where certain home improvement projects or additions require a residential building permit before any major changes can be made. Who Requires Building Permits? American homeowners are subject to oversight by districts, counties, cities, neighborhoods, subdivisions and homeowners’ associations, and you can be compelled to get a permit from any one of these municipalities for certain home repairs and projects. In most instances, there is a permit fee, and plans or a description of the proposed work must be submitted before a building permit can be approved. How Do I Know When a Permit is Required? Though it varies from place to place, here are some of the projects that typically require a building permit: Room additions Building a shed or garage apartment Increasing the height of a fence Repairing or replacing your roof Painting the exterior walls of your home Permits are generally not required for routine maintenance. This includes things like recaulking your windows, upgrading light fixtures and installing ceiling fans. Fortunately, a permit is also not required to install new gutters or add top-rated gutter guards from Gutter Helmet® to your existing gutter system. Tips to Keep in Mind When Applying for a Permit While there isn’t one set of rules that everyone follows when it comes to building permits, there are certain things you can and should do to make the process run more smoothly. Know what you’re getting into. Always double- and triple-check to make sure you have the appropriate permits, or you could be subjected to steep fines or penalties. Build without them, and you could even be required to tear it all down! Go to the source. Invariably at some point, you’re going to come across a government employee or organization volunteer who has no idea what they’re doing, which is understandable due to the multitude of confusing regulations and protocols. When this happens, ask to speak to someone higher up to get more reliable information. Document everything. In organizations with multiple employees, it’s not uncommon to be given information that’s incorrect. In this case, it’s best not to be too trusting. Make sure that deadlines, approval dates and other important provisions are written down and signed by the appropriate authority. Check to see if you’ve been “grandfathered” in. Always make sure that your property is not “grandfathered” in, or you may have to follow an old set of rules. Be patient. The process of obtaining a building permit can be frustrating and tedious, but try not to let your temper get away from you. After all, it’s never a good idea to anger the people who ultimately decide whether or not you get your permit. Work With a Local Expert A quick call to (800) 824-3772 is all it takes to find a factory-trained and certified Gutter Helmet® dealer. And as a bonus, you don’t have to wait for a building permit to be approved, so you can have the best protection for your rain gutter system installed that much faster! About Chelsea Welsh National Marketing Manager for Gutter Helmet®, Chelsea Welsh, MBA, has been a part of the Gutter Helmet team for 7 years and in the home improvement industry for over 13 years. Chelsea is a recognized expert in internet marketing strategies for the home improvement industry. She holds an MBA degree with a Master's Degree in Marketing. She lives in Louisiana and enjoys spending time with her two sons, Christian and Noah. For more from Chelsea, visit the Gutter Helmet® blog.