Obtaining building permits or building approvals is typically needed not just for new construction but for renovation or remodeling projects as well. This isn't true in every case; you can obviously repaint a wall or have the carpeting in your home replaced without a permit, but it's good to know when such approvals are needed before you begin any other type of work. This will ensure the work is not shut down and that you don't face fines or fees from your city. Note a few things to keep in mind when it comes to building approvals.
Verifying when a permit is required
Your local city council or city clerk's office usually can tell you if the work you're doing will need an approval before it begins; however, note that approval is usually needed for anything that needs to be built or done to certain building codes and which might affect the structural integrity of your building. Repainting a wall doesn't affect its strength or involve building codes, but even removing a wall might, as you could very well be removing a load-bearing wall. If your work involves plumbing, electricity, or anything related to the home's structure, you probably need an approval or permit, but call your city clerk's office before planning any work to find out for sure.
Be prepared with drawings
Usually you are required to have actual construction drawings prepared and submitted to get a building approval, and you may need several copies of these as well. This is so that the building department can verify your plans in detail before they allow for a permit. Be sure you've considered the cost of hiring an engineer or architect to prepare these drawings if necessary, as this might put your renovation plans over budget before any work even begins.
Know the inspections involved
Just getting a permit or approval doesn't mean you can move ahead with your plans as you prefer; you may need to get additional inspections done at each part of your renovation work and especially if the work involves different building codes. In other words, you may need the plumbing work inspected and then also the electrical work inspected separately. Be sure you understand the inspections needed during the course of your renovation and if one is needed at the end, as your building approval is not a blanket permit to manage the work from start to finish without further inspections. Contact a company like Thomas Independent Certification for more information.