BBB Tips

Obtaining A Building Permit

Building codes, established by most cities, towns and counties, may vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another. Your contract should state that the work is to be performed in accordance with all applicable building codes and zoning regulations, in the area where you reside.

Generally, a building permit is required whenever structural work is involved or when the basic living area of a home is to be changed. Separate permits for electrical, heating or plumbing work may be required in some cases. Check with your local department of licensing and permits before the job is started to find out if a building or work permit is required.

If the project does in fact require a building permit, the contractor should apply for it in his/her name. Thus, if the contractor’s work does not pass inspection, you can not be held financially responsible for any corrections that must be made. Terms regarding the application of any permits should be outlined in the written contract.

When a government agency issues a permit for home improvement work, it will inspect the work when it has reached a certain stage to make sure it complies with various codes and regulations. It is the responsibility of the contractor to call for these inspections.

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