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How to Get a Building Permit: Don’t Renovate Without It!

That's right—even though you own your house, you still need to get permits for structural changes, to ensure that your changes will be "up to code," as they say. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get a building permit. Do you need a building permit? How to apply for a building permit The great news is that getting a building permit is easier than you think—mostly because you probably don’t have to do it yourself. Unless you’re a pretty slick DIY-er, chances are good that your project is going to require a contractor, and that’s the person to rely on for the building permit process. First of all, contractors will know the ins and outs of the process for obtaining building permits in your local area, and they’ll also know exactly which permits you need, from structural to electrical to plumbing. Asking how much a building permit costs is a little like asking how much a house renovation will cost—prices vary wildly. The good news is that the upfront permit price will cover all additional inspections that the city will make as the work progresses, including the final sign-off. “Any work with a permit attached usually requires one or more inspections to be performed by licensed inspectors, to verify the work was done according to code, the plans on file, and any other requirements,” says McHugh. Building permit paperwork to keep Once the dust has settled—literally—on your renovation project, a final inspection will occur.