If you’re planning to begin a remodeling project, you’ll need a building permit before you can get started. A building permit allows for inspections, which are necessary for the progress of the project. Here’s some basic information you’ll need to know. 

What is a Building Permit? 

A building permit is a written authorization by the city or county to perform specific building activity and posted at the job site. 

Who should get a building permit? 

Any homeowner can obtain a building permit. However, remodelers and subcontractors must be licensed to take out a permit to work on your house. Be wary of contractors who ask you to get the permit; it could be a red flag and mean that they’re unlicensed.

Also, whoever takes out the building permit is held responsible and accepts liability if the work performed doesn’t meet local building codes. It’s wise, on many fronts, to let the remodeling company obtain the permit. 

What Inspections should you expect?

You’ll have various inspections by different inspectors throughout the process for different items, such as plumbing, electrical, and more. Each review gets documentation. Rules on permits, enforcement, and fees will vary by locality. 

Who are the building inspectors?

Building inspectors are employees of the local building department, or whichever government entity is in charge of inspecting projects and code compliance. In some locations, they’re employees of the police or fire departments.

What do the inspectors look for during an inspection?

Simply put, they are there to ensure that all work meets the local building codes. They aren’t there to make sure you’re happy with the work or that the contractor meets your expectations.   

What are the building codes?

Building codes are sets of regulations (revised every few years) that govern the design, construction, alteration, and maintenance of structures. They specify the minimum requirements to adequately safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants. 

Who should know the codes?

Anyone who performs the work should have adequate knowledge of building codes so that work can pass inspection. Your licensed contractor and subcontractors should be up-to-date on these codes. 

When and how do the inspections occur?

Your remodeling contractor will set up inspections. Depending on the size of the project, there may be several different types. 

Typically, you should expect to see an inspector upon completion of the following duties:

  • Foundation
  • Framing
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • And more

Each stage must pass the inspection for construction to continue. If a stage doesn’t pass, then your contractors will need to make changes to meet the code requirements, which may impact the completion date of your project. It’s a good idea to keep track of the inspection schedule to make sure there are no delays in construction. 

Why the fees?

The fees may seem like a significant obstacle. However, they are there to ensure minimum standards for the protection of life and property. Think of them as insurance that the work meets code requirements. 

Although building codes vary from state-to-state, you’ll need a permit for remodeling projects that involve changes to the building’s existing footprint, electrical system, plumbing, adding windows to existing walls, and more. 

In short, you need a permit for any project that goes beyond a simple repair or aesthetic upgrade. 

CL Webb Construction is owned and operated by Chris Webb and a closely-knit team that brings a traditional American work ethic to every job, every bid, and every client interaction every day. If you can imagine it, we can build it! Call us today at (479) 595-3309 for a FREE estimate.

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Resources:

Click here for more information about building permits in Washington County, Arkansas