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Permit, Shermits!

September 21, 2016


Are you thinking about remodeling a part of your home - but are not sure if you need a permit or not?  I recently attended a workshop called "Demystifying Permits" and I'd love to share a few nuggets with you.


**What if improvements have been done to your home without permits (either by you or previous owner)?  You CAN obtain a retroactive permit - but know that walls may need to be opened for inspection.


**Did you know that ADU's can be built inside a setback (up to 24")??


**You can build a deck that is 30" or less off the ground without a permit.


**You can build a fence up to 7' tall without a permit (8' for chain link).


**Need a Patio Cover?  You can build one up to 200sf without a permit.


**You only need a plumbing permit if you have to alter pipes beyond the p-trap.  This means you can change toilets, sinks, fixtures without a permit.


**Most electric work requires a permit  - with the exception of changing a light fixture or plug.  If electric work was done in the house without a permit - it's not "grandfathered in" unless it was installed and approved at the time installed.  If the wires are colored (yellow/orange) - then they were likely added mid 1990's or later  - and should definitely have a permit on  file (the date will even be printed on the wires!).


**A room MUST have an egress window to be considered a legal bedroom.  It must be 44" or less from the floor - but you can install a permanent step at lease 12" deep to remedy a taller window opening.   Not that you'd still need 6' clearance to ceiling from top of step.


**You must obtain a permit to install mechanicals (but not for repairs).


All this and more can be found at the BDS Website. Good luck!




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