Residential Permits Required By Most Towns

One of the best contributions you can make to your local neighborhood is fixing up your own home. When your residence is updated and in great condition, the value of the house goes up and the value of the community along with.

And, when you own your own home and are considering making improvements to it, it’s easy to assume you have carte blanche to do whatever you like to your own property. After all, you own it, right?

Nope. Slow down neighbor, your local town or county may require pre-approval on certain property changes before you dive in.

Now, while this list is not exhaustive (ahem…check with your city, county and state first), it may help you recognize the wide array of property work that requires your local government’s consent before you dive in:

Neighborhood Events

While this category isn’t directly home improvement, it is related to neighborhood permits. Before you consider a garage sale or block party, find out if a permit or license is required to do so. Psst…don’t forget about noise ordinances too!

Public Walkways

If you’ve got plans to impact any public area near your house, such as a sidewalk or street, you best check with your city first. They won’t take to kindly to public alterations made without their approval.

Street Dumpsters

Typically a local dumpster rental that’s placed on your driveway can be done without a permit (again, check with your town to be sure), but a dumpster placed on a street is a different story all together. If you are remodeling your home and need to rent a trash bin that will be stationed on a public road, call your town first to find out the rules and requirements for doing so.

Historic Homes

If you are lucky enough to live in an Historic district within your town, you probably have a fabulously charming home. However, you also probably have major restrictions and requirements for what changes can be made to said home. Before considering any renovations, you’ll likely need to get every tiny little detail approved. Many historic districts have strict requirements for precisely which changes can be made and, often times, the renovations need to match the original construction.

Exterior Construction

Building an addition? Adding a garage? Creating a porch or deck? Installing a fence or swimming pool? All of these exterior improvements typically require a local permit and possible zoning clearances as well.

Structural Work

Any projects that are structural in nature, such as concrete foundation, electrical or HVAC roughing, plumbing roughing or framework, will often require the appropriate permits before work begins.

Major Interior Renovations

Any time you’re taking on a big home project, like demolishing walls or rooms, remodeling your bathroom or kitchen, changing window openings or installing skylights, there’s a good chance your local village will require a permit.

Functional Upgrades

Some towns permit essential inner working improvements too, such as any upgrades of electrical systems, replacing a water heater or furnace and even installing a new air conditioning unit. It’s always a good idea to check with your town before taking this on.