Most home improvement projects beyond cosmetic work require a building permit.

The permit and inspection process helps protect your family from safety risks like structural failures, fire hazards or electrical shock. It may also help eliminate costly repairs for poorly completed work.

Following are some common projects that require permits:

Installing or replacing water heaters, HVAC systems, water lines or sewer lines;

Any electrical or gas line work (including valves);

Replacing residential roof decking;

Adding or replacing walls or windows;

Pouring of concrete, widening / replacing driveway;

Installing storage sheds 144 square feet or greater;

Construction of carports or patio covers;

Foundation repairs;

Installing a tornado shelter;

Installing lawn irrigation systems;

Building or repairing a swimming pool or spa.

Projects that are cosmetic, such as painting, wallpapering, carpeting, patching sheetrock, putting in cabinets and trim work, etc., do not require permits. Additionally, permits are not required when replacing existing residential shingles, electrical lighting or plumbing fixtures.

Safety is the primary reason building permits are required. When a permit is issued, the city will inspect the work to make sure it is done correctly and in compliance with current building and safety codes. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that their contractor obtains the proper permit(s). Permits should be displayed on site until the work is completed and passes inspection.