CODES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
. . . AND WHERE YOU NEED TO GO
Codes and times are changin’, my friend. Today, you can see trucks marked Code Enforcement prowling through our streets and neighborhoods.
Gone are the days when one could “get away” with adding a deck, turning a one car garage into a guest room or other things without a permit. It just got out of hand, I guess.
So, here are a few basic questions sent in to us
and answers you may find useful. For specifics,
click on the links at the bottom of this page.
Q: I’m just starting to remodel my 1800 square foot rancher. What do I need to do first?
A: The first step in any construction (or demolition) project is getting a building permit. They’re pretty cheap and there for your good. Minimum safety standards are the focus.
Q: I live in a really small town. Where do I get a building permit …
A: Start by calling the most local government body that has jurisdiction over the property where you will be building. Big cities have county offices, some cities have a city department, but if its a small town, like yours, or rural, it may be an office in the closest town or city.
Look up Building Permits in the Government section of the phone book or search “building permit your city and state” (ie. building permit atlanta ga) using the Google Custom Search (right). If you call, which you may have to, you’ll talk to live human beings.
Q: … and what else do I need?
A: Don’t worry, once you have made contact online or by phone, they’ll tell you exactly what to do.
Q: I’m about to tear down an old seventies style house and build on that spot. What kinds of permits will I need?
What home remodeling or improvements information are you looking for?. Try a local BING search of our site for your answers. The search box is in the right column, just enter your search term & CLICK!.
Q: What’s the point of having all these permits?
A: Building codes establish minimum safety standards. They’re written so that if they’re adhered to the home will hopefully be a safe place to live. Safety is the only consideration of any inspector. They don’t care if you have the most fantastic floor plan or finishing plan imaginable, just the safest construction. Some communities develop a very restrictive set of permits, while others don’t have a code at all.
Q: I’m sure there are a lot of regulations concerning traditional materials and shapes. Are there ways of legally building non-traditionally?
A: Building codes are there for safety. In other words, you might be able to use alternate construction methods or materials, provided you can prove – to the satisfaction of the building official – that your way is as good or better than what the book prescribes. And prove that before the permit is issued. Its not easy, but its possible.
NOTE: The home pictured (left) may not have met that criteria and, we assume, may not have a CO (Certificate of Occupancy).
It is important to keep in mind that building codes are adopted, modified and enforced bylocal politicians and government officials. That generally means the employees and inspectors care about the community.
Click on any of the links below for more information on the specific permits:
There will be instructions on each, letting you know what exactly to do and how and when to call for each inspection. Remember, if anyone gets hurt by anything you built or remodeled and you failed to pull a permit when you needed one, you could be in a lot of trouble!
Finally, after everything has been approved and all permits have been signed off on and satisfied, a FINAL INSPECTION will be made. Whew!.
… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
We never charge for help or advice!.
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