Renovating Before You Sell? Know Your Permits.

Renovating Before You Sell? Know Your Permits.


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Thinking of renovating your Raleigh home in order to sell?  What you may not know is that many home improvement projects require a permit from the city.  These permits track any changes to your home and helps inspectors look for potential areas of weakness when doing a home inspection.  You want to make sure you go through the proper channels when renovating your home in order to avoid expensive repairs down the road.  Also, when potential homebuyers are looking at your home, it’s important they have the evidence that your home meets building code requirements and is safe to live in.

So exactly what home renovations require a permit? Below are some common projects that require at least one or more permits from the city.  In most cases, if it’s structural, electrical, or plumbing, you are going to need a permit.  If you’re not sure, ask your general contractor before doing any major renovations.

  • Plumbing/Electrical Work – this includes replacing or installing new plumbing or electrical wiring (switch, ceiling fan, etc).  Small projects, such as installing new light fixtures, usually do not need a permit.
  • Windows – if you need bigger windows than you had before, or cutting any holes for skylights, you will also need a permit.
  • Fencing – before installing a fence, look into any height restrictions for your neighborhood.  It’s important to check before doing any fence work so that you don’t have to take the fence down after putting it up.
  • Heating – this includes any renovations to the ventilation system and ducts, water heater, and gas or wood fireplaces.  Check with your heating contractor before any work is done.  Small fixes, such as changing the filter or cleaning any equipment, do not require a permit.
  • Additions/Structural Changes – additions and renovations costing more than $5,000 will generally require a permit, including detached garages and sheds.  If you are remodeling or changing balconies, roofs, foundation flooring, or load-bearing walls, you will definitely need to obtain a permit.

Are there any renovations that don’t require a permit?  Yes!  Small projects with plumbing and electrical mentioned above don’t need a permit before you start work.  Other home renovations include wallpapering or painting, installing new flooring or carpeting, putting in new faucets, and landscaping can be done without getting a city permit as well.

Still unsure what home repairs need a permit?  Talk to a professional contractor. Good contractors will know ahead of time what paperwork is needed, especially if your home improvement requires an inspection after it’s finished.  Hiring a professional will also be beneficial to you because they will know what paperwork is needed and how to fill them out correctly, eliminating any extra stress for you.  A professional contractor will also help to make sure your home renovation project gets completed in a timely manner.

Once the renovations are done and the home is ready for sale, give Puck Realty a call at 919-842-5900 and let us help you sell your home quickly!

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