Far too many ambitious homeowners either forget to obtain a permit or don;t think they need one to complete many household projects. While the proper process of obtaining a permit can be time-consuming, frustrating, and costly, it is a legal requirement for homeowners. Failure to get the proper permits when starting a home construction project can create problems if you try to secure financing for your project or sell your home in the future.


Regulations Will Vary From City to City

Because there are no existing federal or state regulations, keep in mind that building codes will vary across cities. It’s a homeowner’s responsibility to clarify permit regulation information before initiating a new project by calling their local city hall or visiting the city website.

As a general rule when addressing permits, homeowners should expect to require permits for public and personal safety, plumbing, electrical, and natural gas. Home projects that will likely require a permit will include the following:


  •      Structural changes including decks, porches, balconies, and load-bearing walls
  •      Fences: specifically, check on the height restrictions of fencing in your city
  •      Installation, replacement, and removal of electrical and plumbing
  •      Window installation including skylights and doors
  •      Water heater and ventilation system changes
  •      Siding


Additionally, some cities will require that you obtain a permit if your construction project costs are over a certain amount or are over a certain size in scope.


While many home renovations require a permit, plenty of improvements do not. Home improvements that may not require a permit include installing hardwood floors or carpeting, painting, wallpapering, minor electrical repairs, new countertop installation, and replacing hardware like sink faucets.


To get started on your home construction project, inquire your city government on the appropriate permits. Minnesota Home Improvements will guide you through the permit process to ensure your project is completed correctly. For more information on home renovation and improvement projects, visit the Products & Services page at Minnesota Home Improvements.