Building Permits Reduce DIY Disasters

Monday, June 18th, 2012

failing retaining wall Building Permits Reduce DIY Disasters

In tight economic times, many prefer Do-It-Yourself home improvement projects. Handy homeowners may think, “If I can do it myself, then I don’t need a permit.” This assumption can lead to dangerous or costly consequences.

Popular DIY projects like building a new retaining wall or deck, changing out a bathroom or removing a wall can be dangerous without proper understanding of the existing structure and code requirements.  Architects, engineers and code officials are trained to understand existing structural conditions and the permit and inspection process helps you to avoid mistakes.

The Devil’s in the Details

Building and design professionals are guided by very specific code requirements. There are rules regarding everything from deck fastener size and spacing, wall fire blocking and insulation, to smoke detectors and egress windows.  Even the most experienced builder can be unaware of ever-changing requirements, which is why we benefit from knowledgeable building inspectors enforcing the codes.

You may be surprised with the type of projects that require a building permit. For instance, St. Louis County requires a permit to change out a toilet or a dishwasher. On the other hand, some rural counties do not have any building plan reviews. Because building codes are different with each municipality or town, it is wise to consult a reputable builder and/or design professional to assure your safety and the quality of construction.

They Keep Permanent Records
Many assessor offices keep records on significant renovations of a home.  When it’s time to sell your home, if a previous DIY project is revealed to have been completed without the proper permits, it can be a costly secret that holds up the closing of the home sale. For example, if a basement was finished without permits, a building official may require a framing inspection which would likely involve removing portions of the drywall.

The planners and architects at Mosby Building Arts maintain a current database of building code requirements for all Metro St. Louis municipalities, and automatically apply these to construction drawings that are submitted for permits. Let Mosby educate you about remodeling permit details by calling 314.909.1800 or contact them here.

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