Saving money by installing that ceiling fan yourself is all well and good until it unexpectedly falls because you miscalculated its weight. That’s where a permit comes in. In this case, it could help determine whether the fan was too heavy for the box that previously supported a lighter ceiling fixture.

City permit requirements vary, so always do your research before moving forward with your home projects. However, there is one main rule of thumb: If you’re changing walls, moving pipes and electrical wires or changing what powers an appliance, it’s safe to assume you probably need one.

So before you build that dreamy backyard deck or update your kitchen appliances, learn more about these five common DIY projects that may require renovation permits:

Window and door alterations

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As straightforward as these projects may seem, a city permit is almost always required for installing residential windows or exterior doors where there weren’t any before. In some cities, renovation permits are even needed for window or door replacements.

It’s not only for safety either, but also because some neighborhoods require houses to maintain a specific aesthetic by matching materials to the style of the home.

Constructing a deck

What do you need to host weekend barbeques and pool parties? A structurally sound deck. But if you use untreated lumber or don’t pass the required footing inspections, your deck could be a danger zone. So instead of letting your dreams of outdoor living turn into a nightmare, look into getting a building permit before starting your project.

Building a fence

In many cities, prebuilding evaluations are necessary before assembling a fence. Depending on where you live, factors like aesthetics, materials, size and whether you’re sharing a side of the fence with your neighbor are all taken into account when it comes to permit requirements. Our recommendation? Err on the side of caution by applying for one, so you don’t have to put your summer plans on hold due to a stop-work order.

Establishing a safe shelter

Live in an area prone to tornadoes, hurricanes or other natural disasters? Staying prepared by installing a shelter or safe room on your property is a smart plan. But unless you construct your room to FEMA specifications, you might get swept away. City permits can help with that, in addition to registering your shelter—so if there is an unfortunate disaster, first responders will know exactly where to look if you get trapped inside.

Replacing an electric stove with natural gas

Aspiring to be the next Gordon Ramsay by switching over to a gas stove? We’re impressed, but first: get renovation permits. Improperly installed or repaired gas lines pose a huge threat not only to you and your family, but the entire neighborhood. The same is true when turning a traditional fireplace into a gas-powered one.

Get Help Funding Your Home Projects

Did you know that a home equity line of credit can help you improve your home? Speak with the experts at AAA Banking today to learn more.

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