Acquiring Permits for Home Improvement Projects

If you are planning to improve your house in Northern Virginia, you will be required to acquire some permits and approvals from the state. If you plan to repair sidings, paint your walls, add a front porch, or add a second floor in your house,  it is best to review the guidelines in your local homeowner’s association (HOA), whether there are restrictions and requirements for maintaining and improving your house.

Building Code and Zoning Approval

You have the liberty to do some improvement projects to your house; it is under your ownership, after all. However, the country requires homeowners to secure a building permit and/or zoning approval when new constructions—such as fences, swimming pools, and parking areas—within the property will be done. For instance, in the state of Virginia, there is the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC), which contains the regulations in constructing a new building or an extension or addition to an existing building. It also gives regulations to protect residents from the hazards arising from the construction.

Projects that Need Permits

Home addition is a home improvement project that requires a permit. You need a permit if you will add up a porch, a deck, a sunroom, or a shed that has an area of at least 200 square feet, to your house. For decks, permits are needed if the floor is equal to or greater than 16.5 inches. A permit is also required if you plan to replace gas furnaces or gas logs.

In Northern Virginia replacement windows and door installations also need permits, especially if structural adjustments will be made. Changing electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and heating systems also require a permit. You will also need to seek for approval if you’re building a swimming pool in your lot, particularly if it requires more than two feet of water and is larger than 150 square feet.

Projects that Do Not Need a Permit

Some home improvement projects may not require a permit, but performing them still needs to conform to code standards. These projects are classified as “ordinary repairs”, such as interior and exterior painting, wallpapering, and replacing cabinets and light fixtures. No permit is also needed for a roof repair Northern Virginia roofing contractors execute.


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