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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861

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Do I Really Need a Phoenix Building Permit for my Home Remodel or Addition?

By Doug Rusk, Architect



You may be considering a remodel or add-on to your current home, because you just need a few changes or some more space.  Home remodeling takes planning, time and money.  The process of getting a building permit only adds to the time and expense.  So you ask yourself – do I really need a permit for this?  I know it is temping to think this way, but here are a few things you may want to consider.

What is a Phoenix Building Permit?

A building permit signifies that your building meets local city, county and state building construction laws and is a safe structure. Building permits protect everyone against unsafe buildings.  SAFE is the word that should get your attention here.

Why is a Building Permit in Phoenix Important to Me?

To save time and money you may think you can skip this step.  Outlined below are a few reasons to illustrate why obtaining a building permit may actually SAVE you money:

Home-Remodel-Architect-Tempe– Non-permitted work might not be done correctly or to code.
Just because a homeowner hires a contractor doesn’t mean the contractor will do the job correctly.  There are several ways to do any project, but not all of them are smart choices.
– Homeowner’s insurance might not cover a defect for non-permitted remodeling.
If a remodel was done incorrectly, you may end up with faulty wiring which could cause a fire. The damage caused by that fire might not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, if the improvement was finished without a permit.
– City might require you to tear it out.
City code often requires that framing be inspected by the City prior to hanging drywall. Things may have to be torn out to be inspected after the fact.  More time and money will be wasted.
– City might assess penalties.
There may be fines and penalties for failure to obtain a permit.
– A home appraiser might not include an addition in the square footage.
Without a building permit the County will not be notified of the improvements and added floor area.  This may cause the home to appraise for less, and potentially affect a refinance loan for you or a loan for a potential buyer.

“Permit By Inspector” option

The City of Phoenix has “cut the red tape” for obtaining building permits.  If you’re planning a minor Commercial or Residential remodel, there is a special program in place at the City of Phoenix that will greatly REDUCE the Permit and Plan Review approval process.  Not all construction projects will qualify for what is called a “Permit By Inspector” option, so call 602-262-7811 to review your projects scope of work.

How Do I Know if I Need a Permit?

Each City or Town may have different building permit rules and guidelines you will need to follow.  Here are some general guidelines:

You May Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Home-Remodel-Architect-Chandler

  • Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.

  • Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • Altering the footprint of your house.
  • Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Putting in hardwood floor.
  • Installing carpeting.
  • Upgrading your counter tops.
  • Paint
  • Minor electrical work, such as replacing an existing electrical outlet.

For more details you can review these links for the Cities of: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, GilbertChandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

You may need to hire an architect who will not only draw up construction plans for your design that meet your jurisdiction’s building codes, but can also provide design ideas that you may not have even considered. An architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects.   He can submit the plans to the local municipality for you. Fees and timing of building permit approval vary depending on your project scope.

About the Author

Home Remodel Architect Phoenix

Architect-Doug Rusk-ScottsdaleDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
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