For the average family, renovation includes repainting, reinstalling cabinets, installing new fixtures, or adding finishes and fixtures. Renovation generally means updating and beautifying the exteriors and interiors of the building, rather than making major changes to the existing structure.
If you plan to renovate your home, be sure to consult an experienced construction contractor or architect before commencing.
Which projects require a permit?
Although the specific renovation laws in each city are different, most planning departments require owners and builders to obtain permits for some types of renovation and refurbishment projects to be carried out. These projects include:
The removal or moving of all or part of the building. This is not limited to the main building of the house; it also applies to sheds or garages.
Changing the use of the building, such as converting a garage into an office.
Installing, changing, or removing partition walls and/or load-bearing walls;
Install new doors or windows, creating a wall or window opening, and changing the size of pre-existing doors or windows;
Building a garage, balcony, or wooden platform. If the new wooden platform does not have a roof, is less than 2 feet above the ground, and is not connected to the house, no permit is required.
Digging a basement;
Installing or modifying heating, plumbing, or air conditioning systems;
Installing a fireplace (of any type);
Building a pool or fencing a pool.
Projects that Do Not Require a Permit:
Replacing pre-existing doors and windows of the same size (as long as the doors and windows will still fall within boundaries).
Installing external wall panels or other covering materials for standard single houses.
Building a wooden platform, as long as it has no roof, is less than 2 feet above the ground, and is not connected to the house.
Building a shed that used for storing public utilities that is smaller than 100 square feet;
Resurfacing roof shingles, as long as it does not modify the structure of the house, the installation of gutters, ir the existing roof drainage facilities in the house.
Replacing or adding insulation, plasterboard, or plaster.
Installing a moisture barrier in the basement.
Painting or decorating.
Installing kitchen or bathroom cabinets, as long as it does not involve modifying the water pipes.
Constructing a fence (unless the fence is around the pool).
What documents do you need to prepare for refurbishment?
Each refurbishment and renovation project is different, so the required permits are different. Let’s say that you want to install an additional facility to your property. In order to obtain a license, the following materials are required:
The site plan: The site plan shows the area of the property and its surroundings. It is similar to a survey map (the same map that you received when you purchased your property). The general plan should indicate all of buildings and their boundaries of your property, a compass that has an arrow indicating north, the boundaries and dimensions of the property, the distance between each building, the distance between each building and the boundaries, and proposed modifications for the property’s current state.
Floor plan: The floor plan is the layout of the house. It is required for each floor of the house that will be affected by the new building. Each floor plan should display the layout of each floor and indicate the size and type of the room as well as the location of the exterior, interior, and partition walls.
Elevation: An elevation view showing the exterior view of each side of the house. Each side of the house should be positioned according to its orientation (East, South, West, or North), and indicates the elevation of both the new and existing buildings. You will also need to detail the the dimensions of the roof, roof shape, and roof drains.
Section details: The section detail shows the condition of the house as seen if a vertical cut perpendicular to the ground was made. It should indicate construction details about the footings, foundations, walls, floors, and roofs.
All of the above drawings must be drawn in ink. They need to be accurate, display both the current and proposed structures, and show the dimensions of the elevation and plane. In addition to these construction documents, documents such as a permit application, proof of land ownership, a house renovation plan, a building code identification number (BCIN) exemption form, and a plumbing data sheet are required.