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Do You Need a Permit for Your Texas Home Remodel?


Do You Need a Permit for Your Texas Home Remodel?

If you are planning a remodel, you probably already have enough on your plate with budgeting, designs, and choosing contractors. The last thing you want to worry about is getting a permit for the work. But, in most cases in Texas, you probably will need a permit for your remodel, especially if any electrical work will need to be done. While you might not like the idea of going through the permit pulling process, it is ultimately for your own good.

Why Permits Are Required for Remodels

Permits were initially established as a way of protecting building owners and occupants from faulty work. For example, in 1994, a man slipped and fell on the staircase of a hardware store. The hardware store owner had built the staircase himself without going through the proper permitting process. It turns out that the staircase wasn’t up to local code, so the man who slipped received a settlement for his injury.

If you are hiring a contractor to do the work, then the permit process ensures that the contractors are doing work which is up to code and with materials that are of high quality. This keeps homeowners safe from dishonest contractors who might try to cut corners.

In most cases, the contractor will pull all necessary permits for you. However, it is still ultimately the homeowner who is responsible for the work done. So, if the contractor says that a permit isn’t required, it is good to check.  Always insist that a permit is pulled if the law requires it!

What If You Do Work Without a Permit?

If you perform work without a permit, you can face serious fines. But, let’s be honest here: it is unlikely that you will be caught. Still, it is a good idea to get the permit. If something happens to your home and you didn’t have a permit for the work, then your homeowner’s insurance won’t pay for the damage.  If someone gets hurt in your home, you could face a serious lawsuit. And it will be a lot harder to sell your home if you did your remodel without the proper permits!

What Work Requires a Permit?

Every municipality in Texas has its own rules about which type of work requires a permit, and there are often special permitting rules for buildings in historic or conservation districts.

In Dallas, Texas, for example, nonstructural remodeling generally does not require a permit. Once you start getting into structural changes though, like moving the location or windows, plumbing, or doors, then you will need a permit.

You can go to your local municipality website and find out information about which type of work requires a permit. Remember, the permit process is for your own benefit, so don’t try to get around it!

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