Accessibility Journeys: Are Building Permits Necessary for Accessibility Work?

Accessible Roll-in Shower, Bathroom

Accessible Bathroom = Freedom

Is a Building Permit Necessary for Accessibility Work?

A few years back one of my neighbors was having a basement rec room completed. His contractor indicated they could skip getting a building permit in order to save money. City inspectors later stopped his project. While my neighbor wasn’t forthcoming to me, I believe he ultimately had to pay a fine.

Why do most municipalities have a construction permitting process?  For starters, it makes a local taxing authority aware of a possible increase in your property value, which ultimately may lead uptick in your property taxes.

The permitting process primarily serves as an important protection for you as the homeowner. Building inspectors are on site to see that the various stages of the work comply with local building codes. While most contractors have had an occasional disagreement with what they thought was an overzealous inspector, the inspection process is important protection for the average homeowner. Not all rural areas may have a permitting process. It should also be noted that different municipalities have different permitting requirements. In addition, it’s important to remember regular maintenance to your home will not require a building permit.

It is important to note that if the work on your home is associated with general accessibility renovations, a building permit is most likely required. Some examples include:

  • New or the relocation of Electric, Plumbing, Hot Water Tank, HVAC Systems
  • Accessible and Wheelchair Ramps
  • Door Widening or Changing of Walls for Accessibility
  • Accessible Roll in Showers
  • Switching out a tub for a shower
  • Barrier-free Bathroom Remodel for Accessibility

If you have a question about whether your planned renovation project (accessibility or simply general construction) requires a permit, it is always best to call your local building authority and ask. It is also important to remember that it’s rare that a basic accessibility renovation will increase your taxable property value. Remember, the permitting process provides you, the homeowner, with protection against faulty installations or workmanship.

If you are thinking about an accessible renovation and are wondering if you need a permit, give us a call.

Patrick Rafter, CEO

Creative Housing|Creative Renovations has been a pioneer in providing custom accessible home renovations throughout Central Ohio since 1992. 

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