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When is a Building Permit Needed for Phoenix Home Remodeling?

When does a homeowner need a building permit for a Phoenix home remodeling project?

Let’s first go over the purpose of a building permit.  There are strict building codes put into place to protect the homeowner from faulty construction that may deteriorate or weaken the original structure, or worse, be a cause of fire or flooding.  When a building permit is approved, City or County Inspectors are scheduled to examine specific stages of construction to make sure the structure and systems are built safely by the licensed contractor.  They will notify what corrections, if any, must be done to pass all inspections.Whenever electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, or structural changes are to be made, a permit is required. Here is a list of some of the Phoenix home remodeling projects that will require a permit:

Additions, Golf Cart Garage          Built-in outdoor BBQ

Carport Conversion                          Patio cover

Extensive Bathroom Remodel       Fences, walls

Major Kitchen Remodel                  Swimming Pools

Casita                                                    Fireplaces


If you are replacing “like for like,” e.g. replacing a toilet with a WaterSense Certified efficient toilet, or replacing a tile roof with a smog eating roof tile, replacing old cabinets with new cabinets, a Phoenix home remodeling building permit will not be needed.  Painting, flooring, and other minor changes or repairs generally will not need a permit. Don’t think because you do home improvement yourself, that you won’t need to get a building permit though!  Consult an experienced and reputable remodeler on whether a building permit for the home improvement project would be required.

What would happen if someone altered the home’s original structure and didn’t get a permit, e.g. added a patio cover or enclosed a patio?

If you wanted to do any further Phoenix home remodeling, you would be required to get a building permit on the previous home remodeling work first. An application would need to be submitted, the walls would need to be opened for the Inspector to examine the work, and it would need approval that it satisfies the building codes before any further remodeling projects can be done.  When you sell the home, you may be required to show that building permits were obtained and final inspection was completed.  If you are a buyer, require the seller to also show that building permits and the final inspection completed as well.

Remember, according to Arizona law, any project that requires a building permit requires a licensed contractor, also for the homeowner’s protection.  If the project does not require a building permit, AND is less than $1000, you can hire a handyman.

Happy Home Remodeling!

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