If the renovations are primarily cosmetic in nature, such as paint, wallpaper, drywall repair, electrical appliances or outlets, faucets or landscaping, a permit is generally not necessary. The easiest rule of thumb for determining whether remodeling work requires a permit is to identify whether the proposed work structurally impacts the house or property, explains Redfin.
If the renovation work has structural implications for the house or property, it commonly requires a permit. Examples of work that would require a permit include window replacement, plumbing or electrical work due to building code requirements, alteration to interior walls, HVAC, and additions to the home.
In the event that the homeowner does the work, the best course of action is to contact the city government and ask them to direct the call to the proper department that handles building permits. If a general contractor or building professional performs the work, he often knows exactly which kind of work requires a permit. However, it is never advisable to assume that the builder or contractor obtained the correct permit, notes Redfin. Taking the time to double check and verify that the correct permits are in place before any work starts helps avoid potential problems that could arise after the work is complete.