How Building Permits Work

Author's Note:How Building Permits Work

I had a running start on researching this article because I built an addition to my own home about four years ago -- a new kitchen, laundry room and porch. I hired an experienced builder and subcontracted the insulation, wall board, roofing and cabinet work. I handled the permits and inspections myself. One big lesson: Building permits and codes are really no problem, especially if you plan to live in your home for the foreseeable future. If anything, you'll want your building to exceed code, and it's reassuring to know your work has passed inspection. Another lesson: be good to your inspector. He or she works hard. An offer of a cup of coffee or some homegrown tomatoes never hurts. And, oh yeah, always follow that old carpenter's rule: measure twice, cut once.

Related Articles


  • Barker, Bruce. "Codes for Home Owners." Creative Publishing International, 2010.
  • The Building Department, LLC. "Permits protect the safety and value of your home" (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • Buyer's Choice Home Inspections. "History of Building Codes." (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • City of Houston. "Deed Restrictions General Information." (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • City of Redondo Beach, California. "Applying for Permits." (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • Dehring, Carolyn. "The Value of Building Codes," Regulation, Summer 2006. (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • Hadhazy, Adam. "Extreme Building Codes: Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters," Popular Mechanics, April 9, 2010. (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • New York City Buildings Department. "History." (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • Oregon Association of Realtors. "Building Permits." (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • "Permits and Inspection Process." (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • Worell, Carolina. "Mayor Says Green Building Codes Will Help City Meet PlaNYC Goals," ENRNew York, February 7, 2012. (Feb. 24, 2012)
  • Zarella, John. "On hurricanes and building codes, and living in harm's way,", June 10, 1999. (Feb. 24, 2012)