September 5, 2018

What to consider before remodeling

You might be like so many others, interested in capitalizing on this market and refinancing to make updates to your home. It’s definitely a smart investment, and you get to enjoy the updates. If you’re just thinking about doing cosmetic updates to the kitchen or bathroom, then it’s a fairly straight forward project. If, however, the changes you wish to make to your home, require a change in floor plan, or changes to the structure, you’ll want to read through this post to learn a bit more of what goes into such a project.


If you’re looking to make changes to the floor plan, such as making it a more open floor plan, that will require a permit. Similarly, any type of structural changes require permits. Any type of work that requires new or rerouted ductwork necessitates a permit. Further, any changes that involve new or relocated electrical or plumbing fixtures also need a permit. Lastly, if the changes to your home changes the use or the occupancy of your home, such as a new dwelling unit, you will need a permit. This particular change refers to the scenario of adding an additional living space to your property without adding on to your existing home. For example, if you were to add an additional structure to your property in order to rent out, you would need to get a permit first. Find more information here:

Special Circumstances

In the event that you own property that is a historic landmark or historic district, you will need submit your project plans to the landmark design review process. Landmark Preservation staff must approve your plans before you begin.


If you’re new to the remodeling world, you may not know that there are fees required. These fees are based on the value of the work to be completed including the labor and materials. There are fees for different things such as: zoning, fire permits, planning and rezoning, building, site development, the affordable housing fee, etc. There is not a fee associated with the Landmark review. You can see a full list here:


Different facets of each project will require inspections. Inspections vary depending on the complexity of the project. Your inspector will advise you on which inspections requires permitting.


Typical inspections for interior remodeling projects include:

  • Rough utilities (Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing)
  • Framing
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Groundwork (plumbing)
  • Pressure test
  • Final utilities (Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing)

There is a lot of work that goes into a remodel, besides the actual labor of the changes. Even if you are not doing the work yourself, you’ll need to be sure to be compliant with all of these permits, inspection, fee requirements.  If you’re using a general contractor, he/she will most likely be intimate with these requirements. But it always helps if you too, are acquainted. If you’re doing the work yourself, then you definitely need to be informed about the requirements associated  remodeling.


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