A need of having more living space leads to the idea of renovating the garage. As the garage is more often used as a workshop or project space or key storage, the idea of renovating it and making it more user-friendly sounds pretty cool. Renovating the garage results in the expansion of living space in the house.

But updating the garage might require permits depending on the changes you want to do while renovating it. These building permits for renovations can be acquired from the city zoning office or concerned department. For example, you want to get yourself a New Garage Door or renovate the existing one. But the question arises, Is there any need for a permit to renovate the garage? What are the renovation permit requirements? Read this article to the last if you want answers to your questions.

Garage Conversion Ideas

Until you follow the building code requirements, you can customize your garage to whatever you want for the sake of living space. Here are some ideas for your garage to reshape that can be helpful:

  • Playroom
  • Studio Apartment or In-law Suite
  • Bedroom
  • Art studio
  • Office
  • Family room

Do I Need a Permit?

If you put your house on a sale, what would you do to boost up its price? The renovation and remodeling of the entire house become the objective of many house owners for this purpose. The house with a shining floor and glowing walls will fetch a better price. In addition to this, if you have done some extensive renovation in the house, you will need a building permit too. But not all extensive renovations need a permit.

Let’s dive into details to know what kind of renovations need a permit.

Renovations That Need a Permit

The renovation that may cause a change in the house’s structure needs a permit. The permits are divided into several categories, including mechanical, electrical, and structural changes.

Certain renovations might cause alteration in the property, so it is suggested to draw up plans that should comply with the local ordinances and codes that are made to ensure your safety, health, and structural soundness.

A few cases are mentioned in which you need a permit:

  • Fences: Municipalities place height restrictions, so not all fences need a permit. But exceeding a limit needs a permit.
  • New Windows: Cutting a new hole for the window requires a permit, but replacing an old one doesn’t require a permit.
  • New Door Openings: New door openings need to be manufactured and done carefully while keeping in mind the ventilation factor. So, it needs a permit.
  • Plumbing and Electrical: Installing or removing existing plumbing probably needs a permit. Installing a new electrical service needs a permit.
  • Siding: A permit is needed in many municipalities for siding.
  • Water heater: Ventilation system change and replacement of water heater demand a permit.

If your space has any of the mentioned alterations to be done, it needs a permit.

Once the renovation is done, it will also require an inspection on end. It must ensure that either your renovations meet the requirements of the zone and building codes or not.

Total cost: The cost of a permit depends on the complexity of your project and the rules of the municipality. The expected price for the renovation of the garage is 1000$ to 1500$, or even it may be more for a variance.

How Can I Get a Permit?

You can apply for the permit through your local municipal government office. Some permits are issued immediately meanwhile, a few are issued after one or multiple inspections of the renovation process, depending upon the complexity of renovation. For complex renovations, a permit is issued after the final inspection that is done after the completion of the project.

What If I Built A Garage Without A Permit?

The consequences of not holding a permit might be severe. The fine might be many times higher than the actual cost of the legal permit, even there is a risk of shoddy construction. The department might ask to take down the additions. Legal headaches can also be considered.

Renovations That Do Not Need A Permit

There are some changes that you can do with your house without hiring a professional or paying for a contractor. A few of these projects are listed here.

  • Painting
  • Wallpapering
  • Installing hardwood floors
  • Carpeting
  • Minor electrical repairs that exclude adding new or moving existing service
  • Installing new countertops
  • Replacing a faucet
  • Re-roofing
  • Re-siding
  • Replacing windows
  • Replacing doors

Bottom Line

For major changes that you want, you should get a permit. It doesn’t matter either you or a hired person does the project. It is the responsibility of the owner to get the building permit for renovations. Being a responsible citizen of a state, you must consider a permit to renovate your garage and your project should meet the renovation permit requirements.