Building codes are established by most cities, towns, and counties and vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another. In addition, many local communities have established further restrictions and covenants which could affect your remodeling plans. It is wise to inquire at your local homeowners’ association so that planning may proceed in conformance with any regulations which may exist.
A building permit generally is required whenever structural work is involved or when the basic living area of a home is to be changed. For example, if you have a home with an unfinished garage and would like to finish off a portion of it for a family room, you would need a building permit in most jurisdictions because you have changed the basic amount of living space in your house from storage space to “livable” space.
The complex details of local building codes and permits are familiar details to a remodeling professional who works in your community or town every day and knows the local requirements. Let the professional apply for all permits.