The purpose behind building codes is to give reasonable assurance that a home is safe from structural failure, fire hazards from electrical and heating systems, electrical shock, and health risks. The permits provide a permanent record of the work performed and inspections conducted on the project.
Inspections are required at various stages of the project to see that the work is following the approved plans and codes.
The best way to find out if a permit is required is to call the Inspection Division to discuss proposed plans with the building inspector before beginning construction to determine whether or not a permit is needed.
Permits are required for the following (not all-inclusive):
Additions (garages, bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
Electrical systems (service upgrade, rewire, generators, etc.)
HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems)
New buildings or accessory structures (including sheds over 120 square feet and retaining walls over 4 feet, in-ground swimming pools and swimming pools with water depth exceeding 24 inches, and fences over 6 feet high)