Part #2 - 2020.01.13 - Do you need an Permit?

It’s no mystery that construction projects are a difficult, costly, dirty, disruptive, and time-consuming process. And that’s after you get a permit and start the process. Just getting the permit in many cases would be described in the same way. Ideally getting a permit or asking if you need a permit shouldn’t really be a thing, but because of the complications involved many people are asking if they should even bother with a building permit.


When it comes to the actual question, “do you need a permit?” The simple answer is generally yes. This comes down to a few factors but generally relate to cost and safety. If you decide to do a little research, you might find this section of the Florida Building Code:


Any owner or owner’s authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any impact-resistant coverings, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be performed, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.


This is the consensus when it comes to permits and it basically means you always need a permit. While this is inevitably the case, we (us in the design/construction industry) find ourselves being approached constantly asking if we can do work without permits. My advice is almost always going to be to get a permit, but that doesn’t mean it should be the end of the conversation.


If you’re considering a major renovation or addition to your home, then there are much more important conversations to be having aside form the need for a permit. Permits are an important step on the road to your project, and permit and code implications can change the direction of a design in many cases, but I would generally tell you that if your first question involves cutting corners then you’re approaching your project the wrong way.


At Swakon Design we pride ourselves on being upfront and honest with our client. From the moment we first meet, we do our best to deliver straightforward information that adds value to your project. So, let’s have a chat about your next project. Permits should be part of that conversation but not the end of it.