When you decide to remodel your home in York, PA it can be a very exciting time. You will decide what you want to do and then sit down with your contractor to work out the details. Sometimes remodeling jobs are rather small. For example, many homeowners will update the cabinetry in their kitchen. It is amazing how something that seems so small can make such a big difference.
You may also decide you want to get rid of those old countertops that came with the house and update them to a style and material that is a little more modern. This can also dramatically change the look of your kitchen and for projects such as these you have to get permits, but you typically don’t have to file the project plans and budget with the York, PA building department. However, there are projects where filing is required.
How Do I Know if Plans and Budgets Are Required?
When you apply for the permits to begin work on your house you present the permit application to a building code official. The building code official will determine if the budget and plans are required. However, as the homeowner, you should not have to worry about this. Applying for and getting the appropriate permits are the responsibility of the contractor. If your contractor tries to lay this responsibility on you, you should immediately get a different contractor.
Some reasons building plans and budgets are required are fairly obvious. For example, you must submit the detailed plans and budget to repair a building that was damaged by fire. Since the damage can be extensive and may affect the structural integrity of the building, the building department wants to ensure that the contractor knows their business and also that they are not taking advantage of the homeowner at a known point in their lives.
What Common Projects Require Plans and Designs?
If you are adding a new building to your property that is over 1,000 sq. ft., such as a garage or a shed, you would need to submit the complete plans and the budget. The same would be true if you are adding a building or changing a structure that is in a flood hazard zone. These areas are specifically designated and have additional requirements.
If you own a property in the Historic York District and want to make changes to the exterior façade you not only have to submit the designs, plans and budget to the building department but your changes must also be approved by the Historical Architecture Review Board.
A couple of the more common remodel projects in York, PA you may undertake that will require presenting permits and budgets presented to the building department are additions and decks. The reason additions need detailed explanation should be fairly obvious. They will require roofs and load-bearing walls. Any project that requires the structure to be altered or restored requires design submission. This includes projects that affect the roof, foundation, exterior walls, and floors.
Decks need design plans because there will be people gathering on them. The building department wants to ensure that the materials and design will support the load that is intended by the description of the project.