Remodeling and Permits
Obtaining the proper permits when remodeling can be a critical element in the process. Many homeowners are unaware of the local building codes and zoning laws governing renovations. Disregarding these laws may result in fines, and in some cases you may even be asked to demolish the work that has been done.
When remodeling you have to go through the process of obtaining the proper permits. Zoning laws protect homeowners and cover issues such as the size of setbacks (distance between buildings and property lines), the height of buildings and occupancy. State and local building codes deal primarily with life and safety issues (insulation, smoke detectors, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc.) In order to satisfy these regulations you must submit information showing the project complies with the laws.
When plans do not conform they are sent to the Zoning Board of Appeals. There the homeowner, accompanied by an architect or attorney, presents his case at a public hearing. Usually the board tries to work with you in compromising with what you would like to do and what is best for the neighborhood.
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