Why Permits?

Approved and Declined stamps

The theory and reality of permits, and permitting, are at times in conflict. I’ll share a bit of perspective here, but please keep in mind these are general statements. Every jurisdiction has its own rules, and it is not my intent to get into that level of detail.

From initial construction, permitting is designed to ensure that a home is built to “code”. California has earthquakes, the Northern tier of the country has snow, and we here in Jacksonville have a high risk of hurricanes. Given this, building codes in each of these areas are different. They are intended to minimize different risks to the structure of the home. Shaking, heavy show loads, and high winds respectively.

Code Variation

There are countless variations in codes, I simply use these to demonstrate why codes vary from region to region. After Hurricane Andrew levelled Homestead in August of 1992, Florida building codes were significantly strengthened to prevent a repeat. Florida building codes have been updated several times since. Now the roof is strapped to the walls, and the walls are anchored to the foundation or slab. Doors and windows installed must withstand the force of the wind zone they are in.

Building designs, plan approvals prior to construction, and inspections along the way are designed to ensure the building is built to the codes then in force. Many consumers assume inspections are a quality control process, and that is not the intent. A home can be built, inspected, and approved, and still have sloppy construction unrelated to building codes. Rooms may not be square, grout lines can wander, and doors may not stay open, because walls are out of plumb. One would hope your builder was ‘inspecting’ for these issues but know that the inspector is not. Always do the walk-thru prior to accepting your home, and document the issues for resolution, as you would be amazed at what gets found.

Home Modification Permits

Some home modifications also require permits. This is done for safety reasons, and to ensure the design integrity of the original structure is not compromised. Safety items include electrical inspections for new wiring to meet the code, which should minimize the risk of fire. Door replacement projects often require permits to ensure a hurricane-rated door is replaced with a hurricane-rated door.

The ability of your service provider to pull permits is an indication that you are working with a professional. While not every permitted project gets inspected, many will get inspected and that keeps service providers on their toes. Nobody wants to return and do it again, so things should get done to code – which helps you when the next hurricane rolls ashore.

Let Mr. Handyman Help 

Mr. Handyman is a licensed contractor, and we do pull permits when required. In truth, much of what we do is home repair and maintenance, and a variety of home improvement projects, most of which do not require permits. For door replacement projects, and in jurisdictions where remodeling projects require permits, we will submit plans and pull permits. We also stand behind all work with our Done Right Promise®. This is what professionals do.

Professional, safe, reliable, and convenient; Mr. Handyman is reinventing the home improvement experience.