Whether you decide to opt for metal, asphalt, or solar shingles, all roof installations share this commonality: the work will need a permit. Whether it is time to do a repair or a full-blown replacement, roofing permits are a crucial step in the roofing process. Here’s what you need to know ahead of your project.

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Permits Are Essential To Roof Work

Roofing permits exist to keep you, as well as others involved, safe. Any home renovation project that alters a building’s structure, use, or could create a hazardous working condition will require a permit. And roof work is no exception.

Here’s a look at what home improvement projects need and don’t need roof permits:

Project Do I Need A Permit?
Roofing a new home Yes
Replacing an old roof Yes
Altering a home’s roofline (ex. changing a slope) Yes
Changing the material to tile a roof Yes
Large roof repairs, exceeding one roofing square (100 square feet) Yes
Small roof repairs, less than one roofing square (100 square feet) No

As noted in Modernize’s Roofing Contractor Checklist, homeowners should verify if their roof project requires a permit or not with their contractor before any work is done.

If you still have permit questions ahead of your home improvement project, we encourage you to:

  • Ask trusted sources (friends, family, and neighbors) if they’ve been through a similar process.
  • Contact your local permitting office.
  • Connect with trusted roofing contractors in your area with Modernize.

Discuss Necessary Roof Permits With Your Contractor

As noted in our Modernize Contractor Checklist, it is important to discuss what roofing permits are being acquired during your final contractor meeting. Your contractor should be able to provide paper trails for their:

    • Project plans
    • Proof of permits
    • Proof of insurance

Ask your contractor about state and local laws surrounding roofing permits. Often, contractors are required to be licensed or registered with the state to pull permits on the homeowners’ behalf. You can check on a contractor’s license through the Better Business Bureau. Modernize always recommends that homeowners use a licensed and vetted contractor for their home improvement project.

If the homeowner chooses to file for roofing permits themselves, the best place to start is by going to their city or county’s local building department.

The Consequences Of Not Having A Roof Permit

Permits are a crucial part of the home improvement process, and moving forward in a roofing project without the proper documentation can result in penalties down the line. If code enforcement officials find work has been done without following due process, it could lead to fines and fees that the homeowner is responsible for paying.

Additionally, if you sell your home, home inspectors may see the gaps between a new or replaced roof or roofline and raise concerns to the lack of correlating paperwork. This could result in backtracking, hiring additional contractors, and (if necessary) fixing the work: this time with the appropriate permits.  

Whether it’s repairing a leak or giving a home a whole new look, roofing permits are an important piece of the roof work process. Make sure your home improvement projects follow local and county permits to ensure your home improvement investment is completed with the utmost care and safety.