Is a Building Permit Necessary? It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson

According to Sherlock Holmes, “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.”

In a prior post, we defined building permits. We also said that a person who wants to build or alter an improvement should consult the ordinances of the particular municipality in which the improvement is located to determine whether a building permit is required. But in some cases, Texas counties — not just cities and towns — may require building permits. Texas Building Permit

To determine if property is within an area in which a building permit is required, a contractor may interview the property owner, consult the appropriate appraisal district to verify the owner’s name and address, look up the property on an official governmental map, and communicate with the city’s and county’s permitting offices. Of course, this isn’t the only way. A contractor could, for example, consult with a real estate attorney, too, or instead.

Whether you’re an owner, designer, or a contractor trying to determine if a building permit is necessary, keep in mind that this question has been asked many times before by other people. It’s not a new question under the sun.

What happens if you were supposed to get a building permit before you began the work, but you didn’t? Stay tuned.

In our “Law 101″ posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

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