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Information Regarding Roof Permits


Always Make sure to Check with Your Local Building Inspector to see if a Roofing Permit is Required when Tackling a Roofing Project


By: Mark J. Donovan

When it comes to planning a major home remodeling or home improvement project, including re-shingling a roof, it’s imperative you call your municipality’s local building inspector first. Regarding roof permits in particular, it often never crosses a homeowner’s mind that a permit may be required. As a matter of fact, in most towns and cities it is required. The repercussions of not pulling a roof permit can be very expensive as by the law you’re doing illegal work. And with illegal work there are always fines and penalties charged, along with cease and desist orders.


In some circumstances the local building inspector can even go as far as to order you to tear down the new construction work and restore the property to its original state before construction began.

If you plan to hire a roofing contractor to roof your home make sure there is language in the contract that specifies who will pull the roof permit. Also, building permits should be placed in a location that a building inspector can easily see it on the job site. When building an addition or a deck I always post the building permit on the outside of the addition or home. Similarly, if I’ve hired a roofing contractor to re-shingle my home’s roof I make sure the roofing permit is tacked up to the outside of my home in easy view for building inspectors and neighbors. I mention neighbors because it’s often a neighbor who calls the local building inspector about your unapproved building project.


Getting a roof permit does have one positive advantage. The main purpose of the building permit process is to ensure that the construction is done properly and safely to protect the workers and the occupants of the home. The other purpose is to make sure the municipality’s tax collector is aware of the need to tax you more on your home, at least when it comes to new additions and decks, but I digress.

As part of the permitting process the building inspector will review your building, or roofing plans in this case, to make sure you or your roofing contractor are using the right materials to ensure a quality and safe roofing job.

They also want to understand if you plan to remove the existing shingles or simply add another layer on top of them. If you or your roofing contractor plans to add another layer of shingles on top of the existing layer(s), the building inspector will want to know how many shingle layers are already on the roof. He’ll also want to know something about the roof construction to see if it can support the additional weight of another layer of shingles.

Personally I would never allow a roofing contractor to install shingles over an existing layer of shingles. Besides the tremendous extra weight on the roof framing, which could result in interior wall cracks or even catastrophic roof failure under heavy snow loads, it also often voids the manufacturers’ warranty on the new shingles.

To conclude, asphalt shingled roofs, as well as other roofing material types, wear out over time. When your home is in need of a new roof, make the financial investment in installing the best roof you can afford and make sure to pull a roof permit. In the long run both the interior contents of your home and your savings account will thank you.


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For more help on Shingling Your Home's Roof, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won't end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

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- Information Regarding Roofing Permits -

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