Do I Need a Permit To Do Garage Door Repairs?

What Are Building Permits?

When faced with a large task like garage door repair or installation/replacement, there are things to consider. What will the cost be; would it be easy for someone to do it alone or to hire a professional? One important thing that often gets forgotten in regard to home projects is permits.

Do I need a permit to do garage door repairs? Is a permit required to replace the garage door? How does one go about getting any needed permit(s)? The following information will be able to answer those questions.

Building permits are approvals by a local government for building a new property or altering/remodeling an existing one, such as a garage door. These permits outline all local rules and regulations for building and remodeling. Their purpose is to ensure the safety of the current homeowner. The permit standards also ensure the safety of any future homeowners.

These permits usually come with a time limit to complete the task. Once the project is finished, the building permit is also considered complete. For any later projects, a new building permit would be required.

At the end of the project, the permit usually instructs a contractor to follow up. These contractors inspect the project to ensure everything has been done correctly and is up to the safety codes of the area.

Garage Door Repair – When Do You Need a Permit?

It can be a bit tricky to differentiate between what falls under a repair and what falls under a replacement or upgrade. This may cause it to be confusing to know when you do and do not need a permit.

Examples of Repairs

When talking about garage door repairs the focus would generally be on fixing components of the existing garage door. This would mean replacing a garage door spring, cable, panel, etc. Small cosmetic issues would also fall under the need for repair and not require a replacement.

So, do I need a permit to do garage door repairs? Fixing standard component issues within the door does not usually require a homeowner or a contractor to get a permit.

A standard-sized door (one used to enter the home from the garage or exit the garage through the side) in the garage is not under the same rules as a large moving garage door. Repairing or replacing these doors generally does not need a permit.

A repair in the form of painting or staining the garage door is also an example of something that usually does not need a permit.

Gray Areas

Sometimes, your garage door opener is the problem. This can be a gray area – some states do not consider this an electrical issue, while others do. Electrical issues generally require permits, so this would be one to check on with the local Building Department.

This is going to vary state by state, however. Each state has individual laws and definitions of what a repair versus what a replacement or upgrade is. Speaking with the Building Office is always recommended to ensure all building laws and codes are followed.

Garage doors are considered an outside wall and the largest access point. Because of this, they are very crucial to the home. The complexity of the garage door causes a lot of confusion in the permit information.

Call a Professional for Complex Repairs/Replacement

It is also important to be sure that one knows what they are doing before attempting to fix the door. And owning garage door tools is essential.

Garage door repairs can also take a lot of time and be dangerous. Because of this, it is usually a much better idea to hire a garage door repair company for the job. Instead of doing it by oneself.

Sometimes the damage on a garage door is too extensive. The panels may all be in a stage of rust; some may have fallen off, denting in the door, etc. This is a point where one would be looking at a replacement.

Garage Door Installation/Replacement

If the installation of a garage door, or a replacement for an existing door, is needed, permits come into play. It is important to get the correct building permits. Especially before proceeding with any project. There is a big difference between what is needed permit-wise for a simple repair and a replacement/installation.

Again, permit requirements are going to vary between each state. For example, Florida has strict guidelines on what types of garage doors are allowed due to harsh weather conditions such as hurricanes. This means that garage doors, which are considered one of the external walls, have to be able to withstand things like strong winds. So, Florida is a state that does require building permits for garage door replacement.

While other states, such as California, do not require a permit to replace or repair the garage door because the existing structure or the shape of the property is not changing. If the entrance to the garage is being made larger, then a permit would be required.

Moving walls in the garage, as well as the garage door, are also things that will need a permit. This type of work is considered an alteration to the property. An alteration like this requires a building permit(s) in most states.

Though garage door replacements, and the permits that come with them, can often be costly, they are usually well worth it. Your garage door, ultimately, gives access to your home, so it needs to be secure and properly installed.

A new garage door will also increase the value of the home if selling is on your mind.

How To Obtain a Permit

In cases where the answer to “do i need a permit to do garage door repairs?” is yes, where can you get one? Getting the permit needed for any home improvement project depends on location. Calling the local Building Department will be the first step to obtaining a permit. This office will give the information on where to go, whether in person or online. As well as what paperwork needs to be completed.

Some areas require a complete project application and outline of the intended project to get a building permit. There are others that say the permit must be posted on a visible part of the property during the entire construction process.

Costs also vary for different permit types. This is something that can deter people from wanting to get them. Contractors generally include these permit costs in bids to customers.

Garage door installation has its dangers and can also be very taxing. Having a professional handle these costs and obtaining these permits may help relieve some of the stress.

Not only do permit laws vary from state to state, but they can also vary from city to city – and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some HOA-run areas require permits for any construction or alteration to a home within their range. Always check local and state regulations to ensure legal protection and personal safety.

Therefore, as previously stated, calling the Building Department is the first step. They will have all the information needed to complete a project.

Obtaining these permits may not seem worth the trouble or money. But the reality is that not getting them may lead to serious legal problems later. Contractors and homeowners who do projects, such as garage door installation, without a permit can receive a fine. The homeowners may also lose their home insurance if they have done a project without the proper building permit.

These permits are designed with the safety of everyone in mind and are necessary to have.

Building Permits Vs. Building Licenses

When one hears the word 'permit' they may associate it with a professional, such as a contractor. Some may assume a permit is what a professional must have to run their garage door business. While this isn’t necessarily incorrect, there are some clarifications to make.

All contractors need building permits before doing work on someone else’s home. These permits are essentially the same as the ones obtained when someone does the project themselves. When a contractor is doing the job, however, the contractor needs to get the permits under their own name, not under the name of the homeowner. This is important for the safety of the customer and the contractor.

To put it more simply, if you hire a contractor to replace the garage door they still need to obtain the same building permit before doing the project. The difference is they apply for it in their name, not yours.

A building license is a certification that shows homeowners that their hired contractor has completed the necessary steps regulated by their state, to be qualified to work on homes. These licenses and their requirements also vary from area to area – so prospective clients need to do research to ensure that their contractor is properly licensed for the job.

This license is not something a homeowner needs before starting a project on their home. The homeowner only needs to have the correct building permits. A contractor must have both the business license (depending on the area and job they are doing) and the building permits before working on a home.

Some states may not require certain licensing for contractors, but they are good to have anyway. This increases the knowledge and qualifications a contractor has. As well as builds confidence in the customer that they will be safe. Safety is the most important thing.

Someone seeking help with a project on their home should be cautious of contractors that are not properly licensed or who claim building permits are not required. This is a red flag for both the customer and their home and can lead to expensive errors. Failing to comply with local building regulations can be very costly and potentially deadly.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

This website is dedicating to helping home services contractors to grow their businesses by implementing effective marketing, systems, and processes. 
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