Most homeowners know that certain exterior remodel projects, improvements, and additions need permits. However, many are unaware that permits are also necessary for various indoor remodel projects. Although permits may be regarded as a hassle, their purpose is mainly for the homeowner’s protection and to help ensure that work adheres to residential building codes and safety standards. Designed to create a long term, quality finished product, permits and associated inspections help to secure a homeowner’s biggest investment, their home.

Here is an overview of general permit requirements for your remodeling projects:

Exterior Remodel Projects that Typically Require a Permit in Dallas, TX


Naturally, the safety of your family and guests is of utmost importance. So, it makes sense that the following exterior improvements require a permit. Used on a regular basis, these structures and upgrades must be built with care, meeting required building codes to ensure safe, proper function now and in the future.

  • An in-ground concrete pool
  • Porches and decks/decks over a certain height
  • Roof replacement and/or additions or changes to the roofline
  • Adding or changing concrete sidewalks, driveways, and slabs
  • Building a shed or Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
  • Installation of fencing
  • Adding windows or skylights
  • Adding or altering a chimney or fireplace
  • Installation of a swimming pool

Interior Remodeling Projects that Typically Require a Permit in Dallas, TX

Preston Hollow Second Story Addition

A Home Addition or Removal of a Load Bearing Wall

An addition expands a home’s footprint, and will include changes to the interior and exterior structure and rooflines. The existing plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems can be affected as well, so applicable residential building permits are necessary to ensure that your home is safe and functions well with the new upgrades.

Load-bearing walls are there for a reason. They support and maintain a home’s structure and keep you, your family, and visitors safe. If these supportive elements are removed and not sufficiently replaced, serious and costly damage can occur. The damage can affect the area in which the support was located, as well as the home’s entire structure.

Any alterations to load-bearing walls must be done with proper planning and the assistance of knowledgeable professionals. Removal of these supportive elements requires appropriate replacement measures in the form of a column, beam, or other approved structural support measure. During the remodel process, this important step cannot be overlooked.

Major Plumbing Work

A permit is generally not necessary for small plumbing upgrades, such as replacing a shower head or faucet. Larger projects, however, like replacing a water heater or drain and/or sewer lines, relocating plumbing fixtures, or re-piping the home will require a permit. The proximity and scale of these projects can present health and safety issues that require inspection and are best addressed by a professional plumber.

Electrical Work

Minor upgrades, such as changing a light fixture or outlet covers usually do not require a permit. Any electrical projects involving adding circuits or wiring, whether in one room or throughout your home, or an electrical panel replacement will need a permit. When in doubt, check with a licensed electrician.

Potentially Dangerous or Disruptive Projects

A home’s safety is of paramount importance for its residents and guests. Improvements such as installing a gas or wood burning fireplace, skylight or egress window, or any change to ceiling height requires specific expertise. In addition, installation or upgrades of staircases, handrails, and balustrades require similar strict attention and must meet height, spacing, and other specifications to safely function in the home. Any project of this nature requires a knowledgeable contractor well versed in local permitting and inspection requirements.

Remodeling Projects that Typically Don’t Require a Permit in Dallas

Transitional Galley Kitchen Remodel on the M-Streets in Dallas - storage below window

Most cosmetic upgrades do not need a permit. As aesthetic improvements, these items don’t affect a home’s structural, electrical, or plumbing systems and aren’t subject to safety inspections. The following are examples of projects where a permit is not necessary:

  • Paint and wallpaper
  • New floor coverings
  • Interior decorative tile or veneer
  • New kitchen countertops and backsplashes
  • Refurbishing or replacement of kitchen cabinets

Important Note

Required renovation permits and codes will vary by municipality, so when in doubt, consult local building authorities. For remodeling projects that go beyond cosmetic upgrades, we recommend using a qualified design-build firm. Well versed in the necessary safety codes and requirements, they can guide you through the process, ensuring that the work is permitted where necessary.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Permit?

Building Permit
The benefits of obtaining permits far outweigh the disadvantages. Failure to secure required permits can result in inferior work and unsafe living conditions. Without permits, your home may be at risk of structural, fire, water, or other damage. If a remodeling project is found to be lacking proper permits, municipalities can order stoppage of work and fines, and homeowners are responsible to repair and/or dismantle renovations to bring projects up to code.

Single-family remodel permits help ensure that codes and best practice safety measures are met. Once work is finished, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your completed remodel project provides a safe, comfortable environment for your family and guests.

Insurance Coverage

Building permits also help alleviate insurance concerns and potential lack of coverage. Insurance companies aren’t likely to provide insurance for a remodeled residence with substandard work and potential safety issues.


Lenders are hesitant to extend credit where the quality of work is questionable and lacks proper permits. Loans will require proof of insurance, too, so it’s wise to have permits for all phases of work throughout the process.

Home Value

Quality renovations will boost the appearance, function, and value of your home. These remodeled projects will offer confidence to potential future buyers and a greater resale value for your home.

Complying with permit requirements avoids headaches and legal issues. It’s a wise move that helps to ensure the safety of your family, guests, and neighbors.

The Smart Choice – A Design-Build Firm That Handles Permitting

Bathroom Design Drawing
A knowledgeable design-build firm has the resources and expertise to guide you through the remodel process from concept to completion. They take care of permitting and coordinating subcontractors, all while tailoring the project to your home and family’s needs.

Professional Drawings

Most cities will require drawings of proposed renovations before issuing a permit. This is a normal part of the process, as it illustrates the extent and details of the project. While homeowners can easily create plans for smaller projects, such as a powder room upgrade, more complex renovations like an addition will require more extensive, detailed drawings.

A reputable design-build contractor will create professional plans, eliminating the hassle and guesswork for homeowners. These plans will also offer an overview of the scope and layout, helping you to envision the project and make educated decisions according to your needs and budget. The design-build team can help you put all the details together and submit the plans to the proper authorities.

Permitting Expertise

A home remodeling project requires numerous steps, and navigating the permit and inspection process can seem intimidating. Completing a remodel project by yourself or with the aid of a handyman may have its appeal for numerous reasons, but it makes sense to investigate your options before committing. For example, it might seem less expensive, but unforeseen costs and issues, such as hidden water damage, may arise. Inexperience can also be an issue, resulting in inferior work, permit violations, and future problems.

Working with a qualified, experienced design-build firm, in contrast, can help keep costs in check and avoid unexpected hurdles. A knowledgeable team will guide you through the process step by step, securing all permits and overseeing inspections. It’s their job to make sure that your renovation project is completed in a cost effective and timely manner. Under their guidance, renovations will yield safe, functional, and beautiful results that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.

Blackline Renovations – Experience You Can Trust

Since 2002, Blackline Renovations has had the privilege of helping homeowners with their remodel projects and additions. Our expertise in the remodel industry includes extensive knowledge of the building codes and necessary permits for Dallas, TX. As your premier design-build firm, we oversee the entire process, from required drawings and necessary permits, to final inspections and completion of work.

Whether your remodel project is large or small, our knowledgeable team will help you navigate the entire process from start to finish. To help you get started, we invite you to check out our portfolio of recent projects. We specialize in kitchens, bed and bathrooms, mud and laundry rooms, ADUs (accessory dwelling units), garages, and home additions of all sizes.

It would be our great pleasure to make your renovation dreams come true. Give us a call at 214-827-3747 or schedule a consultation to discuss your project with our team.

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