Obtaining Permits for Your Home Renovation Project on the Main Line

If you’re planning renovations or upgrades on your home, whether inside your house or outside, you will probably need a permit from your municipality to have the work done. It can be frustrating to figure out what projects need permits, what paperwork needs to be submitted, and what experts need to be hired, which is why at M&K Renovations, we handle all the permits for our clients. 

Permits in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties

Projects that will change the structure or function of a room, that involve adding buildings, that may affect neighboring houses, or that could create hazardous working conditions are the types of projects that require permits. While each municipality has slightly different rules, for the most part, the following types of work need permits:

  • Construction of a new building (including a shed) or demolition of an existing structure
  • Enlarging or adding to an existing structure
  • Changing the interior or exterior of an existing structure
  • Changing the function of a room or structure (basement, garage)
  • Changing the occupancy classification of a building
  • Major repairs that are not part of regular maintenance
  • Anything that involves 5,000 sq ft. or more of earth displacement
  • Adding a pool, patio, or deck
  • In some circumstances, repaving or changing a driveway, walkways, etc.
  • Electrical or plumbing work other than basic maintenance
  • Fireplace inserts or additions, wood stoves or chimneys
  • Changing the size, structure, or number of windows or doors
  • Replacement of roof joists, trusses, or plywood


Projects that fall into this category would include a basement renovation; bathroom remodel or renovation that includes plumbing or structure changes; adding an in-law suite; new deck or patio; taking down or adding walls in the home; adding windows or enlarging the front door area; turning the garage into living space, and enclosing an existing patio.

 Projects that may not need permits

Generally, regular maintenance and décor do not need permits. Projects that might fall into this category include:

  • Repairing or replacing roofing
  • Repairing or replacing siding or painting the exterior of the house
  • Upgrading cabinets and countertops in the kitchen
  •  Installing new flooring
  • Painting or wallpapering rooms
  • Erecting a low fence (municipalities have different rules about distance from the property line)
  • Resurfacing the driveway without making any modifications
  • Repairing plumbing or electric
  • Getting new appliances (there are some exceptions)
  • Replacing windows or doors without changing structure


Permit requirements

Depending on the type of project, you may be required to submit special forms, blueprints, and the names of all contractors before the permit will be issued. Incorrect or missing paperwork will delay the permit, or may cause it to be denied. This is more likely to occur when a homeowner or an inexperienced contractor submits the application. Since we have been doing this kind of work for decades, we know what each municipality requires for each type of project. We also know what projects don’t need permits, which saves our clients money and time.

If you have a dream renovation, home upgrade, or major repair that needs to be done and you’re looking for a trusted contractor to help you through the process, contact us today at (610) 353-2895. We’re committed to helping our clients from start to finish, and every step in between.