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Electrical Tip of the Day – When do I need a permit?

There is always a lot of confusion regarding build permits in the Greater Lafayette area.  I was recently told by one of our clients that it sure would be nice to know how all this “permit business” actually applies.  Ask and you shall receive!

From the City of Lafayette web site:  “Building permits must be issued before any permanent structure is built, modified, or remodeled within the city limits. Any proposed work within the street right-of-way requires a permit. Permits are also required for large sheds and both above and in-ground swimming pools. Site plans are reviewed for conformance to city standards for parking lots, utility connections, street access, and landscaping. The Engineering Department also reviews all subdivision plans and inspects all infrastructure”.

Now, making that more specific to the electrical world.  We are typically required to pull an electrical permit and have an inspection as follows:

1) Whenever the electric service must be disconnected to do the work

2) Whenever the electrical meter must be pulled to do the work

3) When making alterations to service entrance equipment, typically including repairs

4) When performing total building remodels

5) When making changes of structural nature or “re-purposing ” of any occupancy

6) When more that 100′ of new wall is constructed or the construction process is structural in nature

7) New construction projects / new buildings / new build-outs (which can also require a State permit as well as a local one)

If in doubt it is always best to ask the powers that be. In Grater Lafayette that could be the City of Lafayette Engineers Office, The City of West Lafayette Engineers Office, or the Tippecanoe Building Commission if your in the county.  In the surrounding Counties permits are handled in a variety of different ways (and in some locations not at all – how is that for crazy).  Again, if you are not sure the best thing to do is contact the City or County offices in your area and ask!

So WHO can pull a permit you ask?  It can work out a couple of ways… A homeowner or property owner can usually pull a permit for any project they own.  In the case of a contractor, the company doing the work must have current bonds in place and current licensing in file (if required) with the municipality or county issuing the permit in order to be able to make application.   As we have said before, do your home work and make sure the folks you are doing business are insured and bonded!

So go build something already!

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