Let’s be honest: government regulations can be burdensome, especially when it comes to improving your home.
To building permit or not to building permit?
That is the question.
The Michigan building code provides general guidance on building permits, but not all the specifics.
“A permit is not required for ordinary repairs,” Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs writes. “Ordinary repairs to structures may be made without permit, but such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exit requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs including addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.”
Sorry, I hope you are still with me. That’s government for you.
Anyways, before you start a home improvement project, you should consult the appropriate enforcing agency - whether that be the township, county, or city - to ask them whether a building permit is needed.
Do I need a building permit in Michigan for insulation?
If you are building an addition, you will need a building permit, no questions asked, and you must ensure the insulation you install is up to the current Michigan building code.
If you are remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or family room, you may need a building permit too, and must also ensure the insulation in that area of the home meets the building code when that area was originally built. During a renovation, many homeowners find it a good time to upgrade to foam insulation to take advantage of comfort and energy efficiency.
In general, most cities and townships don’t require a building permit for re-insulating your walls, attic, or crawl space.
However, as in most things, there are a few exceptions. A few municipalities do require a permit for upgrading your insulation. These are few and far between, though.
A good home insulation contractor should be aware of the cities in Michigan that require building permits for insulation, and should also apply for them on your behalf.
Therefore, before you begin the process to re-insulate your home, make sure you understand all the paperwork and potential costs that your buddies at city hall may request.
Remember: legal home improvement projects are the best home improvement projects.