Do I need a permit when remodeling?

This gorgeous kitchen remodel was entirely permitted by Washington County!

When it’s time to remodel or make improvements to your home, you may wonder whether you need a permit.

For many projects, having a permit from the city government is crucial because the changes to your home will then go on record with the city, plus it ensures inspectors will check for any red flags. If you were to rewire your home incorrectly, there could be potential for short circuiting and even electrocution!  Also when you try to sell or refinance your home, buyers and lenders want to know that your remodels comply with building codes, so you need to have proof via the permits from the city.  I'm kind of a stickler for this, so please don't try to cheat the system!  It's for your protection!

How do you determine which remodels and renovations require permits? Most contractors will know ahead of time, but it’s good for a homeowner to be aware and avoid fraud or future repairs. The general rule of thumb is that structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanical work will require a permit, but here’s more information:

Remodeling with a Permit

When speaking with a general contractor about permits, here are some projects that will always require one or more:

Fencing Installation or Repair: When you install or repair a fence, it’s important to check with your city to see if there is a height restriction. Some cities and even suburbs have certain heights that fence height can't exceed. Be sure to have a fencing contractor check these restrictions to avoid having MAJOR headaches / corrections after the fact.

Window Installations: When you install new windows that are bigger than your old windows, a permit is required to cut holes for them. This will also include cutting holes for skylights and new doors with windows, so a window professional will need to acquire those permits.

Plumbing and Electrical Work: When installing or replacing plumbing, you will most likely need a permit. The same rule applies when installing or replacing electrical wiring

  • Electrical Changes:  Whether it’s an outlet, switch, ceiling fan or overhead lighting. The cases where you won’t need a permit include smaller projects like repairs and light fixture installations.
  • Structural Changes: When you make any kind of structural changes to your home, the contractor will need to get a permit. This may include changes to the load-bearing walls, balconies, decks, porches, roofs or foundation flooring.
  • Heating Maintenance: If you replace the water heater, you heating contractor will need to get a permit. Changes to the ventilation system, gas and wood fireplaces and ducts will also require a permit. This does not include filter changes, motor lubrication or equipment cleaning.
  • Additions and Remodels: Additions, new construction, remodels, repairs, replacements, upgrades and any other additions and remodeling projects totaling $5,000 or more will require a permit. This will include detached structures like garages, sheds and platforms. Exceptions to this rule include construction that’s less than 200 square feet, as well as painting, carpeting and wallpaper.

Renovating Without a Permit

There will be some projects that won’t require a permit ahead of time, like small plumbing and electrical projects. Other projects you can do without a permit include:

  • Painting and wallpapering
  • Installing flooring like hardwood, carpeting, linoleum or vinyl tile
  • Minor electrical repairs
  • Installing new countertops
  • Installing or replacing a faucet
  • Landscaping work   

Trust in the Pros

If you aren’t certain whether or not you need a permit, you should hire a professional. A pro will have the background and experience to determine if your project is extensive enough to require an inspector to check for any red flags afterward. Professionals will usually be the ones to acquire the permit, so they also know what kind of paperwork to fill out and the type of permit to obtain. Relying on a professional will allow your project to be completed in a timely manner. 

 

Please let me know if you'd like help finding a reliable contractor, who will save you from the pitfalls of remodeling without necessary permits! I have a roster of highly capable professionals, and am happy to refer you to them – just ask!

 
 
Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
Current Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
Highlights of Portland Oregon, House Ideas
Portland Oregon Homes

by Cary Perkins

Portland Real Estate, Portland Oregon Top Producer, Windermere Top Producer, Portland Realtor, Portland Homes for Sale

 

 

 

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, house idea of the day, Portland Oregon Realtors | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Portland’s Pittock Mansion Turns 100 Years Old

 

 

One of Portland's prettiest landmarks turns 100 this year.  They started off her celebration earlier this year with free admission – so those who hadn't already been there had a free pass to the party. 

 

The fun continues on July 13th, when the city will celebrate the centennial anniversary with a 100 Candles Birthday Party, featuring free cake on the lawn, music on the terrace, and even a vintage car show in the driveway.  Bring your camera – it sounds like a picture perfect Portland day!

 

Later this summer, on August 14th, there will be another event – a benefit – with music, food & drinks. 

 

Happy Birthday, Beautiful!

 

 

 

Please see the story on Portland Monthly Magazine.  Photos courtesy of Portland Monthly Magazine.

By Nicole Cordier
 
Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
Current Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
Highlights of Portland Oregon, House Ideas
Portland Oregon Homes

by Cary Perkins

Portland Real Estate, Portland Oregon Top Producer, Windermere Top Producer, Portland Realtor, Portland Homes for Sale

 

 

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Portland Oregon, Things to do in Portland OR | Tagged , , , , , ,

Brass is Back!

I've read about it but I haven't seen much of it yet.  Until yesterday on Realtor tour when I spotted a fabulous example of the new brass that's back in style.  Don't get excited.  Your shiny brass doorknobs and faucets (and god forbid your shower door trim) has GOT to go. 
 
But if you love the idea of something new, and are tired of the rubbed bronze and polished nickel that's been all the rage for the last ten years, here's your new obsession.
 
Click through to see the rest of the house. 
 
Want to go shopping?
 
 
 
 
 
Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
Current Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
Highlights of Portland Oregon, House Ideas
Portland Oregon Homes

by Cary Perkins

Portland Real Estate, Portland Oregon Top Producer, Windermere Top Producer, Portland Realtor, Portland Homes for Sale

 

 

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Color in home decor, Decorating Ideas, House Ideas, Portland Oregon Realtor | Tagged , , , , ,

A Portland Real Estate Year in Review

 

Thank you for your business and all your referrals… what a wondeful year it was.

 

 

Portland Oregon Real Estate Information, House Ideas, Portland Oregon Highlights.
Caryperkins.com…  A Windermere Top Producer….Fun With Real Estate

by Cary Perkins

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Moving to Portland, Portland Oregon, Portland Oregon Real Estate, Portland Oregon Realtor | Tagged , , ,

What to do with Fido?

 

 

Sometimes there is no perfect solution to providing access to the outdoors for your little furry friend.  Leaving them home alone all day while you're at work can lead to accidents.  Doggy day care can be expensive if you need to use it every day.  But some properties just don't have perfect access – a door that leads to a fenced yard, or a spot for a doggy door that is concealed from view in your everyday spaces.

 

 

This homeowner turned an ordinary closet into a warm spot for their dog to be indoors, while giving it access to the outside as well.    You can leave the door ajar when you're home, and close it when you're away.   I love that this closes it off from view and everybody is happy. 

 

 

photo courtesy of Houzz.  Designed and built by Aloha Home Builders.

 

Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
House Ideas,
Portland Oregon Highlights.
Caryperkins.com
 

 

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Portland Oregon Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Are you bold enough for a black exterior?

 

 
 
 
Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
House Ideas,
Portland Oregon Highlights.
Caryperkins.com
Browse Bedroom Products on Houzz- For Example:

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, Front door, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Portland Oregon Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

A Spot of Color on this Rainy Day

When it’s this gloomy out, I need something sunny and bright to help me make it through ’til Spring.

 

Here are a few bright and sunshiny house photos that I’ve collected.  Any of these things would make me happy on a day like today.

 

Yellow Adirondack chairs

 

 

An amazing red rug and chairs on my porch

 

This bright orange lacquer planter with purple orchids

 

 

Funky kitchen tiles

 

 

Simply adorable pillows, especially when placed on a bright settee bench

 

 

Hurry, spring!

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, house idea of the day, House Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Furnish your First Place

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So you’ve finally moved into your first place that you care about as an adult, and you want to really put the time and effort into making it a home, but then you start adding up the costs of doing so…

We have all been there, and although you may not have the cash roll to go on a shopping spree at all your favorite furniture stores to make your dream home just yet (and, really, when is that ever the case?), with some patience, research, and shopping in unconventional ways you can turn your first adult apartment into a breathless beauty on a budget.

 

Shop at Home: The first stop is your parents’ home. Start hunting around the house for your favorite items or things that have been tucked in the garage for years. See what they are willing to give up. Don’t just stop there — hit up immediate family and friends as well and send out an email asking if anyone has or knows of items that you need or they are getting rid of. Have them over for a nice home cooked meal to say thanks.

Favorite Family Furniture and Heirlooms
In the Family: The Value of Antique & Heirloom Furniture
Antique Shopping at Mom’s House

Garage, Estate Sales and Auctions: This is another place to score some one of a kind treasures for next to nothing. Check local listings or drive around town on the weekends and follow the signs.

All About Estate Sales: A Crash Course & Tips for Newbies
What You Need To Know: Furniture Shopping at Estate Sales
What You Need to Know: Furniture Shopping at Auctions

TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods: All of these stores have some great finds at incredibly marked down prices and often get overlooked but they shouldn’t.
They are good places to get towels and odd accessories, etc.

Ikea: Ikea has helped out many a home with keeping a modern style at good prices. If you don’t have a brick and mortar store in your area you can always shop with them online.

5 Places To Shop For IKEA When There Isn’t One Around

Thrift and Consignment: Score some great finds or bring things home that you can re-make to fit your space and style. Great way to get kitchenware, vases, rugs, and appliances, as well as furniture.

Readers’ Favorite Vintage, Thrift, & Secondhand Shops

Craigslist, Freecycle and Ebay: Look at free sections first and see what people just need to get rid of asap. Keep your DIY eye open for the stuff you might at first pass over and try to see what potential is there. If you can be patient and not rush to fill the space, you can furnish your apartment with the most incredible finds.

Apartment Therapy Scavenger

Just remember it’s really all about your style, choices, and imagination, not about how much it costs. And lucky for you the Apartment Therapy archives are always here to help you tackle those design dilemmas and give you some inspiration along the way.

(This post is dedicated to Alex, Jackie, Jessica, Andy, Leslie, Whit, Shane, and all the other young buyers in my recent past…. you’re amazing for starting so young!)

source:  apartmenttherapy.com thanks!

and source:  Shelby’s Sophisticated Studio for more photos and information

 

 

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Moving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cost -vs- Value on Home Remodeling

Get started on those home repairs, knowing what type of return they’ll have when selling your house.

From a minor kitchen remodel & cabinet re-facing -vs- major kitchen with new cabinets, and from attics to basements, this report is a useful guide explaining what you can expect to recoup during your home sale.  If spiffing up your house will help you to enjoy it while you’re living there AND you get a 91.5% return on your expense, why not call the contractor?

Also included is a link to the 2011-2012 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.  This has national numbers and also drilled-down data for Portland here.

As always, if you have specific questions on what you might do to improve your home for sale, I’d love to come over and take a look around.  And for fun do-it-yourself projects, visit my Pinterest page for my collection of fabulous projects.  Please check back frequently – I add new content weekly.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, Front door, Gardens and Landscape, house idea of the day, House Ideas, kitchen ideas, Moving, Moving to Portland, Portland Oregon, Portland Real Estate Data, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Garden & landscape news from one of Portland’s finest. What’s new in the garden world?

I had the pleasure of hearing Lucy Hardiman speak last week at our Windermere Premiere Forum. She’s a highly-regarded garden designer, who gave us a great presentation of “before and after” slides of local gardens. She packed a lot of tips and ideas into the talk, and I came away motivated to get into my own garden, but also tucked away a few suggestions for you!

Her first tip was to plant your rows of low plants on a diagonal to create the effect of a larger space. So if you have a garden that runs right up to the curb, plant those rows of grasses or other low plants in clear diagonal rows to make the space appear larger. Her example also showed a large gate-like structure right at the curb, and a sidewalk that was offset from the front door, with 90 degree angles to create a sense of space instead of using a straight path. If your house sits close to the street, call me and I’ll talk you through this one!

Next she mentioned a couple of trends in landscaping that you might consider. In Oregon, we love to have a place to read our book outside, even if it’s raining. Top on her list was a simple overhead structure that allows you to be outside, even in the winter. A covered deck or patio, or a more elaborate structure should be considered when you’re doing your landscape overhaul.  This gives you another room to delight buyers with when you sell your house!  And it’s a room you and your family will really enjoy.

Less emphasis is placed on full-blown outdoor kitchens than in the past. Some people are getting rid of their lawns entirely and creating spaces that can be maintained without chemicals. She suggests you think hard about your choices before digging in.

Another idea that she loves is to connect your garden to your neighbor’s. Obviously this involves a good relationship and fair gardening practices! But without a fence, one continuous, lovely landscape will make your yard look bigger and feel much more dreamy.

Think outside the zone. In other words, look to California and other climates and see what you can do with their plants there. Obviously, palm trees DO grow in Oregon – what else can you plant that’s a bid different? She calls it zonal denial! I love it, and I’m jonesing for a palm tree in my front yard.

Another idea is to plant a garden that is strictly green – all the plants are evergreen, and the only color is in bulb plants that grow from spring through fall. Lots of sword ferns, and painted boulders create a very dramatic, contemporary look. In addition, try some concrete finishes and concrete textures in your garden paths, benches, and walls.

Group your pots in threes. Be sure to plant all three pots with the same plants for maximum pop. The pots can be different sizes of the same style, but the plants should be the same. Then move them around for different effects.

Outdoor rugs are huge right now, as are outdoor chandeliers. Hanging a chandelier in your covered area will make it cozy and fun!

Create mystery by leaving a little bit of a view into your front yard. If it’s fully fenced, you’ll miss the opportunity to create an entry to draw you into the space and you’ll lose your chance to welcome visitors into the garden.

Don’t forget to create paths that have 90 degree angles to enlarge the space, as you wind through the yard around the side of the house or on a narrow path. Multiplication by division! Breaking up a space into smaller spaces actually makes it feel bigger. Zigging and zagging give you the feeling of width. Try large sweeps of forest grass to fill your large planters or open areas.

Before  After

 

Try square blocks of cement with grass or gravel in between. (She mentioned hydra-pressed pavers)

Water features are falling out of vogue – one of the negatives is that they attract critters, especially destructive raccoons. Try a small bubbling pot, or a reflecting pool.

For vegetable gardens, don’t be afraid to use the front yard and even the median strip. 3/16″ x 8″ structural steel borders will last a lifetime. Flat bar steel is a great new border and terrace edging and while it’s more expensive, it outlasts wood slats by a mile, and it looks cool! Core-ten steel is being used a lot now – it’s more hip than the rusty steel that has a farmyard look.

We are seeing corrugated metal fencing, cool outdoor lawn accessories imported from Europe, and lots of fun, bright colors like red and orange. Outbuildings and sheds are artistic and fabulous, or can be made to match your house.

For separation from your neighbor, or to shield an unsightly view, try arbor vitae, or Italian cypress. Large groups of similar trees together sometimes promotes disease and insects, so try to mix it up! A tapestry hedge is the most beautiful way to solve these problems.

Short hedges, called baffle hedges, are a wonderful way to create definition in your yard. Try one between the vegetable garden and the grassy area.

And for more on Lucy, see lucyflora.com.

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 1:42 am
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Gardens and Landscape, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Moving to Portland, Portland Oregon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,