Pro’s Guide: Do You Need a Permit for a Roof Replacement?

Do you need a permit for a roof replacement? Well, it depends on the type of roofing job. Permits are usually required when roofing is considered structural.

If your roof has sustained damage or wear and tear over the years, you might be thinking of having the roof replaced. Whether you plan to do the task on your own or with the help of a professional, you might be curious to know whether you need a permit for roof replacement.

This post will take you through everything you need to know about permits and roof replacements.

What Is a Roof Permit?

A roofing permit refers to a document that allows contractors to reroof a home or a commercial property in line with the local laws and regulations. You need a roofing permit to ensure the new roof meets the local codes that apply to roof replacements.

Before you apply for a roof permit, it’s important to note that not all roof replacements require permits. Here’s a quick look at the different roofing jobs that may require a permit.

Roof Replacements That Require a Permit

Permits may be required to renovate your roof, depending on the task. Your local jurisdictions may have an impact on your roofing renovations. Some local laws may exempt permit requirements for minor repairs. Usually, this applies where the area to be repaired is less than 200 square feet. Keep in mind that the requirements differ from one location to another.

If you’re doing roof replacement for a small section, the building department considers such tasks as minor maintenance. Maybe you’re fixing a leaking roof or one with damaged tiles or missing shingles. In this case, you may not require a permit.

Structural Damage

do you need a permit for a roof replacement dealing with structural damage

Are there any structural damages? A roof replacement permit will be required if there are any structural damages from harsh weather conditions, such as a large snow load, a fallen tree, or a wind storm.

The building department perceives structural damages as more serious. Plans should be put in place, and engineering reviews to ensure the structure is repaired accordingly.

Long Term Leaking Roofs

OSB Roof Sheathing or plywood roofs can experience wear and tear when exposed to moisture for a prolonged period. Roof trusses are also likely to be damaged in the event of long-term leakages. Roofing frames may have to be replaced if the wood rots over time. The severity of damage from long-term leaks may demand that you have a permit to fix these problems.

High Fire Risk Areas

Homes constructed in areas prone to natural fires require a roof replacement permit to ensure that repairs and renovations conform to local codes. For instance, wildfire areas demand that roofs must have high fire ratings. Moreover, roofing in such areas calls for a unique installation. As a result, building departments will require permits for roof replacements.

High Wind Areas

Like high fire risk areas, high wind areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes will require roof replacement permits. Repairs or any major roof renovations must meet the local roofing codes.


You may require a roofing permit when you’re reroofing your home or business premises due to several concerns. The weight of the new roof must be evaluated to determine whether it suits the building’s frame. For instance, replacing a wood shingles roof with a concrete tile roof may be too heavy for your home. In such cases, a structural failure is more likely.

Similarly, if the reroofing is done on top of the old roof, this may also be heavy for the frame. Plus, the new roof might not be compatible with the installed roof. All these concerns will require a roof replacement permit to ensure they are addressed.

How to Get a Roofing Permit

If your roofing project requires a permit, here’s what you need to do to get one:

Step 1

You or your contractor should contact the local building department and provide details about the roofing project.

Step 2

An inspector from city hall will then visit the site to review the proposed roof replacement plans to ensure they meet the local set codes.

In case of any issues with the roof replacement plans, the contractor must fix these issues before a permit is issued. You must keep tabs on any updates or changes to ensure no delays.

Step 3

A permit will be issued if the plans are in accordance with local building codes.

Advantages of Getting a Roofing Permit

do you need a permit for a roof replacement benefits of permits

Now that you know the answer to “do you need a permit for a roof replacement”, let’s look at why you should get a permit. There are plenty of reasons why getting a roofing permit is essential. For starters, it’s a vital step that ensures any renovations on your home meet the local building requirements. Besides keeping you safe, a permit prevents you from being liable for any unforeseen accidents.

Getting a permit also gives you the peace of mind that you’re working with reputable and experienced contractors in the industry. Working with a professional contractor for roofing repairs or renovations is very important. This guarantees that repairs are done correctly, which helps to save you from extra costs to fix errors or maintain a poorly reroofed property.

What’s more, getting a roof building permit adds more value to your property if you sell your home in the future. A new roof will give your home a refreshed look, thereby attracting a higher market price.

Some buyers will want proof that the roof repairs were done lawfully. If you don’t have the proper documentation, this might lead to potential issues with the house sale. So, besides the aesthetic value of replacing your roof, a roofing permit is an integral aspect that will affect the value of your home.

Final Thoughts

Do you need a permit for a roof replacement? You need one if you’ll be reroofing your home or fixing significant issues with your existing roof. Working with a licensed roofing contractor can help you make an intelligent decision about getting your permit and completing the project successfully.

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