top view of roof replacement after homeowner acquires permit

Do You Need A Permit For Replacing Your Roof?

Roof replacement is already an expensive proposition. Finding a licensed roofing contractor, gathering the roofing materials, and attempting to save money through the process can be daunting.

However, there is an additional part of the roof replacement process in many states and local jurisdictions that is another of the many right tools necessary for the job: a building permit.

Minor repairs and other types of roof repair may not be permit worthy, but a roof replacement is a different animal. So, do you need a permit for roof replacement? Let’s dig in.

What to Know About a Building Permit for Roof Replacement

older woman researches how to get permit for roof replacement

Replacing your roof is a sizable job; you must get the correct permits to ensure the job is done correctly according to regulations. Appropriate permits may be required for roof replacement in most areas.

It is vital to apply for any building permits before you start any work on your new roof. The permit will ensure that the work is done according to code and that the roof is safe and secure.

So, what are your first steps if you want to replace your roof and need a permit?

Call a Roofing Contractor

First, you must know if your existing roof needs repair or replacement. Luckily, there are plenty of contractors who specialize in working on a roofing project.

As a homeowner, you’ll need to know if your roof requires a replacement, and only a licensed contractor can provide that information. However, a quality general contractor can perform an inspection to let you know more.

Consultations may be free for a contractor to perform, but an inspection will typically cost you a few hundred dollars as a general rule of thumb.

Call Your Homeowners Insurance Company

Your homeowner’s insurance can also aid if you have significant structural damage to your roof or any other big problem.

If any damage is considered structural, you have no risk in calling for more information about your homeowner’s insurance policy. Replacing a roof is an all-hands-on-deck situation, so you’ll need to pool as many financial resources as possible — especially if the roof has an issue like water damage or missing shingles due to a storm. If you’re insured, pick up the phone.

Call Your Local Officials

If you need a new roof on your home or business, you should call your local officials to determine if you need to get a permit.

Different cities have different regulations, so it is wise to check before you begin the roof installation. Once you know what you need, it’s time to get the administrative process going.

Getting a Permit

A building permit ensures that the project meets local building codes and will be safe for everyone. The same permit ensures that your roof will be up to code and last for years.

Building Inspection

contractor performs inspection for roof replacement pending permit

Local government agencies may also send their own building inspector to gather more information and ultimately approve the roofing project. Finally, you’ll need to be clear on what is necessary to repair your home — minor repairs, major roof repair, a new roof installation, re-roofing, or structural work.

Once the work receives approval from a city or local official, you have the green light to begin the roof construction process. Make sure you have your permit available at your home at all times.

Prepare for Construction

Construction on your roof can now begin. Hire a known licensed contractor specializing in roofs to complete the job.

Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a contractor with solid credentials and quality workmanship is critical for a homeowner. Any roofer worth their reputation will have no issue providing references, primarily if they are licensed. Roofs need fine craftsmanship and a keen eye for detail — even when they install all the shingles.

The contractor will help you gather all appropriate roofing materials and even permits in some cases. Contractors will also need instructions on what to replace or install on your roof. Don’t hesitate to ask for more than you need in this case if it makes you feel better. A quality contractor can install anything roof-related.

If your roof is being replaced, installation may take several days. Be patient with your installation process.

Do I Need a Permit for Minor Repairs?

Again, check with your state or local government agencies to see if permits apply for roofing repairs. While you may not need a permit for minor roofing work, checking before any repair process begins is crucial for homeowners — especially before construction.

What Happens If I Don’t Get a Permit?

young family files for permit for roof replacement

No one likes seeing a city official pull up your street with a clipboard.

You might be subject to fines if you and your contractor decide to gamble on working on a roofing project without a permit.

Project Shutdown

Hopefully, your roofer cautioned you to work with a permit before anything was installed, like shingles or repairs on your roof deck. City officials can stop any roofing project or work on buildings if no permit exists.

City Fines

City fine costs may be more expensive than you’re willing to pay. It’s pretty simple here: only mess with the city if you want to be heavily fined or have your project shut down by a buildings inspector.

What If My Permit is Not Visible On-Site?

Here’s another potential issue during the roof replacement process. Any permit must be visible or on hand during construction.

City officials are fine driving by construction sites to see if the necessary documents are in order. Often, these documents must be posted on a board, showing that the city has signed off on the work.

Again, follow the rules to avoid being subject to fines or having the whole process shut down until there is compliance.


Permits are a way for city or government officials to enforce safety and building codes. These regulations exist to keep workers and homeowners safe — even years later. If you think you need a permit for roof replacement, call your local officials or ask your favorite contractor. Remember, knowledge is power!

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