Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bellevue cracks down on do-it-yourselfers

Building permits required for most home improvements

Express Staff Writer

Do-it-your-self home renovators in Bellevue had better follow the rules. If their improvements are substantial enough, they will need building permits.

If they don't have a permit, the project will be shut down.

"With the recession we are seeing more and more do-it-yourselfers," said Planning Director Craig Eckles. "I've had to red flag several that should have had building permits."

Bellevue requires building permits for re-roofing, siding, installation of windows, decking, construction of storage sheds over 200 square feet in size, fences over 6 feet high and interior remodels.

Eckles said a common oversight is expansion of a building into the minimum required setbacks or non-buildable areas, or across a property line.

In a letter sent to residents in utility bills this month, Eckles warned those seeking to remodel that they should first obtain a building permit from the Planning and Zoning Department.

"Without one, your lending institution and insurance company may not be able to fund, re-finance or insure your investment," the letter states.

Tony Evans:

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