It's the law: What extent of remodeling requires a building permit?

It's the law: What extent of remodeling requires a building permit?

Q: I own an old commercial building and have finally found a potential renter. This will necessitate remodeling to meet the renter’s needs. When I applied for my building permit, I was told I have to comply with all sorts of new building code requirements that will probably make it impossible to economically justify the remodeling. What extent of remodeling triggers the requirement that new building codes be followed? A: This is one of those questions to which there is no one, simple, bright-line answer. Generally, a presumption exists that current building code compliance is required any time a building permit is necessary. So, perhaps the more fundamental question is: what extent of remodeling requires a building permit? Building codes are designed to ensure that safe structures are built to protect individuals from physical injuries and often to conserve energy as well. When determining the necessity of a building permit, Idaho law requires that a permit be obtained before making any structural changes to a building. Common structural changes typically include removing/altering load-bearing walls; cutting new windows; building additions; working on electrical, plumbing, or HVAC; etc. On the other hand, any non-structural alterations, which may include painting, tiling, carpeting, removing/adding certain interior walls, etc., may be completed without a permit. Moreover, even in situations where a building permit is required, the permit cannot compel compliance with current building codes in areas of the building that remain unaffected by the renovation. This is the case in every area with the exception of accessibility ...
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