Do I need a permit for a roof replacement or roof repairs?

Roof Owner's Checklist | June 25, 2021


Permits were created to ensure building codes for installation, waste, and safety are followed. This protects you, your home, the workers, and any passersby!

Most larger home projects require a permit! Because there are standards in place for construction plans, it’s especially important that you follow the permit guidelines.

More specifically, many townships in Pennsylvania do not require a permit unless there is structural work being done with the roof replacement. Roof sheathing is considered structural, so if your plan is to replace the sheathing along with the other roofing materials, then a permit is most likely required.

joyland roofing roofer installing ISO board to a flat roof with the caption "Should I get a building permit for roof work?"

Where do I go to find out if I need a permit?

You can call or visit the city clerk or the township zoning office. Many cities have made the permit application process digital, so you won’t even have to leave your home! As you apply, make sure to be specific about the work intended. Replacing an entire roof of shingles and changing the structure of the home rather than just reroofing which is different than repairing a few pipe boots.

The jurisdiction of your property’s location matters if you are required to get a permit or not depending on the size of the project. The quickest way to know if you need a permit in your city is to use a search engine and ask “Do I need a permit for roof replacement X city, X state.” For PA, we recommend searching “X township/borough, X state” because permitting requirements are decided by the township. You can search the same phrase but for roof repairs!

What kind of permit would I need to get?

Information needed to apply for permit

In order to complete your application, you’ll need to know the contractor’s name and license number, project address and the owners name, project cost, type of roof material being removed and installed. They will ask if there is any structural work required for the project, too.

How much do permits cost?

Some permits are a flat fee and others charge based on the cost of the project per $1000. The borough you’re in determines the cost of your permit. In Pennsylvania, We typically see a range of $50-$150 for roof replacement on a single-family home. There is a flat state fee of $4.50 added into your total fees. Below is an example permit for a roof replacement in Downingtown, PA.

construction permit for west bradford township in downingtown pa

 

Is this price included in the roofing quote?

Unless it’s specifically stated that the permit is included, generally it’s not a part of the roofing estimate. Ask your selected roofing contractor if it is – if it’s not then you can ask what extra cost to budget in for the permit.

How long does it take to get a permit?

It takes about 1 week to get a permit approved. This is assuming that you have all the required information to complete the paperwork at the beginning of the application process.

Do I need to do anything after I am approved for the permit?

Some cities/townships require different types of inspections during the reroof process. They might include:

  • Uncovered substrate inspection
    • This is to ensure the old roof was removed
  • Final Inspection

Should my permit be displayed while the work is being done?

It’s best practice to display your permit where it is visible from the street. This way, anyone driving near the property can quickly see that you’re following building codes and standards.

What if I don’t get a building permit when I am supposed to?

If a township or city employee asks for you to show your permit and you don’t have one, the job can be shut down. The crew will have to stop working until you can get a working permit.

Performing the work without a permit is a building code violation which could void warranties! Requiring permits is for your protection and safety.

Have questions about getting a roof replacement permit?

Give Joyland Roofing a buzz! Located in Lancaster County, PA, we understand your frustrations working with inexperienced, unprofessional roofers. Talk with one of our roofing experts today!