What happens if you build without a permit?
So you want to renovate your house, figure you wouldn't cause too much trouble in the neighborhood so why bother getting a permit? No harm, no foul right? Wrong.
In Washington, D.C., building without a permit can cause costly fines and penalties of $2000 or more per infraction, which could quickly add up.
When are you allowed to build in the District of Columbia?
Monday - Saturday
7:00AM - 7:00PM
* You may apply for an after hours permit to work beyond these hours *
What types of work require a building permit in Washington, D.C.?
Construction of retaining walls, decks, fences, sheds, garages, and vaults
Erection of signs and awnings
What types of work DO NOT require a building permit?
Caulking, patching, and plaster repair
Installation of cabinets and architectural millwork
Installation of window screens and storm windows
Repair of existing fences with like materials
Retaining walls, 4 feet (1219 mm) or less in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, for one and two family dwellings only
Construction of garden storage sheds complying with DC Code Section 107.3.3
Painting, but not painting with fire-retardant paint
non-rated windows and doors
roofing and coping
gutters and downspouts
private sidewalks and driveways
non-rated suspended ceiling tile
up to 160 square feet (14.9 cubic meters) of gypsum board
up to 50 linear feet (15.24 meters) of sanitary venting piping
up to 10 linear feet (3.05 meters) of sanitary drainage system piping
up to 20 linear feet (6.1 meters) of sanitary venting piping
up to 50 linear feet (15.24 meters) of hydraulic system piping
up to 10 linear feet (3.05 meters) of duct work, in non-hazardous and commercial kitchen exhaust systems
* Does not apply to Historic Districts*
Per The Department of Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
Report Illegal Construction Activity conducted in the District of Columbia
"Any construction in the District of Columbia done without required building permits is illegal construction. Illegal construction is a public danger: it can hurt people and property.
If you see illegal construction activity in the District of Columbia please report it by either calling 311, visiting the 311.dc.gov, using the mobile app (DC311), using the online live chat feature during standard business hours, texting DC311, or tweeting to @311dcgov.
Please give the address and describe the illegal construction. DCRA will schedule an inspection to investigate."
source: DCRA (https://bit.ly/3f8RbCb)
CITY PERMIT | PERMIT EXPEDITING | WASHINGTON, D.C.