To comply with most local building codes, in many instances, you need a building permit for home remodeling projects. Local building departments require a building permit to change load-bearing walls or install plumbing or wiring. Some building departments require permits for other types of updates as well. However, most building departments don’t require building permits for minor home remodeling projects such as painting and replacing carpeting. If a building department or other local authority discovers you didn’t pull a permit for a home remodeling project when it was required, you may face penalties—or worse. Depending on local ordinances, a buyer may be able to back out of a home purchase contract, the updates may need to be removed, homeowners insurance may not cover damages caused by unpermitted work, the homeowners could face fines, and more. Learn more about why a permit should be obtained before starting a home remodeling project.