The better question might be, “What work doesn’t require a permit?” Work not requiring permits are things like painting, cupboards, countertops, floor coverings, most appliance installation (installation of gas appliances does require a permit to connect to the gas piping), or generally, things considered to be finish work. Click here for a comprehensive list of work that does not require a permit.
In general, any plumbing work that alters the water supply, including replacement or installation of fixtures (sinks, showers, tubs, etc), water heaters, backflow preventers, or gas piping, requires a permit. Reconnection of a dishwasher, icemaker, faucet, or toilet does not require a permit as long as the existing water supply is not altered.
Replacing light fixtures, light switches, or outlets like for like does not require a permit. Installing new light fixtures, switches, outlets, circuits, etc. does require a permit. A good rule of thumb is if wire is being cut into, new wire being added to the system, or you’re removing the cover to your service panel, you will need a permit.
For building work, alterations impacting more than half a sheet of drywall require a building permit. Window and door replacement, roofing, siding, framing walls, insulation and vapor barrier installation, structural alterations, foundation repair, decks, porches, etc., all require permits.
These are some of the most common maintenance items requiring permits. It’s not intended to be all-inclusive. Call with any questions!