Building Permits and Sunrooms – What you want to know

The exact rules will vary from state to state, but we are unaware of any area that will allow a sunroom (or other addition to your home) without a building permit. Thankfully the whole process is fairly straightforward and many counties/states will have a helpline that can help you with the process if you are a homeowner doing a DIY project. If you’ve hired a construction professional, they should handle this entire process for you.

How much does a building permit for a sunroom cost?

his is going to vary depending on where you live. In California, we would budget around $500 for the permit whereas in West Virginia the same permit would cost around $150. My suggestion is to do a google search for “Building Permit {state name}” where you put the state you live in within the brackets.

The purpose of building permits is to keep the homes safe. Because so many homeowners file for permits, they’ve made their interface straightforward and helpful. Additionally, many states will have phone support where you can get help to complete the appropriate forms.

Depending on your area, it could be as simple as a one-day turnaround. We’ve heard some extreme cases where the building permit got hung up by more than 60 days. In most cases, the permit turnaround time should be less than or around the 30-day mark.

Do building permits expire for sunrooms?

In many areas, building permits do expire. In our home state of Arizona, building permits will expire after two years. (source)

Your area may differ and the expiration shouldn’t come into play for most small additions like a sunroom. That being said, just remember the clock is ticking so you do want to ensure that you complete the project and get it fully approved prior to the permit’s expiration.

Do building sunroom kits require a building permit?

There is no difference between a stick-built/custom sunroom and one that comes as part of a kit when it comes to building permits. They both will need to get proper licensing and permits.

Kits do offer an advantage because the manufacturer may have documentation to help you know how to complete the permits for your area. You also have the option to contact them for information on the kit whereas this isn’t possible if you are creating it from scratch with the raw materials.

At what size, does a sunroom addition require a permit?

While we can’t answer every possible location, typically an addition to your home of any size will require a building permit. This means there isn’t one that is small enough to get you out of the need for the review and inspection process.

What happens if I bypass the permit process and just add a sunroom?

This is a terrible idea. The unauthorized addition can make the home harder to sell. It can impact getting financing for the home. Some insurance companies have refused to pay claims for damage or fire after an unpermitted change. There may also be some personal liability if someone gets hurt in the home.

Building permits are there to ensure that homes are safe both for residents and visitors. Even if you’re a professional builder or expert DIYer, you should not skip the process. It’s a legal requirement for a reason, and as such there are some seriously negative repercussions for taking shortcuts.

Wrapping up

So that’s it for our guide to building permits for sunrooms. I hope we’ve answered all your questions. If not, I’d love to hear from you via our contact form. As a disclaimer though, remember we are not construction professionals or general contractors. We are just average homeowners who enjoy DIY projects. This post is about sharing my experience over the years as a helpful neighbor rather than as providing specific technical advice.

The sunroom is a beautiful addition to any home. We’ve compiled all the best tips, tricks, and FAQs to help you make an informed decision on how to add one of these rooms onto your house. Whether you want something low-maintenance or need some guidance in choosing the right materials, we have it covered for you! So what are you waiting for? Head over to our complete guide to sunrooms now and get started with this great guide that will equip you with every bit of information necessary when designing your own sunroom today.

Last Updated:October 31, 2022