Why Do I Need a Building Permit?

Did you know that building codes are one of the earliest forms of recorded policies of civilized societies? The first known build-
ing code was established in 1772 BC, the building code of King Hammurabi, and it was carved on black stone eight feet high. 
The present-day building codes may be easier to access, but the purpose remains the same - to keep the inhabitants safe. 

Most aspects of building construction - structural stability, electrical power distribution systems, sanitary plumbing systems, heating and cooling systems - represent potential hazards to the building occupants and users. While building codes cannot completely eliminate risk, compliance with building permit requirements and construction regulations result in reducing risk to an acceptable level. 

The protection that results from building codes begins with the location of the building on the lot. The closer a building is con-structed to the property line, the greater the hazard to adjacent buildings in the event of a fire. Snow, wind, and earthquakes are all risks associated with building codes that are easily understood. 

One of the most easily overlooked hazards is flooding. Today floodplain mapping has increased in accuracy by the develop-ment of digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMS). This leap in accuracy has provided local Floodplain Managers with accu-rate high resolution mapping tools that can be accurately scaled and overlaid on the city's GIS imaging to provide highly detailed images. Floodplain insurance is not required if your home is not located in the floodplain. There are 4,425 acres of the regulator floodplain in our community. 

To find out if you are within a floodplain, floodway, an area where there are problems not shown on FIRMs, for flood depth data,  and/or to request a site visit, contact Joseph Moore, Floodplain Manager at jmoore@marylandheights.com or (314) 738-2243
If you are planning any home improvements and would like more information on what permits would be needed, please visit:  www.marylandheights.com/homeimprovements for a collection of our project guides.