Do it yourself,….. Or not.

A new letter was provided for the Energy Rebate program this month, and was forwarded to us by our friendly competition and local chapter president of ASHI, The American Society of Home Inspectors.

It has come to light that there is a greater requirement for permitting when performing work and maintenance to your home (within the municipality) than has been commonly known. The need for a permit has always been there, when building new or performing structural repairs or renovations, but the scope of additional work may not have been. The Anchorage Municipal code requirement ( for permitting can be accessed through this link:

This requirement pertains to all work performed by a home owner or contractor working on the homeowners behalf.

A home owner is entitled to perform much of the work, but is also required to act as the contractor and make sure any and all permits that may be required are obtained from the Municipality should you employ others to perform the work. That policy (AG.07) is accessible at the following link:

This clearly details what is required of the homeowner for the various ways to manage your construction or renovation project, and where any permitting is required. This applies to not only the Municipality of Anchorage, but State of Alaska and possibly federal requirements as well.

The requirements go so far as when a fuel fired appliance (water heater, boiler, furnace or fireplace) is installed or replaced, as well as any bath or kitchen ducting that is replaced or upgraded. If windows are replaced and the opening is enlarged, a permit is required, any electrical changes or the replacement of the roof.

The part that really caught my eye was in the clarifications and liability portions of policy AG.07, in that as the homeowner we are liable for any inaction in not obtaining permits as well as any faulty workmanship resulting in loss. This also appears to be an open-ended liability, if it can be proven, with any subsequent owner of the property.

Many portions of the Municipality of Anchorage are not served by the Building safety department. Areas such as Eagle River, Chugiak, Eklutna, Girdwood, Bear Valley and Stuckagain Heights, are all within the Municipality but fall outside of their inspection preview. Those areas are generally served by independent code compliance inspectors such as yours truly.

All the best and we will keep looking out for you.