Do I need a permit for that work?

It's the time of year for remodeling, and a lot of these projects involve electrical upgrades and installations.

Anytime you're dealing with electricity, there's the potential for shock, electrocution or a fire. That's why a permit is required for any significant electrical work.

"Simple installations such replacing an outlet, switch or light in a home, if you're the homeowner, does not require a permit," explained Larry Vance with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

You do need a permit for all circuit wiring and panel boards, hot tubs and spas, heating and air condition systems, as well as the wiring of thermostats, burglar and fire alarms.

Vance says there's an important reason to get that permit - aside from the possible fine for breaking the law.

"Without an electrical permit, you won't have an inspection and without an inspection there won't be another set of eyes that look over the installation to make sure it's safe," he said.

Remember, if that work requires a permit and you didn't get one - and that work causes a fire - your insurance claim could very well be denied.

More Info:

Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries: Electrical Work on Residential Properties