The City of Berea Building Department issues permits and conducts inspections for residential and commercial building, electrical, plumbing and HVAC work. Most work does require a permit before the work may begin. However, some work such as painting, carpeting, molding, and similar cosmetic work, does not require a permit. It is generally best to contact the Building Department before work begins to determine whether you need a permit.
In order to obtain a permit, you will need to complete an application. Application forms are available for download at the bottom of this page.
In emergency circumstances work can begin before a permit is obtained, but in such instances, a permit must be obtained on the first business following the emergency.
All permits require inspections and some permits require more than one inspection. Please inquire with the Building Department to determine what inspections are needed.
Inspections must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. When scheduling an inspection, you must have your permit number.
For more information, see the Frequently Asked Question (F.A.Q.) section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tips on Hiring Contractors
Frequently, the Building Department is requested to assist property owners in the resolution of problems involving construction or improvement projects. Often, issues arise well into or at the completion of the project.
Most disputes can be avoided if proper precautions are taken from the start. Before entering into a contract for construction, repairs, additions, or improvements to your property, please consider the following:
- Obtain at least three written proposals.
- Obtain a list of references from the contractor and investigate them.
- Inquire how long the contractor has been in business.
- Inquire as to who will be assigned as the project supervisor for the job.
- Inquire about the timeframe for starting the job and how long the job will take to complete.
- Inquire whether the contractor will be using employees or subcontractors.
- Inquire whether the contractor carries worker’s compensation.
- Compare proposals to ensure each contractor has proposed the same work and that the scope of the work is clearly stated.
- Inquire with the Better Business Bureau and Ohio Attorney General's Office regarding all contractors considered.
- Confirm that all contractors considered are currently registered with the City of Berea.
- Require that the contractor obtain and provide copies to you of all necessary permits and approvals prior to beginning any work on your project.
- If the contractor requires a deposit, it should be modest; beware of large down payments.
- Never make final payment unless you are fully satisfied with the work and have confirmed that all final inspections have been made. Also, require confirmation that the contractor has completely paid all subcontractors and material suppliers associated with the project.
- Beware of out-of-state home improvement contractors.
- Beware of contractors working outside of their normal field of expertise. For example, it may not be wise to hire ABC Painting to install your new driveway.
- Consult legal counsel immediately if you have any contractual questions or concerns.