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author RocketCert Staff
date 03.25.2021

In light of the widespread damage caused by the recent freeze in Texas, thousands of homeowners are seeking out contractors to perform emergency repairs. The primary damage caused by this storm came in the form of frozen pipes. Burst pipes can be especially damaging to your home and require prompt repair.

Despite this need for an urgent response, many home repairs still require a permit. The purpose of obtaining a permit is to allow city officials to inspect the work. This ensures that the repairs were completed in a safe and proper manner.

Without having work inspected, you run the risk of getting swindled out of thousands of dollars. Worse still, improper repairs can be downright dangerous, especially if the repair work involved electrical wiring or gas lines.

While your local municipality wants you to go through the proper channels when you have home repairs performed, they also understand the need for rapid repairs in the event of an emergency. That is why the majority of Texas cities have an emergency permitting process in place. This allows you to get the repairs you need right away, while also complying with state and local laws.

What is the Process for Obtaining an Emergency Permit in Texas?

The process of obtaining an emergency permit will vary slightly from city to city. With that said, most municipalities have a relatively simple emergency permit process. In fact, the rules do not even require a massively damaging event, such as the Texas blizzard. You simply need to explain why immediate repairs are necessary to be granted a permit.

For example, the city of Tyler allows a licensed contractor or the homeowner to apply for an emergency permit after repairs are complete. According to their regulations, you have to contact the city within 24 hours of the repair and apply for the permit. If the repairs are made over the weekend, then you need to reach out to them on the next business day.

Most of their permits cost about $50, but permits obtained as the result of major weather events are often eligible for FEMA reimbursement. Once you have obtained the permit, the city will send out someone to inspect the repair. They also offer virtual inspections whenever possible to streamline the process.

Since the proper officials have to inspect the work, it is important that your contractor leaves any pipes exposed. Replacing removed wall or ceiling material can make it impossible for the inspectors to complete their job. This can cause issues with your permit process.

While the city allows you to obtain a permit after the work is complete, getting permits in advance is ideal whenever possible. This can ensure that your contractor is licensed to perform the work in the first place. Using an unlicensed contractor can cost you thousands of dollars and leave you without any legal recourse in the event that the work was done incorrectly.  

What Projects Require a Permit?

Most major repairs will require you to pull a permit. According to the International Residential Code, repairing any concealed water line or drain will require a permit. If you have to remove a wall, a part of the slab, a section of the ceiling, or any other permanent structure, then it is considered to be concealed.

However, repairing or replacing readily accessible water lines does not require a permit. This includes pipes in attics, crawl spaces, and cabinets.

Repairing any damage to your electrical service requires a permit. That is because handling high voltage electrical lines can be extremely dangerous if it is done improperly. The utility provider will perform a thorough inspection after repairs are performed.

Remember, only homesteaded homeowners and licensed contractors can pull permits. If you need to obtain a Texas Electrical license, or want to complete the required Continuing Education online, then head on over to RocketCert , we can help. Our online company offers hundreds of online courses that you can access from anywhere. We provide extensive test prep materials for many Texas licensing exams and back up our products with a “No Pass, No Pay” promise!