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Looking to remodel your Pennsylvania basement but not sure where to start? First, you’ll need to do some generic finishing work that every basement needs. Then, you’ll decide the type of room you’ll create in your newly finished basement. Here’s our guide to help you through both processes.

How to Finish a Basement in Pennsylvania

As mentioned above, you need to finish your basement before remodeling it into a new room. The cost of finishing your basement varies depending on size, dividing walls and any HVAC, plumbing, or electrical work needed for your intended use. It could cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000. 

Waterproofing and Insulating Against Pennsylvania Weather

Without proper waterproofing or insulation, basements would allow moisture from the ground to seep through and heat escape through the concrete. Pennsylvania can become very cold during the winter, so insulation is essential to keep your basement warm and liveable. Once the ground thaws in March, you’ll need to ensure your basement is waterproof to survive the wet seasons and discourage mold or mildew. Foundation repairs and leak sealing may be necessary to waterproof your basement.

Framing Walls, Ceilings and Flooring

After your basement is waterproofed and insulated, you’ll need to frame the walls for drywall and the ceiling for a conventional or drop ceiling. Not only will you frame your exterior walls but also your dividing walls if you plan on separating your basement into multiple rooms. You’ll also need to decide between a conventional ceiling, which looks nicer, and a drop ceiling, which is less expensive. Finally, you should cover up that concrete flooring with interior flooring. Be it tiles, hardwood, or carpeting, finishing your floors will make your basement truly livable.

Make Sure You Follow the PA Building Code

Throughout the whole process, make sure you are following Pennsylvania’s building code. In order to count your finished basement among the square footage of your home, you need a point of egress at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches tall. This can be a window or exterior door. Your municipality might have additional requirements to abide by as well, so check with your local zoning officer. Finally, if you are doing any electrical, HVAC, or plumbing work, you’ll likely need a building permit. Again, check with your local zoning officer.

Trendy Basement Remodeling Ideas

Once your basement is finished, you need to decide what to do with your new liveable space. Most people will turn their finished basement into a generic living room, perhaps with an additional bathroom if their budget allows for it. What if you’re looking for something a little more unique? Here are 6 trendy ideas to make your basement remodel a little more unique.

Basement Bar or Kitchenette

If you enjoy hosting parties or would like to cook some game day snacks without heading upstairs, then a bar or kitchenette would be perfect for your basement remodel. Install a countertop, bar seating, a mini fridge or wine fridge, some cabinetry, and a sink and you’re ready to host some memorable parties. The plumbing for your sink might be a bit pricey but if you’re already planning on installing a bathroom, it may be less expensive.

Home Gym

Why pay for expensive gym memberships when you can workout at home? Free up some space in your garage by moving your home gym equipment to your newly finished basement. Install some mirrors or a TV on your gym walls and some foam floor tiles for safety.

Kids’ Playroom

Creating a kids’ playroom in your basement is a great way to free up space in your home and give your children a safe place to be rambunctious kids. You can install padded carpet squares or foam floor tiles to keep them safe while running around. A small indoor slide or jungle gym will make your basement an amazing playroom. Of course, you’ll want a toy chest to keep all of their toys organized as well.

Laundry Room

Another space saving solution with your finished basement is to move your laundry room downstairs. You can section off a dedicated laundry room with dividing walls and install cabinetry along with the plumbing needed for your washing machine. You can store your cleaning supplies, as well as linens that you don’t use as often.

Basement Apartment

The most expensive renovation you can make to your basement is turning it into an apartment or in-law suite. Although expensive, you can turn this space into an extra source of income by renting it out to a permanent resident or on a home sharing app, like Airbnb. If you frequently host friends and family overnight, this can also be a good way to give them a little space of their own. You’ll need to install a full bathroom, kitchen or kitchenette, and have enough space for a bedroom. It’s also a good idea to have a full-sized door, rather than the minimally required egress, so that renters don’t have to walk through your house to the apartment.

Home Theater

Another expensive renovation to your basement would be a home theater. Creating a home theater in a basement is perfect for cinema aficionados to get the movie theater experience without leaving their home. You’ll need a movie screen and projector installed on your wall, quality surround sound speakers, and comfortable, theater-like seating to relax in. Mood lighting can also set the tone for your home theater. Lastly, you’ll want to consider a bar or kitchenette for easy access to movie snacks.

Get Started on Your Basement Renovation Today

Ready to start your own basement remodeling project? Contact the experienced renovation professionals at E&E Contracting today! We’ll help bring your vision to life, no matter how unique.

Are you looking to update your home with an addition or remodeling project? If so, you’ve probably done some research and found several suitable contractors who could do the job. Now, you need to narrow it down to the one you’ll be working with. To do that, here are the top 15 questions you should ask a contractor before hiring them.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Experience is a good indicator of how skilled a contractor is. With time, they’ll encounter a wider range of projects and better understand how to tackle your own project. That being said, you shouldn’t discount contractors who haven’t been around for long. Instead, follow up with a question on how much experience they have personally with another company and how much experience their staff has. You’ll also want to ask about their experience with the specific service and material you are looking for. If they’ve never built a deck before, perhaps it’s better to go with another contractor.

Are You Licensed for This Type of Work?

Large home improvement projects should not be handled by an unlicensed handyman. He may be able to install a new toilet but shouldn’t be trusted to replace the plumbing for your bathroom renovation. Having a business license alone is not enough. Different cities, counties or states will have their own licensing requirements for specific services and you’ll want to hire a contractor who is licensed for your project. Related to licenses, contractors could also belong to professional organizations so ask about them, too.

Which Types of Insurance Do You Carry?

You want to ensure that the contractor you work with is fully insured in case anything happens on your property. They should have multiple types of insurance as well. Liability insurance will cover any damage they might accidentally do to your home or property during construction. Workman’s comp insurance protects you and the contractor in case someone is injured while working on your project. 

Will You Obtain the Permits and Set Up the Inspections Required for This Job?

States and municipalities require different types of permits, depending on the home improvement project you’re building. Navigating the various permits you’ll need can be confusing and an experienced contractor can help. You should ask if they will acquire the necessary permits, and how much experience they have working with your township or municipality.

What is Our Timeline for Completion?

Asking about the timeline for completion will help you plan around the construction, especially if you need to make arrangements for sections of your home you won’t be able to use – like a kitchen or bathroom. After getting the projected timeline, ask how often the contractor finishes on time. If you anticipate delays, you can be better prepared.

What’s Your Typical Payment Schedule?

Before signing any contract, make sure you understand the payment schedule. Depending on the contractor and size of the project, your payment schedule will vary. You’ll likely need to make some type of down payment but you should never work with a contractor who requires 100% upfront. This ensures that the contractor is able to cover some of the initial costs and you don’t pay the full amount unless the job is completed – protection for both parties.

couple meeting with a contractor on-site

Who Will Be Working On My Job?

Before signing, you should know if the contractor you’re speaking with will be completing the job or if he has a team. If there will be subcontractors, you should know who they are as well. If the person you’re speaking with won’t be on the job, ask how often he’ll stop by to check progress. You can also ask who the on-site project manager is and meet him before the job starts. It’s important to know who you’re hiring to ensure they are trustworthy individuals.

How Do You Communicate with Your Clients?

Find out how the contractor prefers to communicate with you. Is it over the phone, through email, or some other method? This will be important to remain informed every step of the way. You can also ask if you’ll receive regular updates on your project. Receiving a daily update will help you understand when things are running smoothly or when things might be delayed.

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like for Your Crew?

This is a very important question to ask. You should know when people will be at your property, if you are needed, and when there will be loud construction. Importantly, you should ask about the end of the day, too. How will the crew clean up and where will materials be stored overnight? These are all important questions to ask when planning your daily schedule ahead of the project.

Is Your Bid an Estimate or a Fixed Price?

Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty of expenses. See if the bid you’ve received is fixed or will change. There could be additional, unforeseen costs that get added on at the end and you’ll need to know how those costs are settled. When you receive the bid, also ask for an itemized list. This will help you understand how much goes into parts, labor, and other expenses, and could help settle disputes later on. If your project scope is a little hard to nail down, you might agree to sign a time and materials contract that will specify an hourly rate and materials cost.

What Kind of Written Warranty Do You Have?

You should know if the contractor offers a warranty for his work and what the warranty covers. Will the warranty cover defaults in the construction of your addition? How about the materials used in the construction? Sometimes, the materials will come with their own warranty from the manufacturer. You need to be aware of what’s covered and what isn’t, in case of any mishaps.

How Do We Resolve Any Disagreements?

Speaking of mishaps, what happens if there is one or you have a disagreement on some other aspect of the project? Some contracts will have a termination clause where either party can terminate the agreement if certain conditions are met. Others might have an arbitration clause denoting how disputes will be settled. You need to know how the process works, just in case. While asking about this, you could also ask if they’ve been in any lawsuits before. You’ll want to avoid a contractor with a less-than-stellar background, but give them a chance to explain if they have been in a lawsuit – it could’ve been a bad client!

Do You Anticipate Any Challenges Regarding This Project?

For standard jobs like a deck, there might not be too much that can go wrong. Some more complicated or unique problems, however, can pose unique challenges to the contractor. This doesn’t mean that they are a bad contractor, just some things can happen to anyone. It’s best to know what the contractor is anticipating so that you are not shocked if a challenge arises.

Will You Provide a Written Lien Waiver at the End of the Project?

This is a very important question to ask! If a contractor makes improvements to your house, he could have legal standing to levy a lien against your house if you go to sell the property. A lien is a claim or legal right against assets that are typically used as collateral to satisfy a debt. You’ll want to get in writing a waiver of all legal standing in your property to avoid any problems when you eventually sell the house. The contractor, of course, won’t sign until you’ve paid in full but you shouldn’t run into any issues after that point.

Can you provide a list of references I can contact?

Lastly, ask about customer references and/or testimonials. Good contractors will have former customers willing to sing their praises. If they don’t have people you can contact, they should at least have written testimonials from them. If a contractor can’t show evidence of happy customers, that’s a red flag. After you contact their references, you’re ready to make a decision to hire a contractor!

Still Searching for a Contractor?

If you are still searching for a contractor for your home improvement project in southeastern PA, consider E&E Contracting. We have experience in many types of construction, including extensive remodeling and home additions. Contact us today to ask us these questions and more. We’d be happy to help!

As a homeowner looking to improve their home with some type of renovation or remodeling, you need to be aware of the permitting requirements for your construction. States and municipalities have their own regulations on permitting. Often, state regulations set minimum requirements and municipalities can make stricter regulations. Contact your local zoning office to help with permits.

If you need help navigating the permit process with your local zoning office, an experienced local contractor, like E&E Contracting, will understand all the regulations in their area. We operate mostly in southeast Pennsylvania but also travel to Delaware and Maryland for projects. To give you an idea of the type of permits you may need before a project, here are the statewide regulations for common home improvements in Pennsylvania.

Front entrance of house after ranch style house modernization with new light stone veneer, two entry way lights, a path leading to the covered entrance, and flower beds on either side of the path with mulch and shrubs.

Permitting Requirements for New Windows & Doors

You should replace your windows every 15-20 years. Even if it hasn’t reached that point, you might want to replace your windows with a different size or style. Typically, you won’t need a permit if you’re replacing windows without making any structural changes. You’ll need a permit when changing the size of your windows or adding a brand new one.

Doors operate under similar rules of windows. Replacing a door with one of the same size won’t typically require a permit. You can even make small adjustments to the door frame without a permit. Once you are widening your existing door frame or creating a new door, you’re making a structural change. This requires a permit.

A new deck with steps on the back of a home

Permitting Requirements for Decks & Additions

If you’re looking into adding a deck to your backyard, you need to know the size of the deck you’ll build. You’ll need a permit for any deck that will be 30 inches or higher off the ground at any point. If you’ll be constructing a roof above any part of the deck, you’ll need a permit as well.

If you’re looking to expand your liveable area with an addition, you’ll likely always need a permit because they alter the perimeter of the home. Enclosing a porch or patio and constructing a sunroom are included in this regulation. If your addition is a garage, you may or may not need a permit. Attached garages always need a permit. Detached garages need a permit if they’re above 1,000 square feet for a single family home. Installing pools and hot tubs require permits unless it’s a kiddy pool less than 24 inches deep. Sidewalks, driveways, other flatwork do not need permits unless specified by your municipality.

finished basement with carpeting

Permitting Requirements for Interior Remodeling

If you’re looking to remodel your interior without changing anything with your home’s exterior, you may not need a permit. This goes back to the question on structural changes. If you’re tearing down or adding walls, you’ll need a permit. Non-structural changes, like replacing appliances, cabinetry, countertops, or flooring won’t require a permit. One more aspect of your remodel you’ll need to check is utility work. Anything involving electrical, plumbing, or HVAC will require a permit.

Permitting Requirements for New Siding & Roofing

You should replace your siding every 20-40 years. Even if it hasn’t reached that point, you might want to change the type of siding on your house. Whether you’re looking to replace vinyl siding, stucco, brick, or stone veneer, you don’t need a permit in PA. This is, however, a common one for municipalities to regulate, so check with them.

Roofing needs to be replaced around every 15-30 years but it depends on the type of roofing. A total roof replacement will need a permit but minor repairs will not require a permit. Some municipalities consider the installation of solar panels or similar equipment as a structural change and would also need a permit.

Contact an Expert About Municipal Regulations

As you plan your next home improvement project, remember that experienced contractors are here to help. Reach out to us, and we’d be happy to explain permitting for your project. Also, remember that the Pennsylvania regulations we discussed above might be overridden by your municipality. Check with them before starting any home improvement project. Here are tables for additional municipal regulations in Pennsylvania counties where we regularly work.*

Jump to:

Berks County

Amity Township
  • Radon mitigation 
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq. ft. 
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code) 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area exceeding 500 sq. ft. 
  • Adopts IRC Appendix F (Radon Control Methods). 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area exceeding 500 sq. ft. 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and provides exceptions.
Bern Township
  • Radon mitigation 
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq. ft. 
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code) 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 200 sq. ft. or more. 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that will be provided with any utility service.  
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions. 
Bernville Borough 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 500 sq. ft. or more. 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that will be provided with any utility service. 
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Bethel Township
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 500 sq. ft or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that will be provided with any utility service.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Douglass Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 120 sq. ft. or more.
Exeter Township
  • Radon mitigation
  • Residential sprinklers
  • Adopted appendices to the International Fire Code
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
  • Adopts Appendices E, F, and G of the International Fire Code 2006, establishes fines and permits fire authorities to set geographic limits for certain hazardous storage uses.
Hamburg Borough
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 300 sq. ft. or more and for those with a lesser building area that are served by a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and establishes 8 exceptions.
Jefferson Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 500 sq. ft. or more and for those with a lesser building area that are served by a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and establishes 9 exceptions.
Kutztown Borough
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
  • Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area larger than 200 sq. ft., but limits compliance with footer and foundation requirements to structures of this type only when over 400 sq. ft.
  • Amends UCC by exempting from a permit only the residential work listed in the I-Residential Code
Leesport Borough
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that will have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are greater than 199 square feet and that exceed one story in height.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Maidencreek Township
  • Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 600 sq. ft. or more, and for the same structures with a lesser building area, if they are served by utilities.
Maxatawny Township
  • 5/8″ drywall to separate garage from dwelling, all concrete 3000psi, underground piping 6″ of gravel or sand under and over, Bonfire requires approval from fire chief certified 3rd party.
Mt. Penn Borough
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 400 sq. ft. or more and for those with a lesser building area that are served by a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and establishes 9 exceptions.
Muhlenberg Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures, excluding siding, fascia, gutters and windows
  • Re-roofing permits required for commercial buildings only
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Trade licenses for mechanical and plumbing work
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of more than 250 sq. ft.
Oley Township
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that will have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are greater than 199 square feet.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Penn Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 300 sq. ft. or more and those with a smaller building area that have utility service connections.
Richmond Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 200 sq. ft or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 200 sq. ft. and that have a utility connection for the purpose of inspection for the utility or utilities being installed.
  • The exemptions from a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs meet and continue to be exempt per UCC Act 92 or 2004 that establishes a number of exceptions.
  • Repeal of Ordinance No. 92
Rockland Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 200 sq. ft or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 200 sq. ft. and that have a utility connection.
Ruscombmanor Township
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that will have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are greater than 199 square feet and that exceed one story in height.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Sinking Spring Borough
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
Tilden Township
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Requires building permit for residential utility area of more than 200 sq. ft.
Topton Borough
  • Amends the UCC’s residential sprinkler system requirements by: prohibiting the addition of antifreeze or any other additives; requiring that systems fully comply with either the requirements of section P2904 of the IRC or the NFPA 13D; mandating that plans for systems complying with NFPA 13D be designed by a fire protection design professional or a NICET certified designer; and, prescribing certain meter box and meter box outlet piping requirements for all sprinkler systems.
Union Township
  • Requires building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 200 sq. ft. or more.
Washington Township
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that will have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are greater than 199 square feet.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Wyomissing Borough
  • Adopted appendices to the International Fire Code
  • Adopts portions of the International Fire Code not adopted by the UCC regulation, including Chapter 5 and sections 2401 and 2402, subject to the requirements of 35 P.S. §7210.503 (a) (2).
Municipalities with no reported amendments
  • Alsace Township
  • Birdsboro Borough
  • Boyertown Borough
  • Caernarvon Township
  • District Township
  • Fleetwood Borough
  • Heidelberg Township
  • Laureldale Borough
  • Longswamp Township
  • Lower Heidelberg Township
  • Lyons Borough
  • New Morgan Borough
  • Perry Township
  • Pike Township
  • Reading City
  • Robeson Township
  • Robesonia Borough
  • Sinking Spring Borough
  • St. Lawrence Borough
  • Tilden Township
  • Upper Bern Township
  • Upper Tulpehocken Township
  • West Reading Borough
  • Windsor Township
  • Womelsdorf Borough

Chester County

Birmingham Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area greater than 250 sq. ft.
Caln Township
  • Adopts Appendices B, C, D, E, F, and G of the International Fire Code 2006.
East Bradford Township
  • Frost protection, Plain concrete, Foundation drainage, Bearing course
East Caln Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structuresRe-roofing (commercial only)Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structuresNew or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structuresNew piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structuresResidential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ftResidential sprinklers (townhomes only)Adopted appendices to the International Fire CodeAdopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
East Nantmeal Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 200 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 200 sq. ft. and that have a utility connection.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
East Pikeland Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 200 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 200 sq. ft. and that have a utility connection.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
East Whiteland Township
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
Honey Brook Township
  • Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures larger than 499 sq. ft.
Oxford Borough
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 150 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires that plans for new residential construction and additions to existing residences be sealed by a licensed architect or engineer.
Spring City Borough
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 400 sq. ft. or more and for those with a lesser building area that are served by a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and establishes 7 exceptions.
Tredyffrin Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that have a building area of 120 sq. ft. or more.
Uwchlan Township
  • Radon mitigation
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Siding and/or replacement windows
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Adopted appendices to the International Fire Code
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
West Bradford Township
  • Radon mitigation
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 500 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations or repairs that increase the habitable area of a residential building.
West Goshen Township
  • Sprinkler regulations in storage facilities
West Whiteland Township
  • Requires fire suppressions systems in all group B and M fire areas that exceed 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area greater than 500 sq. ft.
Willistown Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
Municipalities with no reported amendments
  • Avondale Borough
  • Charlestown Township
  • East Brandywine Township
  • East Fallowfield Township
  • Easttown Township
  • Elverson Borough’
  • Franklin Township
  • Highland Township
  • Kennett Township
  • London Grove Township
  • Lower Oxford Township
  • Malvern Borough
  • New Garden Township
  • North Coventry
  • Parkesburg Borough
  • Penn Township
  • Phoenixville Borough
  • Pocopson Township
  • Schuylkill Township
  • Thornbury Township
  • Valley Township
  • Wallace Township
  • West Chester Borough
  • West Grove Borough
  • West Nantmeal Township
  • West Pikeland Township
  • Westtown Township

Delaware County

Aston Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Siding and/or replacement windows
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
Bethel Township
  • Requires a building permit for: deck, porch and stoop replacements and enlargements; the construction of residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of more than 200 sq. ft.; the creation of habitable space in a basement; the replacement, repair or enlargement of concrete aprons around swimming pools; and, roof replacements or repairs (except where less than 25% of the roof area is involved).
Brookhaven Borough
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area in excess of 120 sq. ft. and all such structures, whenever they have any utility connections.
Chester Township
  • Requires that bedrooms have a floor area of not less than 90 sq. ft., and that all other habitable rooms, except for kitchens, shall have a floor area of not less than 70 sq. ft., in all buildings subject to the requirements of the International Residential Code.
  • Provides for administrative penalties.
Edgmont Township
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Residential sprinklers
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of more than 300 sq. ft, or, if 300 sq. ft. or less and having a utility connection.
  • Requires a building permit for residential alterations and repairs and establishes 9 exceptions.
Marcus Hook Borough
  • Requires the installation of sprinkler systems in two- and multi-family residential structures, and commercial, industrial, educational and religious occupancies of one or more stories in height.
Media Borough
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Residential sprinklers
  • Adopted appendices to the International Fire Code
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
Upper Darby Township
  • Requires UCC permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 120 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 120 sq. ft., if they contain utilities.
  • Requires a UCC permit for residential alterations and repairs, except as excluded in Chapter 1 of the IRC.
Municipalities with no reported amendments
  • Aldan Borough
  • Chadds Ford Township
  • Chester Heights Borough
  • Clifton Heights Borough
  • Concord Township
  • Darby Township
  • Eddystone Borough
  • Folcroft Borough
  • Glenolden Borough
  • Haverford Township
  • Lansdowne Borough
  • Lower Chichester Township
  • Marple Township
  • Middletown Township
  • Millbourne Borough
  • Nether Providence Township
  • Newtown Township
  • Norwood Borough
  • Prospect Park Borough
  • Radnor Township
  • Ridley Township
  • Rose Valley Borough
  • Rutledge Borough
  • Sharon Hill Borough
  • Springfield Township
  • Swarthmore Borough
  • Thornbury Township
  • Tinicum Township
  • Trainer Borough
  • Upper Chichester Township
  • Upper Providence Township
  • Yeadon Borough

Lancaster County

East Cocalico Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 400 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 400 sq. ft., if they have a utility connection.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and establishes 9 exceptions.
East Earl Township
  • Adopts Appendices E., F., H., I., J. and K-K13 of the Int. Building Code and Appendices A., B., C., D., F., G., I., K., N., O. and Q of the Int. Residential Code.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of more than 100 sq. ft. or with a lesser area, if served by a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and specifies thirteen exceptions.
  • Amends other administrative and enforcement requirements, as allowed by 34 Pa Code §403.102(l).
East Hempfield Township
  • Radon mitigation
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • No permit needed to replace FAU’s or Water Heaters in residential buildings unless there is a change fuel source
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 400 sq. ft. or more and for those with a lesser building area that are served by a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs and establishes 9 exceptions.
  • Adopts Appendix F (Radon Control Methods) of the International Residential Code 2006.
Elizabeth Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 400 sq. ft or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 400 sq. ft. that have a utility connection.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Ephrata Township
  • Adopts Appendix F (Radon Control Methods) of the International Residential Code.
Manheim Township
  • Radon mitigation
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures exceeding 400 sq. ft. or any sized utility and miscellaneous use structure that is connected to a utility.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential repairs and alterations, except where excluded by the UCC regulation at 403.62.
Pequea Township
  • Adopts Appendix F (Radon Control Methods) of the International Residential Code.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 400 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of less than 400 sq. ft. that have a utility connection.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
  • Requires compliance with the sewer lateral requirements issued by the Suburban Lancaster Sewer Authority in lieu of the requirements found in the International Plumbing Code and the International Residential Code.
West Lampeter Township
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 400 sq. ft. and that will have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that will be provided with any utility service.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Municipalities with no reported amendments
  • Akron Borough
  • East Drumore Township
  • East Lampeter Township
  • Lancaster City
  • Lancaster Township
  • Lititz Borough
  • Manor Township
  • Mount Joy Borough
  • Warwick Township
  • West Hempfield Township

Montgomery County

Abington Township
  • Re-roofing
  • Siding and/or replacement windows
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Residential sprinklers
Conshohocken Borough
  • Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures in excess of 200 sq. ft.
  • Reinstitutes a building permit requirement for residential alterations and repairs.
  • Requires a building permit application to be made for residential emergency repairs within one business day.
  • Only the first change requires L&I approval.
East Greenville Borough
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 44 exceptions.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a floor area of at least 200 sq. ft.
  • Zoning permit required for fences and utility buildings, regardless of height or floor area
Green Lane Borough
  • Restricts the sale of certain pyrotechnics and open burning, and establishes fines for violations of these restrictions.
Limerick Township
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures.
Lower Merion Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
  • Residential sprinklers
  • Adopted appendices to the International Fire Code
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
  • Requires a building permit for residential utility and miscellaneous use structures with a building area of 200 sq. ft. or more.
  • Requires a building permit for the alteration and repair of all residential buildings.
Montgomery Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Some alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Requirement in commercial structures for sprinkler systems based on size of structure
Plymouth Township
  • Establishes installation and inspection requirements for small wind energy, geothermal heating/cooling and photovoltaic systems.
Royersford Borough
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Re-roofing
  • Siding and/or replacement windows
  • Electrical wiring or service upgrades in existing residential structures
  • New or replacement mechanical equipment in existing residential structures
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Residential utility and miscellaneous use structures under 1,000 sq ft
Schwenksville Borough
  • Requires smoke alarms to be retrofitted in all residential dwellings and all other residential occupancies.
Upper Dublin Township
  • Establishes additional code requirements for pools, spas and hot tubs, modifies application requirements for various permit applications and requires building permits for: residential utility and misc. use structures with a building area of 120 sq. ft. or more; all uncovered decks; and, all residential alterations and repairs.
  • Imposes a late fee not to exceed $1,000.00, when plans are submitted after construction has begun.
  • Makes changes to the UCC appeals board requirements: provides that board members must be township residents and for voting and alternate member status.
  • Revises provisions relative to use of alternative methods and materials.
Upper Frederick Township
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are 200 square feet or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Upper Hanover Township
  • Requires the installation of key boxes (for emergency personnel access) in newly constructed commercial and multi-family residential buildings.
  • Requires the identification of truss systems used in residential subdivisions.
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that will have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are greater than 199 square feet.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Upper Merion Township
  • Residential sprinklers
  • Adopted appendices to the International Fire Code
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
  • Low exit signs, wall-hung plumbing fixtures, fire resource centers in high-rises, definition of “occupied”
  • I-Building Code: sections 202, 403.1, 907.9.9, 907.2.12.1 thru 907.2.12.6 and 1802.
  • I-Plumbing Code: section 1003.
  • I-Fire Code: sections 403, 506, 912 and Appendix D, section 103
Upper Pottsgrove Township
  • Exempts from a building permit all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are less than 200 sq. ft. and that have no utility service connections.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures that are 200 square feet or more.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential alterations and repairs, and establishes 9 exceptions.
Upper Providence Township
  • All alterations, renovations, remodeling, and repairs to existing residential structures
  • Requires a building permit for residential alterations and repairs per section 105 of the I-Residential Code.
  • Requires a building permit for all residential utility and miscellaneous use structures larger than 200 sq. ft.
  • I-Fire Code: Amend section F-505 by requiring the identification of truss construction in certain buildings.
Whitpain Township
  • New piping and/or new plumbing fixtures in existing residential structures
  • Adopted appendices of UCC codes (other than Fire Code)
  • Requires a building permit for all signs erected in the Township.
Municipalities with no reported amendments
  • Ambler Borough
  • Cheltenham Township
  • Collegeville Borough
  • East Norriton Township
  • Franconia Township
  • Hatboro Borough
  • Hatfield Borough
  • Hatfield Borough
  • Horsham Township
  • Jenkintown Borough
  • Lansdale Borough
  • Lower Gwynedd Township
  • Lower Moreland Township
  • Lower Pottsgrove Township
  • Lower Salford Township
  • New Hanover Township
  • North Wales Borough
  • Pottstown Borough
  • Red Hill Borough
  • Springfield Township
  • Telford Borough
  • Towamencin Township
  • Trappe Borough
  • Upper Moreland Township
  • West Conshohocken Borough
  • West Norriton Township
  • West Pottsgrove Township
  • Whitemarsh Township
  • Whitemarsh Township

*information from https://www.phrc.psu.edu/assets/docs/Publications/AQuickGuidetotheResidentialProvisionsofUCC.pdf 

This information is believed to be accurate, but permit applicants should always consult their designated municipal building code official.

Remodeling projects are exciting, but the process of planning and budgeting can be stressful. We have been helping our community build their dream homes for over 20 years, and learned what it takes to make an extensive remodeling project successful. We are excited to share our comprehensive guide to remodeling projects and what you can do to make sure they go as smoothly as possible. 

What is your Budget? 

The first step in planning for your remodeling project is putting together your budget. If your decision to remodel your home is the result of storm damage, your budget might be influenced by your insurance claims and how much you are rewarded to repair the damage. If you’re remodeling to upgrade your home’s aesthetics and function, it is still important to have a budget and stick to it throughout the process. Our team has assisted dozens of homeowners through this process, and loves putting together a construction plan that fits their style and budget. 

What are your Must Haves? 

In our experience, each remodeling project comes with some “must-haves.” These are things that you have been envisioning since the project was just an idea, and are non-negotiable. These can include things like a farmhouse sink for a kitchen remodel, a claw foot tub for the bathroom, or things as simple as paint color or hardwood floors. 

We love getting these ideas from our customers as early as possible so we can include them in the early mock-ups and prioritize them as we work through the budget. 

Prepping the Space

Once you have decided on your budget and designs, it’s time to prep your space for the remodel. Begin by removing all personal items from the space to make way for any demolition that needs to be done to prepare for new construction. If you don’t want these items to intrude on your other living spaces we recommend a temporary storage unit until the work is completed. 

Can You Live Without the Space? 

At E&E we are committed to maintaining a clean and courteous workplace, but extensive remodeling projects can sometimes prevent homeowners from using essential rooms in their home, especially if it is a kitchen or bathroom remodel. As you are prepping for the remodel it is important to envision life without this space during construction. We have outlined some ways our customers have prepared for their extensive remodeling projects for various rooms of their home below. 

Take a Vacation! 

If your extensive remodeling project looks like it could leave you without an essential room for an extended period of time we recommend timing the project with a vacation. Usually it is a bummer coming home from vacation, but in this case you come home to your new and improved room or addition! 

Our more adventurous clients have even elected to go camping locally with their family to pass the time! 

How to Prep for a Kitchen Remodel

Picturing life without a kitchen can be scary, but we have worked together with our past clients to put together a guide to help you through the process.

Freezer Meals
The first question you should ask yourself is, “Will I have access to my stove?” If the answer to this question is yes, then we recommend preparing freezer meals before construction starts so you can still enjoy a home cooked meal. Freezer meals are easy to prepare, and just require an oven to reheat. 

Dishes
Dishes are something that can be difficult to manage without access to your kitchen, especially if your sink is being replaced. Bathroom sinks are often too small to properly wash dishes, so we recommend the bathtub. You can easily place two wash tubs in the tub, one for washing and one for rinsing. 
Alternatively, you can also invest in paper plates and utensils to cut the dishes out entirely. 

Ordering In
Many of our customers have added some extra budget on their end to cover the cost of eating out or ordering in while construction is happening in their kitchen. 

How to Prep for a Bathroom Remodel

Losing a bathroom in your home can be tough, especially for parents or teenagers who are used to having their own private space. Here are a few tips that will make living without one of your bathrooms easier on you and your family. 

Discuss the Transition Early
If members of your family are going to be losing their private bathroom it is best to discuss it with them in advance, rather than springing it on them at the last minute. 

Put Together A Schedule
People take their morning routine seriously, so it can be a good idea to lay out some ground rules to avoid chaotic situations before school or work. Work together with your family before construction begins to prepare a schedule that allows everyone to have sufficient time to get ready in the morning, and for bed at night. 

Utilize other Rooms in the House
As you get ready in the morning or prepare for bed at night you can utilize other areas of your home to avoid traffic jams in the bathroom. A desk can be transformed into a makeup station, nightstands can temporarily house contacts, and the powder room can be used for shaving and teeth brushing. 

What if Your Only Full Bath is being Renovated? 
If you only have one full bath and your extensive remodeling project renders this room unusable, we recommend speaking with family members or friends about using their shower. A powder room is sufficient for brushing your teeth, applying makeup and washing your face in the morning, but you obviously can’t shower or bathe without a shower or bath! You can also shower at the gym, or at your office if they have the facilities. 

At E&E we work with our clients every step of the remodeling process to ensure their needs are met and they are comfortable throughout the project. We clean up at the end of each day and work very hard to cause as little disruption to our clients’ lives as possible. If you are considering an extensive remodeling project at your home, contact us today for a complimentary quote!

Are you living in an older house and looking to bring your home into the 21st century? There’s no need to build a new house if you’re just looking for a new look. You can upgrade your older house with an exterior renovation to modernize your home. Here are the top 8 renovation ideas that will give you a modern look.

1. Put a Fresh Coat of Paint on Your Siding or Trim

A simple way to breathe new life into your home is a simple coat of paint on your siding. Even if your current paint is in good condition, simply updating an outdated color scheme is a fantastic way to modernize your home. You’re not limited to painting your siding, too. You could repaint your trim with a nice accent color to make your home pop.

Working with a professional painter will ensure that your home is painted properly and safely with the right equipment and materials. If you have the experience and tools to paint your house yourself, be sure to buy a quality exterior paint, as interior paints will not work.

2. Replace Your Old Shingles

Your roof is another place to look when deciding to modernize your home. The shingles on your roof last anywhere from 12 to 30 years, depending on the type. Your roof will get damaged over the decades and those weathered down shingles will fall out of style, too, making this renovation a win-win.

Roofing contractors in your area will have a variety of modern roofing materials to choose from. We at E&E contracting install asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, standing seam, or engineered slate.

Front exterior of house after installing brown ProVia stone veneer with a black roof, black window shutters, and white trim.

3. Add Stone Veneer

An excellent option to modernize your home’s siding, aside from fresh paint, is stone veneer. Stone veneer is a decorative stone siding not meant to bear weight but will replace your typical vinyl siding or stucco. This decorative stone can replace the whole side of your house or just a section, like your entrance, to give a nice accent.

There are two types of stone veneer to pick for your home, natural stone and engineered stone. Natural stone comes from a quarry, has natural color that doesn’t fade, and is extremely durable. They do come at a higher price, however. The inexpensive engineered stone is made from aggregate and cement, giving you a consistent, easy-to-maintain look. They come in a variety of colors to match your style.

4. Replace Windows and Shutters

Replacing your windows is an excellent choice to upgrade the look of your home and they should be replaced every 15-30 years, anyway. You can take this time to enlarge your windows, letting in more light and updating the look of your exterior. Another option is to update your windows’ crown molding to a more modern look.

Related to your windows, your shutters also strongly impact the look of your home. Most homes are built with generic, unattractive shutters which are fixed and non-functional. Replace them with modern, functional shutters and it’ll look like a whole new house! You can even try going with a bold color to really make your home stand out.

5. Upgrade your driveway or walkway

You might not think to look down, but your driveway and walkway really do impact the overall look of your home. You could look to simply expand your existing driveway to include another parking spot or basketball court. You could replace the generic asphalt or concrete with pavers, brickwork, or a stamped concrete to give your walkway or driveway a unique, modern look. You can also take this time to build walkways to new parts of your property, like your garden, pool, or detached garage.

Front entrance of house after ranch style house modernization with new light stone veneer, two entry way lights, a path leading to the covered entrance, and flower beds on either side of the path with mulch and shrubs.

6. Add Exterior Lighting

With all the work you do updating and upkeeping your home, you’ll want people to see it at all times of the day. Investing in some modern exterior lighting helps to upgrade the look of your home and make it visible at night. You’ll also be helping guests navigate your property at night. You can simply replace your outdated fixtures with new ones or add more lights to new areas, such as entryways, patios, garage doors, or lining your driveway and paths.

7. Replace Your Garage Door

Your garage door is another area that can easily become outdated over the decades, and should be replaced about every 30 years, anyway. Consider replacing your generic garage door with a modern, decorative door, like a carriage style or other contemporary style. Garage doors are yet another place to add a pop of color, too!

8. Replace Your Front Door

Your front door gives your house so much character; consider upgrading your door to give that character a much needed face lift. Your new door can come in a variety of styles and materials, from wood to steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. Frosted glass windows can let in light while maintaining privacy. You could even expand your existing door frame to include a sidelight or two, allowing you to see who’s ringing the doorbell before answering.

If you’re looking for extensive remodeling, contact an experienced contractor to assist in your decision process. We’ll help you navigate the various options available to modernize your home. Contact E&E Contracting today.