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Mike Copeland: Home improvement buzzing; Building permit roundup; Gas prices plummeting | Business

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In a sea of vacant parking lots covering much of Waco, the Lowe’s home improvement store at Franklin Avenue and New Road stood as an island of bustling commerce on Saturday before last. Despite the threat of COVID-19, exhortations to stay hunkered down at home and to maintain social distancing when venturing out, Lowe’s was abuzz, even as skies threatened and then delivered on the threat of heavy rains and street flooding here and there.

Apparently, folks are seeking treatment for cabin fever by pursuing ingredients to tackle that long-postponed list of honey-do’s.

“We’re selling a little bit of everything: lumber, Sheetrock, fence pickets. We’re staying busy,” said Jon Vanwinkle, a four-year employee at Lowe’s who now supervises the lumber department. “We have the normal contractors coming in, but we’re seeing a lot of new faces. I’m guessing that with offices closed, people are deciding to take care of home

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When Do I Need a Building Permit for Home Improvements?

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When it’s time to remodel or make improvements to your home, you may wonder when you need a building permit. How do you determine which remodels and renovations require permits? Most contractors will know ahead of time, but it’s good for homeowners to have a general understanding of future renovations.

Why Do I Need a Building Permit?

For many projects, having a permit from the city is crucial because the changes to your home go on record with the government. A building permit application ensures that your project will be reviewed by an inspector, which is a way for the city to reinforce safety protocols. For example, if you rewire your home incorrectly, there could be exposed wires, which could result in short-circuiting, electrocution and even a fire. This could lead to extensive repairs like wiring your home again, which could cost you the homeowner, hundreds to thousands of dollars.

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