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Home Renovation Laws

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What Does "Home Renovation" Mean?

Home renovation refers to repairs or improvements that are done to a home.  It can refer to an entire “makeover” of a home, or just an upgrade of a certain part of the home, such as the kitchen or bathroom.  Home renovation may involve the withdrawing of a home improvement loan, which is granted to some homeowners for the specific purpose of making home improvements.

In most cases, home renovation involves do-it-yourself projects.  However, for more major projects, the homeowner may work with a home renovation contractor to assist with the renovations.  This may require the use of a home improvement contract to govern the terms of the project. 

What are Some Common Home Renovation Disputes?

Home renovation can increase the value of a home, but it can sometimes involve some legal issues along the way.  Some common home renovation disputes may include:

  • Breach of contract (home renovation contracts may often be needed for major projects)
  • Damage to property
  • Boundary or zoning disputes
  • Failure to pay or rendering of sub-quality work

Home renovation dispute generally require the assistance of a real estate lawyer, especially for more major violations.  Real estate and property laws can be different from state to state, and even from one part of a city to a different part.  Home renovation projects can sometimes create legal issues in other areas, for instance, when it comes to property improvements made to a marital home during a divorce case.

What Types of Home Renovation Laws Govern Property Improvements?

Home renovation laws often dictate which types of property improvements can be done on a home, and which can’t.  These usually involve aspects of health and safety codes, and sometimes can involve business laws. 

Generally speaking, you can’t renovate a home in a way that would violate zoning and land use laws.  An example of this is where the addition of a second story to the home obstructs the view of a neighbor, which is usually against zoning laws. 

Another example is where the home is renovated to accommodate a home business; this may be illegal if businesses are not allowed in the neighborhood.  Or, if the renovation causes the property to become dangerous or causes a boundary dispute, it may also involve some overlap with personal injury laws as well. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Home Renovation Laws?

Home renovation can be an enjoyable way to increase the value of your home or property.  They can sometimes be complicated, so you may wish to contact a lawyer if you need assistance with the home renovation laws in your area.  Your attorney can research plans will fit in with local ordinances.  Also, you may wish to hire a real estate lawyer if you’ll be dealing with outside construction parties or if you need a contract- your lawyer can help review documents and can represent you in court if you need to file suit. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-24-2018 02:34 AM PDT

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