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I am looking to add a non-load bearing wall to a pass-through bedroom in my house to convert it to a standard bedroom (8'x10'), and use the remaining space (3'x10') as a hallway. Would I need a permit for this? I know local codes are different, but I am just wondering on other's experience.

Also, for the inspection of the completed work, would the inspector view the work after framing, or after drywall completion? Due to timing constraints I would prefer to finish drywall and paint ASAP so I'm wondering if I will need to tear it out for the inspection.

Thank you in advance!

Edit: Location is Columbus, Ohio, US

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  • Need country, location info - requirements are not the same worldwide.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 12 at 17:52
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    In addition to location dependence, the type of inspection can vary. Building Code inspection may or may not be needed. Electrical may or may not be needed, but I suspect more likely. Due to the (I think) rule of 1 receptacle every 12' (so that no location is more than 6' from a receptacle, with certain exceptions around doors, etc.) a new wall will likely need some new receptacles, which means electrical permit in most places (straight replacement generally does not need a permit, but new usually does). Jan 12 at 18:07
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    @SolarMike Forget worldwide. Even within a state in the US there can be differences based on county or city. Jan 12 at 18:08
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    @SolarMike Sorry, the location is Columbus, Ohio, US
    – deedatc
    Jan 12 at 18:23
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact There is actually a receptacle near both ends of the wall (which is 10' in length) so the 12' requirement should be satisfied. Also the new wall will have a door in the middle. I'm not sure if that would change any of the 12' requirement.
    – deedatc
    Jan 12 at 18:26

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In general, a permit is required for renovations on the building framing skeletons (support beams, columns...etc.), and change of building facet/footprint through expansion or reducing. No, interior works not involving the main support components/framing usually do not require permits (unless you are changing "the use" of the building that involves "zoning", but it is advisable to have an architect/engineer go over your plan to ensure the integrity of the building structure will not be compromised.

However, per the language of the Ohio Building Code cited below (article 105.1), the addition of an interior wall can be seen as "alter" a residential building or structure that would require the approval (permit) from the department of building, though not specifically listed as such. You do need to check with your local building authority or architect for clarification.

BTW, there are two types of walls in a building: 1) Load Bearing Wall. 2) Partitioning Wall (usually non-load bearing).

If a permit is required for such work, the permit-issuing agency will let you know the stages that inspection is required, but usually, it will be conducted upon completion to ensure the work follows the approved plan.

Excerpt from 2017 Ohio Building Code:

"102.10.2 Minor repairs. Minor repairs to structures may be to residential structures made without application or notice to the residential building official. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.

105.1 Approvals required. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, or change the occupancy of a residential building or structure, or portion thereof, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing system, other residential building service equipment, or piping system the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the residential building official of a certified residential building department and obtain the required approval.

Note, IMO, the permit requirement for interior minor works (adding/removing non-load bearing walls) often are "non-enforceable", provides you are certain there is no negative consequence (collapse) that will result from the activities and they do not disturb your neighbors or have a neighbor hates you very much. An architect or engineer can assure you of the safety concerns, rather than the city (the City would require the sealed plan from an architect or engineer anyway, or purchase a standard plan from them if there is one for this case).

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  • "interior works not involving the main support components/framing usually do not require permits" - this isn't even remotely true. Creation of a wall, even non load-bearing, is going to require a permit in pretty much everywhere in the USA expect the most lax rural townships, and it will definitely be required in a large city like Columbus, OH. Jan 12 at 19:31
  • "for which you need to consult your utility company." - Anything downstream of the meter your utility company could not care less about. Electrical work permitting is taken up with the building or state electrical licensing authorities. Jan 12 at 19:40
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Yes, this project will require a building permit and review from the Columbus Building and Zoning Services dept.

There is a PDF link on https://www.columbus.gov/bzs/Permits/ of types of work that is exempted from permit requirements, and interior framing, even non load-bearing, is not on that list.

In short, generally any time you are doing new drywall work or framing of any kind in any large US city or its surrounding suburbs, you will need a building permit for it.

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  • Thanks! For the inspection on a new wall - do you know if it is done after framing, or drywall? Or is either acceptable?
    – deedatc
    Jan 12 at 19:44
  • @deedatc: the permitting office will make a decision on that depending on the specifics of your project. Expect a framing and finish inspection at minimum, but they may very well require one or two inspections of the drywall progress as well. Previously mentioned electrical concerns also add to the complexity. Jan 12 at 19:47

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