Reply To: Permit requirements in DC

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DC requires homeowners to obtain permits for almost every conceivable home renovation project.  For example, a permit is required for “Erection of 1 Christmas tree stand on private property.”  Minor DIY projects can sometimes be done with a “postcard permit” that a homeowner can obtain for a small fee from the DCRA website (  These postcard permits available to homeowners amount to little more than a tax–because the work is never inspected.  But most permits can only be obtained by licensed contractors (e.g., furnace or water heater installation).  Licensed contractors have a few options, depending on the project.  Postcard permits and supplemental permits for many projects are available to licensed contractors on the DCRA website.