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 (http://dcra.dc.gov/DC/DCRA/Permits/Get+a+Permit/What+Can+I+Do+With+Postcard+Permit%3F). 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.