Permit & Inspection FAQs

Why do I need a permit?
You need a permit for construction because, as of April 9, 2004, it is a state law under PA Act 45 of 1999. Permits ensure safe construction by protecting public health, safety and welfare. Permits allow code officials to help to reduce potential hazards of unsafe construction by guaranteeing that minimum construction standards are met.

How much does a permit cost?
Each permit type has different fees based upon the Township's costs to review and inspect the structure. Inside your permit pack there will be a breakdown of the fees.

When do I need to obtain a building or zoning permit?
Building permits are required for all new construction, additions, alterations, decks, sheds, in-ground and above-ground pools, etc. If you have any doubts about needing a permit, call the Township Office.

Do I need a permit to just replace roof shingles?
Only if you are replacing more than 25% of the roof shingles or if the construction involves structural work, such as replacing rafters.

Do I need a permit if I am installing replacement windows?
You do not need a permit unless the new windows are a different size than the old ones.

Do I need a permit for a concrete walkway?
No, a building permit is not necessary; however, zoning permits are required.

Why do I need a permit to install gas logs in my existing fire place?
To ensure safety and that the job is done correctly.

I am just putting a roof on an existing porch/deck. Why do I need a permit?
In order to ensure a safe design, and to accommodate for additional loads, such as snow. Existing decks are not designed to support such loads.

Why is it more difficult to get a building permit in West Bradford Township than in other townships?
West Bradford Township prides itself on the quality and safety of construction that goes on in our Township. We have a strict policy of being code compliant for every situation: no matter how large or small.

  • A detailed plan review is done with each application that includes a site plan, building design, foundation plan, floor plan, cross section, elevations, electrical, heating and ventilation, drainage and vent piping, and water distribution. Each area has numerous sub-areas for the inspector to review.
  • Because of this strict code compliancy, there are fewer fires, less severe weather damage, and fewer flooding problems caused by sub-standard construction. When these incidents occur, they are less severe because of our high standards. Property insurance rates are generally lower in our Township than in similar townships.
  • Our inspectors maintain a legal and moral obligation to the residents of West Bradford Township and will follow it to the letter of the law and code.

Why does it take so long to get a permit approved?
On average, it takes about two weeks to get a permit application approved. During the heavy home improvement season (Summer) it can take up to three weeks. The inspector first reviews each permit application and checks to see if it is filled out completely and correctly. Then he begins to look at the plot plan to see if everything will fit properly and follow all zoning regulations. Next he begins to look at the actual plans to see if all building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical codes are being followed and if proper materials are being used. If everything passes this review, then the permit is approved and construction may begin once the permit has been paid for and picked up by the applicant.

One house permit may take the inspector several hours to review. Each permit gets 100% of the inspectors attention, whether it is for a deck or for a $500,000 home.