Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections is spending $75,000 to remind homeowners they need to get a permit for major remodeling jobs.
Many homeowners don't like pulling a permit, but Licenses and Inspections commissioner Carlton Williams says the radio and print ads will give them a nudge.
"Anything that has a structural condition or structural change is going to require a permit," Williams said, "but certain things like flooring tiling painting all those type of things don't require a permit. If you are talking about moving a load bearing wall or changing a roof or putting in new windows all the around you need a permit because it effects the safety of the house or structural integrity."
Williams says many people skip permits to save money. If a contractor suggests it, he says beware.
"Contractors are required to have licenses and insurance, what we are finding out on a lot of jobs is that many contractors don't have insurance," he said.
Williams says more than 200 stop work orders were issued in the past year for projects that lacked permits.