A contingent of area residents took advantage of nice weather and an open-air environment at Western Reserve Distillers to enjoy LakewoodAlive’s latest home maintenance workshop on Thursday evening, May 16.

Led by Chris Parmelee of the City of Lakewood’s Building Department, “Knowing Your Home: Meet & Greet with a Building Inspector” featured an informal discussion regarding home repair and improvement projects.  Attendees were given a unique opportunity to ask questions and get advice on how to best plan a project to ensure it can be completed on-time and on-budget.

Now in its sixth year, LakewoodAlive’s Knowing Your Home workshop series draws hundreds of attendees annually to learn home maintenance best practices.  Our workshop series is generously supported by: Citizens Bank, City of Lakewood, Cleveland Lumber Company and First Federal Lakewood.

If you happened to miss this particular workshop, we’ve got you covered.  Here are our four key takeaways.

1. Understand the importance of a city’s building department
A city’s building department exists to enhance safety, improve housing and commercial buildings, and to curb signs of blight.  This is especially true in a city such as Lakewood, where many homes are entering their second century of life.

2. Recognize the need for a city inspection
The City of Lakewood’s Division of Housing and Building provides code enforcement and plan examination services.  Here’s a list of all work that would require an inspection.  The City conducts annual inspections on rental property, permit inspections, complaint inspections, and prior-to-sale inspections.

3. Secure a permit
The City’s Division of Housing & Building issues permits covering any alterations, repairs or new construction, contractor registration and licensing and housing licenses.  The Division will inspect all structures in the City either by mandatory inspection or upon request.  By visiting the City of Lakewood’s website, you can view Permit Requirements and access the Building Permit Application.

4. Find the right contractor for your job
The City of Lakewood is prohibited from steering people to any specific contractors. However, contractors are supposed to register annually with the City and have proof of insurance.  The list of contractors who have registered with the City can be found here.  It’s recommended that references be obtained from all contractors prior to agreeing to have any work performed.  You can also contact LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program at 216-521-0655 for assistance with your contractor selection process.