A building permit is an formal approval issued by a local governmental agency allowing you or your contractor to progress with a remodeling or construction project on your property. It is designed to guarantee that the project intends to adhere with local regulations for zoning, land use, and construction. These regulations are intended to guarantee the safety of present and future owners and inhabitants and to offer enforcement of zoning and land-use guidelines.
Specific challenges that the building permit process might address can comprise of structural integrity of the framework, zoning, sanitation, water, and sewage lines, fire safeguards, and electrical services.
When Is a Building Permit Required?
Not every home construction and renovation projects need a building permit. In a lot of cases, straightforward repairs and replacements can be carried out by professional contractors or homeowners without applying for one. Nevertheless, any job that involves additions or significant modifications to your home’s structure or its automated systems typically requires you to apply for the correct permit from the local building division. Should you be hiring a contractor to carry out the work, they usually are going to handle the permit process on your behalf, factoring in the expenses of the permit for their bid. If you are doing the work on your own, it is your responsibility for applying for the correct permit. Be aware that your building division might require that some types of work be carried out only by licensed contractors. Work on gas lines, for instance, may be restricted to homeowners in some communities.
The requirements for permits differ widely from location to location, though, and the only way you can know for sure if a permit is needed is to get a hold of your local building division and describe the work you wish to accomplish. Some locations might require permits for just about every type of work, even constructing a landscape fence. The decision to require a permit or not, is usually subject to an evaluation of the relative endangerment the work poses to present and future residents of the home.
The Building Permit Process
If you are planning to do the work yourself, the process of getting a building permit usually goes like this:
- Contact your local building division and describe the type of project you are wanting to do. If a permit is required, an application document is going to be provided to you that describes the requirements for applying for a building permit. Some projects may require more than one permit. A significant remodeling project, for instance, might necessitate a carpentry/construction one, an electrical one, and a plumbing one.
- Fill out the permit application, including any additional materials that might be required. Construction projects might require blueprints of the work you are planning.
- Present the building permit application and pay any fees that are required. The licensing office is going to then issue you an official building permit.
- When you start work, post the permit as required. This might mean taping the building permit to a window or door close to where work is going to being done.
- At the approved points throughout the work, get ahold of the inspection office to schedule for an inspector to come to the worksite and review the projects quality. Should the inspector order any changes to the work, finish any changes, and have the inspector come back out to review the work once more.
- After the inspector accepts the work, you are no longer required to display the building permit.
A lot of projects require 2 inspections—a “roughed-in” inspection at a designated point in the project, then a final inspection after the project is complete.
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