What is a Building Permit?

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A building permit is an official certificate of permission issued by local authorities to a builder to construct, enlarge, or alter a building.


Significance


You must obtain a building permit if you plan on building a home, or if you simply want to make some home improvements. Building permits are required because the government regulates the safety of current and future home owners as well as enforce zoning policies.



Obtaining a building permit involves multiple stages. You must submit your plans and other documentation, a city planner must approve your idea, and once construction is under way, a home inspector will be sent by the city to ensure your construction process is adhering to city codes. If you’d like to learn more about this process, take a look at our article on the Building Permitting Process.


Building codes are enforced in order to ensure that the safety and aesthetic design of a given project are in line with certain restrictions required by the code within a specified area. Permits allow builders and contractors to learn how to best employ the necessary building safety codes throughout the home.


Building without a permit can subject you to ‘bootleg’ inspection fees which can be quite extensive. If it is found out that you built without a permit and the project is not up to code, you may be required to tear down the project and then redo it with the proper permits.


Will your Project Require a Building Permit?


It is a common misconception that building permits are only required for constructing new buildings. However, most areas actually require building permits for most home improvements, repairs, or additions to existing structures.


If you’re planning on making an addition to your home, you’d likely need to apply for a permit. You’d also probably need a permit if you wanted to convert a spare bedroom into your home’s master suite. On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t need a permit to add drywall or shelving units to your home. The best way to find out if your project requires a permit is to call your local building department.


Timeline

Applying for a building permit can take weeks or months, depending on the quality of your application and how busy the permitting offices are. Other permits such as dishwasher, water heater, window and roofing permits are generally easy to secure and don’t take as much time. In fact, some of these permits can even be applied for online.

If you’re permit application has been accepted you will be notified promptly. However, there are times when permits will not be issued for certain issues regarding your plans. If your plans are not detailed enough the city officials will deny your request and you’ll have to resubmit your permit request once you have made more detailed plans. The city may also deny you a permit if your plan does not fit certain codes. If your permit is denied, you will receive a notification including the changes that need to be made in order for your permit to be granted.

In order to make the permitting process go by quicker it can be beneficial to hire a professional permitting service. Imperial Permit Services LLC is a great permitting service that is known for their great customer service. They’ll help you through the permitting process so that you can start building your home as quickly as possible.

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