Pulling Building Permits - How is it done?

You’re thinking about starting a new construction project. Or making a complicated addition to your house, right? Whichever the case, you know very well that you’ll need a building permit and the idea of obtaining permits/ passing inspections is giving you sleepless nights! Especially if you’ve never gone through that process before!

Well, actually it’s not as it looks! let us walk you through it a bit. Pulling a permit involves dealing with several local governments’ departments and no need to tell you how daunting that can be, leading to frustration! Yet, it’s an important part of construction or remodeling.

To cut that frustration, here are some basic things on city permitting that you should know!

Which projects need building permits?

Different municipalities have different rules. But, you’ll still need some kind of permit for any construction project. Provided it’s beyond simple aesthetic advancements and basic maintenance and repairs. For instance, replacing the cabinets or repainting doesn’t need a permit. But changing the kitchen plumbing or the water heater will need a permit.

Likewise, extending a new space or changing the roof will need a permit. The same case applies when changing the existing space “usage”. This can include finishing the basement/ adding a bathroom …

Some of those requirements seem like redundant procedures, but, the aim of enforcing these regulations is for safety for the most part.

When should I apply for a building permit?

Before you start your project, it’s always good to get a permit first. If the city officials realize you don’t have the right permits or inspections, your work may have to stop. This can go on for weeks until you get the permits. Why get into all that trouble when all you need is a permit?

That’s not the only repercussion you will have. For instance, most cities impose large fines for projects started without building permits. But even if you complete the project without the permit, it will still come back to haunt you! This is because real estate agents & potential buyers will need proof of city inspections. Especially if you’re trying to sell your house.

To get late permits, you’ll have to pay a large premium. But, not all cities impose fines for delayed permits. Since they’re afraid of scaring property owners away from obtaining safety inspections.

How can you make sure your project passes city inspection?

Are you planning to get the building permit after the completion of your project? If that’s the case, you can still make sure of a successful project inspection. And how do you do that? By complying with IBC “International Building Code” available at many public libraries and other online sources.

There are local and state amendments and variations, however, almost all cities use this Building code as standard guidelines. Most states and cities then add further restrictions and regulations. For instance, California implemented a new green building code in 2017. This code affects all kinds of buildings in the state. But the inspection regulations should neither be arbitrary or confusing.

Who should get a permit?

If you’re hiring any professionals to do the project for you, you can also pay them to get permits. In some cities, contractors should pull permits for paid work. What if a homeowner is doing the work, with the help of ‘unpaid’ relatives or friends? In that case, they can get the permit themselves.

For larger projects, paying contractors to get permits will save you both money and time. This is because city officials have many questions. And contractors are well qualified to respond to such questions. If you pay a contractor to work for 2 hours at the city building will be very convenient. This will save you a lot of time that you’d use to communicate with the contractor and city officials.

It will also help you save more time after completing the project. Especially if there is any inspection issue to address.

How can I save on building permits?

Another benefit of paying contractors to get permits is that they’ll cut the permit prices. This is because they know how to respond to the questions in an efficient way. For instance, charges of the permit may depend on the project’s value. Yet, the permit might not apply to the entire project.

Let’s say you want to upgrade your kitchen and you don’t need a permit to change the cabinets. In that case, the city does not have to know about the cabinets’ cost. Especially when they’re calculating the permit fees for adding a stove gas line. Or even changing the kitchen plumbing.

How do I get a building permit?

If you want to pull the permit yourself, go to the website of your municipal and start the process there. Many cities have free forms and information online. You can also meet with a city inspector for more information. This will save you the hassle of going through the city bureaucracy. Moreover, it will protect you from making a costly mistake of not obtaining the right permit.

If it’s a small building project, have a description with you. But if it’s a larger, be ready with a blueprint and other planning documents.

Why bother?

You can always risk doing your project without pulling a permit. And hope that the city officials don’t see your new bathroom or finished basement. But if they find out, be ready to pay hefty fines. And that’s not all! Doing so can also:

  • Lower the resale value
  • Frighten potential buyers
  • Compromise your insurance rates and coverage

So, make sure you get the right permits for any construction or remodeling project. But, if you’re hiring contractors like InnoDez design and engineering, ask them to pull the permit for you!

Leave a Comment

Related Blogs