If you’re either building a house or considering it, it’s important to understand the permit process. With all of the things involved in building a new house, you may have skipped over this important detail. It’s true – if you hire a full service general contractor like Experts In Your Home, the permit process will be taken care of by the contractor and you won’t have to worry about the details.
However, regardless of whether someone else is managing it all or if you are doing pieces of the project yourself, an approved permit is a must! And while at Experts In Your Home we can take care of almost everything, we are big fans of educating you so that you’re aware of every step of the process of building a home.
What is Involved in the Permit Process when Building a House?
What is a Building Permit?
First, to get to the basics, it’s important to understand what a building permit is. According to HomeAdvisor.com,
“A building permit is an official document required to begin legally sanctioned construction or renovation on a property. Every jurisdiction – including states, counties, cities or towns – has different requirements for issuing permits, along with different building codes and fees associated with the permits. Essentially, the Board of Permits and Inspections or Building and Zoning Board knows what the homeowner permit is for once a plan is submitted by a builder. Once fees are paid, permits are issued. Later, the agency will have the construction inspected to make sure it passes code.”
This is a pretty important process and you will want to stay in line with local laws when building your new home.
Is a Building Permit Really Needed?
The short answer is yes. You will need to comply with local laws when building your home, and the consequences can be far more stressful than the permit process – including fines and possibly having to take down your un-permitted structure and start over. This can result in time and costs that you don’t want to have to pay, and can make the initial permit process look and seem like a breeze. Remember, if you’re working with a licensed contractor, you won’t have to apply for the permits yourself.
Is a Building Permit Expensive?
While costs will vary depending on your location and project, according to Angie’s List:
“The typical price is $1,221 while the average range is between $441 and $2,001. In a big city permits can cost $7,500 – in small towns the permits may be $100.”
This is quite a range, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, what’s really involved in the permit process?
Steps in the Permit Process:
Completing the Application
The first step in obtaining a building permit is to complete the application (something your licensed contractor can do on your behalf if you desire). This application process is done at the local level, with the department that oversees new construction in your area. Find out where to start your permit application locally and they will likely have steps online for you to follow. Calling the office and getting the run-down can be a good idea too.
Your home will need to have plans from an architect for construction. These plans are also needed to obtain the official building permits. By this point you are hopefully working with an architect and a good contractor, and both of these individuals can help you get the right documents to the planning authorities.
Meeting for Your Plan Approval & Getting your Official Permit
This process can be quick if your plan is easily approved, or could take quite some time depending on the specifics of your project and necessary corrections. You will need to meet with the proper officials to get the plans from your architect approved. Once you get the permit, you generally have to place it at the construction site and be ready to comply with inspections.
Inspections and Final Approval
Throughout the building process, you will have regular inspections to make sure the construction is up to code and that it is safe and legal. This process may seem cumbersome, but it’s actually a good thing – it helps you to rest assured that your contractor is doing things correctly. If something doesn’t get approval in an inspection, you may need to make adjustments to the project as you go. Once all of the inspections are complete, you will receive final approval on your building project.
While this isn’t an official step, you’ve just completed your new home construction and it is highly recommended!
Are you ready to buy your new house?…Let us help you!
Ana speaks 3 languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish), Wife, Stepmom, Journalist, Event Director for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Central MA Chapter.
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