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Many residential and even commercial buildings are built in permit-issuing locations. Getting a permit may seem like a bureaucratic hassle, which it can be at times, but failing to get the required permits can stop your project. Whether you want to build a home, make home improvements, or do simple repairs, always check if you need a permit.

It’s approval from the local government that gives your contractor the green light to build something new or remodel the existing building. The requirement is there to ensure the project is safe for you, the builders, and the community. It’s also a way to ensure you comply with the building codes. If your upcoming project needs building permits, here is what you need to know.

Why Do You Need A Building Permit?

The permit is mainly about safety and enforcing construction standards. For you to pass the inspection, you need to meet certain requirements. It’s your best chance of avoiding structural failure, fire, floods, and other accidents in the future.

It’s also illegal not to obtain a permit before you start working. If safety is not enough incentive, getting in trouble with the law should make you consider looking for a permit. You may be fined or forced to tear down a completed building which is an unspeakable loss.

If you decide to move or sell the house, the permit will also protect the future occupants. The building will be more valuable than the one without a permit. Buyers look at every detail before buying property. If you want to get your home’s worth, ensure you do everything right during construction.

A permit can help you keep the contractors honest. A greedy contractor may want to cut corners and finish the project faster without using the allocated resources. But if you have a permit, they will be forced to stick to the building plans you submitted to the local government. Sometimes officials will come to ensure you follow the plan you gave them.

It also keeps your insurance valid. If a fire occurs because of work that doesn’t have a permit, your insurance company can fail to honor your policy. When it comes down to it, a building permit is the best way to protect your investment.

For How Long Is The Permit Valid?

It depends on your location, but usually, you will have six months to start the project and around 18 months to complete it. Since you don’t have unlimited time, get everything in order before applying for the permit. It would be best to contact contractors and suppliers beforehand. Once you have the green light, Ala Metals will supply you with quality building materials, and your contractors can go to work.

If the intended time passes, the permit may expire. However, you can ask for extensions on both cases. Some projects like building a home from scratch can take longer than 18 months. The local office will give you an extension to help you complete everything the way you want. But a home improvement project can be done in a few months.

How To Know If Your Project Needs A Permit

Not every construction project requires a permit. If you want to know whether you need a permit or not, visit the department website or call them. You will give them information about your plans, and they will direct you to the next step. Although most permit offices want citizens to seek help online, there are too many grey areas and variables that need someone to explain.

Call the local permit officer for advice when you have decided you want to construct or renovate a building. Online guidance may not be enough, and sometimes you need an appointment to sit down with an expert. Some permits are issued when you drop the plans off, while others need further inspection. You will know what to expect when the inspector comes to the construction site.

You should know that things like sidewalks, sewer mains, and power lines may affect your project. If they pass through your property, you may be restricted from making changes that restrict or affects the utility lines. Learn about easements before you request a permit or start a project.

Applying For a Building Permit

First, you have to develop a design or a plan for the project. Ala Metals blueprint draftsmen can help you with the design process. A clear plan is easy to approve because the permit officials can see details perfectly.

Secondly, you have to determine what kind of permits are needed. Contact the permit office and give them your plan. They will determine which permits you need to acquire to complete the project.

The third step is applying for a permit. There will be an application form; complete the form by fulfilling everything mentioned there. Sometimes there are additional requirements like bond forms or insurance documents. When you have the full scope of the project, the application will be easy.

If they need further explanation of your drawing, they will give you an appointment. Once it’s all done, you will pay the required fee. You can get the permit immediately or wait until they carry out further inspection.

When the permit is approved, display it on the construction site. If the official drop by for an inspection, they will see the permit. From the surface, the application process looks very simple. But it can be very strenuous if you don’t have all the requirements. Gather all the documents so that everything goes smoothly when you start the process.

Prepare For The Permit Costs

Building permit costs vary greatly from one project to the next. They cost anything from $ 50 for minor upgrades to $ 2000 or more for a major project. It depends on the project’s complexity, which means constructing a new building will be the most pricy.

The cost can also be based on the anticipated cost of the project. If you have a contractor, the money you pay sometimes includes permit costs. But if it doesn’t, you will have to mobilize the funds yourself and get the permit. Ask about the average cost in your location so that you can put together the money.

What to Expect From a Building Inspection

The inspection is probably the most stressful part of acquiring a permit. The local government will send an inspector to ensure the building complies with the building codes and the plan you submitted. Remember that the inspector is there for your sake and positively take the corrections. There is always something to correct; that’s why the process is very stressful.

A major construction requires several inspections. It’s up to you and the contractor to schedule the inspections when they are needed. Don’t buy a truck full of cement before the inspector checks the footings. Be strategic so that you don’t have to reconstruct other parts of the building.

Depending on the project and local regulation, the inspection can include footing inspection, foundation, framing, fire protection, and the final inspection. The final one will eventually come but in the meantime, focus on what the inspector wants to see now.

If you fail an inspection, the official will tell you how to correct them. Usually, no one wants to hear about corrections, but there is nothing you can do if you don’t want to violate your permit. If you pass, you will continue with the construction until the next phase.

The inspector will only focus on the work covered by the permit. They can’t start nosing around your house looking for other things that aren’t up to code. If it’s a kitchen remodeling, they will only inspect the kitchen and nothing else.

Building Permits FAQs

What If I Complete Construction Without A Permit?

Several things can happen in this scenario. The government can order you to demolish the project or make you pay steep fines. If you damage a neighbor’s property or a publicly-owned property, you may have a lawsuit to deal with. Sometimes nothing happens, but it’s still very risky to construct without a permit.

How Do I Change My Building Plan?

If you must change any major part of the project, inform the building department first before you do it. Failure to inform them can put you in trouble during inspection or even fail the final inspection. If you tell them, you can get the go-ahead and continue with the project.

What If I Can’t Wait For Inspections?

If, for one reason or the other, you can’t stop the construction for an inspection, inform the inspector. Sometimes they can be lenient and allow you to document your progress with photos and videos. Modern digital cameras make it easy to capture every detail. Inspections are part of the building permit; you can’t escape them even if you wanted to. The best way is to work closely with the inspector.

Contact Us

Now you have a rough idea of what to expect when looking for a building permit. If you prepare a detailed plan and have the documents ready, the process will be easy. Ask all the questions to avoid any surprises during construction. After you get the building permit, contact Ala Metals for quality, cost-effective construction material to make your project come to life.

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