Now that you have decided to remodel your home or build that new addition, there are several steps that you will need to take to do the work legally and to gain the additional square footage in your homes record. We will cover the most common steps that are done in most jurisdictions. Always check with your local governing body as to the required steps, documents and associated fees for your individual project. In some cases, you may not be required to obtain a permit, but always check first.
Once you’ve made the decision to remodel or add to your home, most often, you will need to get a plan drawn for the work to be done to your home. You will need this plan (typically 2 sets) to take to the City/County to be reviewed and approved by them. This review is to assure that your changes and/or additions meet the adopted Building Code for safety and, in some cases, that the structural design is sufficient and structurally sound. Now, depending on your local governing jurisdiction and upon the size and scope of the project, some reviews can be performed “Over the counter” and a Building Permit issued at that time. There are some jurisdictions that do not offer this service, but it never hurts to ask!
If your plan needs to be submitted for review, the City/County may review it, briefly, at the counter to assure that it meets a certain minimum standard, established by the individual jurisdiction, to be eligible for review. If the plan meets the minimum standard, it will be taken in for review and/or approval. There will typically be a fee involved with taking in the plans for review, but not in all cases. An average review will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on the jurisdiction. Once the review is complete, they will do one of two things, approve it and issue the permit, or mark up the plan, called “Red Lines”, and return to the owner or architect for corrections. Once the corrections are completed, the plans can be re-submitted for a 2nd review. If all is well with this 2nd review and all corrections have been addressed and made on the plan, then they will issue a Building Permits at that time. Most of the time, a ‘permit fee’ will be owed to the jurisdiction in order to obtain the permits to begin your project. This fee will vary, depending on the size and scope of your project. It is typically done on the valuation of the project or based on the square footage of the project or the finished square footage of the home, once completed.
Once the Building Permits is issued, you may begin work on your project! Your governing body will inform you on what to do with the permit and approved plans. Some will require that the permits be placed in a window, facing the front of the property. Plans will need to be kept on site at all times. We highly recommend that a COPY of the approved plans be made for the builder or contractor. This way, the stamped, approved set can be kept clean and undamaged, ready for the inspector to review during the inspection visits. We do this for every job. You can get another copy from the City/County, but it is a hassle and takes time and is also quite pricey, compared to just getting a copy done up front and preserving the original.