What You Might Not Know about City Building Permits and Timelines

[fa icon="calendar"] April 10, 2020 / by Home Services Expert

construction plans and approval stampThe thought of a new construction or home remodeling project is exciting, yet many homeowners jump in, ready to begin their build, without realizing all of the steps involved. When you reach the point in your project where it’s time to submit your plans to the city and get the required permits, the process can quickly become intimidating and overwhelming.

Many homeowners find themselves quickly losing their patience when they realize how long the permit process can take – especially if they haven’t “crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s” required in the paperwork. Here are a few things you might not be aware of when it comes to city building permits and timelines.

The Contractor Should Pull the Permit for You

Once your project’s design is complete, a set of construction documents must be prepared and submitted to the city for the building permits. Typically, the permits are pulled by the general contractor doing the work and it’s generally understood that the permit costs are included in the bid price of the project. Be sure to check your documents and confirm with your contractor that this is the case.

All Municipalities Have Different Requirements

Most municipalities require permits for building, pluming, electric, and HVAC for projects, but some also require special permits for things like insulation, fireplaces, re-roofing, etc. There are also some permits required by the county, such as for septic systems or driveway modifications. While permit fees will change between municipalities, you can expect all permits to have time limits.

The Permitting Process Takes Longer than You Might Think

The permitting process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks and there are almost always corrections that need to be made. Once the architect makes the corrections, another two weeks or more can be expected before obtaining the actual permits. Depending on the type of permit you have, there is also a window of time that the project must be completed before the permit expires.

There are Consequences if You Don’t Pull the Proper Permits

Some homeowners fail to get the proper permits because they don’t want to wait for approval, don’t want to spend the money, or may not even be aware they need one – especially if they’re attempting a remodeling project on their own. Ignorance is not an excuse. If you don’t have the required permits, you could face fines from the city because you’re in direct violation of city codes and regulations.

One of the main reasons for getting a permit is so that the project can be inspected by a professional after it’s completed. If it’s not inspected, you could be vulnerable to hazards you were unaware of. If you’re thinking of selling your home someday, work that was done without proper permitting can cause loan problems and be difficult to sell.

A Project Manager Can Take Over the Process for You

To make the permitting process as easy as possible, and save yourself from stress and worry, hiring a project manager for your project will ensure you have a clear understanding of everything involved with the project, what the end result will look like, and what the price will be.

Your project manager will be able to prepare the construction documents to submit to the city so you can be sure you didn’t miss an important piece of paperwork that could hold up your project.

The permitting process is in place to make sure your home remodeling or new construction project is meeting construction standards and getting done safely. While the permitting process can seem like you’re just “jumping through hoops” it can become even more of a hassle if the steps are skipped altogether.

Your project manager will build the permitting timeframe into the pre-construction process so you know how long the process will take, as well as work with the architect to make sure the corrections will have little to no impact on the budget and make sure they are made in a timely manner to be resubmitted as soon as possible.

Hiring a project manager to help you through the pre-construction checklist that must be completed will give you peace of mind that your project is done correctly, on time and on budget.

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