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Understanding the building permit process before taking on a renovation can help your project run smoother and smarter. It’s important to feel confident moving forward with a big project and knowing the process for getting a building permit can help put your mind at ease. If you know little about the process for getting a building permit, it’s okay. The following information and steps are a great beginner’s guide to this process.

What is a Building Permit?

A building permit is an official document approved by the government and your local building department giving you permission to move forward with renovations or construction. Going through the building permit process is a safe, smart way to make sure you are complying with all necessary protocols. Issues such as land-use standards or zoning concerns could arise during remodeling and a building permit approval moves you forward without facing those concerns mid-project.

Why are Building Permits Needed?

The law states that certain requirements are necessary to move forward with big remodeling projects. Though the building permit process may be frustrating at times, this requirement is purely to keep those inside the building safe during and after construction. Instead of letting the building permit method cause stress, try viewing it as a necessary checklist to maintain the safety of everyone involved

What is the Building Permit Process?

A simple building permit inspection checklist can be a helpful tool for those just beginning their renovation journey. Of course, the below points only skim the surface of the building permit process, but they give some guidance to a business or building owner unsure of where to start.

Talk to a Contractor

If you are someone who has absolutely no idea, or interest, in how to proceed with the building permit process, hire a contractor. Your contractor will fully understand the building permit process and could put your mind at ease. Though hiring a contractor does mean spending a few extra dollars, it could be an easier way to move forward if you have planning to do elsewhere.

Talk to the Building Department

If you decide against working with a contractor, scheduling a meeting with your local building department may be a great starting point. The project would be discussed with a professional and they would give you details regarding what specific permit you may need to acquire, if any. Some of these specialized permits include a plumbing permit, carpentry permit, or an electrical permit. 

Complete the Application

Once the above meeting occurs and the professional states a permit is needed, an application is given to be completed. If you decide not to work with a contractor, you must complete the application. This application must include all materials that will be used during the renovation and even a map or drawing of the project. It’s important that specific details are included in the application so there are no surprises or issues.

Post Permit at Worksite

Once the application and building permit are approved, work can begin at the site! However, it is very important to hang all of the building permits securely at the development site. They must be visible for any professionals or inspectors to view. A popular placement for the building permit is often on the front door so it can be easily seen during development.