All You Need to Know About Building Permit

Planning Permissions All You Need to Know About Building Permit

Your Guide to Obtaining a Building Permit With DoNotPay

You may love your home, but you may also find yourself in a position of wanting to make structural changes. Perhaps your family has grown and you need to finish the basement to have more living space. Maybe you want to change the layout to make it more accessible. Maybe you are ready to add a garage, deck, pergola, shed, or privacy fence. Whatever your project, it is likely that you will need a building permit, but if you do not know where to start, DoNotPay can help.

What You Need to Know About Building Permits

Building permits are typically required to ensure that your home remodeling projects meet local ordinances for land use and zoning and that the projects are safe and legal. Building permit laws vary widely by state, county, and city/townships. It is important that you understand the laws thoroughly so you do not incur fines or have to halt your project. It can even help you avoid lawsuits.

What Projects Require Building Permits?Typically, projects that make structural, plumbing, electric, or other major changes will require a building permit.

  • Adding/removing walls
  • Finishing an attic, basement, or garage to use as living space
  • Adding or removing an attached garage
  • Adding or demolishing a deck, shed, fence, or other outdoor structure
  • Enclosing and finishing a garage to use as living space
  • Changing the existing plumbing or electric work
  • Re-roofing your house
  • Adding a swimming pool
  • Certain outdoor projects that may alter the grade level of your property (such as if you are in a flood zone)
What Projects Do Not Require a Building Permit? Usually, indoor "cosmetic" or surface changes do not require a building permit, such as:

  • Interior painting
  • Installing new floor coverings like carpet or tile
  • Changing light figures
  • Replacing cabinets, sinks, or countertops
  • Some decks or fences, if under a certain size

Some outdoor changes, even if considered cosmetic or minor, may require approval, special permissions, or building permits if you are part of a Homeowners Association (HOA), historic district, or to comply with zoning laws. It's imperative to know what is required before starting your projects.

Who Provides Building Permits?You may need special permits and/or permission from one or more of the following places:

  • HOA Committee
  • Local Zoning Commission
  • The City or County Government in which you reside
  • Historic Committees if your home is in a historic district or a registered historic home

How to Get a Building Permit

Depending on where you live, and the type of project(s) you want to complete, you may need multiple permits from multiple sources. It can be very confusing to make sure you get the right permits from the right agencies, especially if different agencies give you different information. Researching the laws and ordinances to make sure you understand how to get a building permit can save you a lot of time and headaches in the future.

  1. If you are part of an HOA, make sure you understand any and all requirements. HOAs have a reputation for causing issues and keeping people tied up for a long time. You may need to reread the bylaws to make sure your projects are fully in compliance, before seeking permission.
  2. Contact your local City Hall and ask who issues building permits and how to apply. If they cannot help you, they should be able to direct you to the correct department or agency.
  3. If you live in a historic district or in a home that has any type of special designation, you may also need to contact the local historic committee to inquire about what changes you are allowed to make to your home. They may require special permission or permits as well.
  4. You may be required to fill out applications, schedule meetings, and pay fees. Be sure you understand what is required of you, what paperwork you need to file, and what documents/information you need to have (blueprints, contractor's licensing information, etc.) when seeking approval.

This can be an intimidating and time-consuming process, but DoNotPay has an alternative solution.

Let DoNotPay Help Get Your Building Permit Quickly and Easily

DoNotPay understands that researching laws, contacting numerous agencies, and figuring out which forms to file can be tedious and stressful. That is why we make it easier for you.

How to File for a Building Permit Without Hassle Using Donotpay:

If you want to apply for a building permit quickly but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps.

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    1. Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
    2. Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
    3. Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  3. Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.
  4. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.
  5. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
  6. And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.

Why Should You Use DoNotPay to Apply for Building Permits?

DoNotPay understands that your time is limited and valuable. We have a history of helping people quickly, easily, and successfully. You don't have to do all the research or contact all the agencies to figure out what to do. You give us a few pieces of important information, and we take on the hard part. We do the research and help guide you through the process.

DoNotPay Can Help With Any Type of Building Permit

DoNotPay helps you understand if you need special permission from your HOA or building permits from local agencies or committees. We can help you understand the process of getting building permits in places like:

We have the experience to help you proceed professionally, quickly, and successfully.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do For You?

DoNotPay can help you do more than just solve building permit questions. We can solve a variety of problems and help you with all kinds of issues, such as:

Whatever your concern, let DoNotPay help you today.

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