How to Get a Building Permit—All You Need to Know

Planning Permissions How to Get a Building Permit—All You Need to Know

How to Get a Building Permit—Step by Step

Sure, it's exciting to remodel or renovate your home. You can get the look and functionality that you have always wanted. But just because it is your home, does not mean you will not need a building permit from your local municipality or county. If your building requires a permit, do you know ? And how do you know if your remodel requires a permit or is exempt?

Maybe you have been spending more time at home lately, or perhaps you now work remotely. The kids have a new dog, you want a place to work out, or maybe your home is in need of some repairs. Whatever the reason, your needs may have changed. Adding a home office, building a fence, converting a garage, or even adding a new roof, may all be fun for the do-it-yourself-er. But in order to remain safe and legal, these improvements must be permitted.

When Do I Need to Get a Building Permit?

The projects most likely to require a permit are those that change the structure or use of a building or have the potential to create unsafe working conditions generally require a building permit . Some examples might be:

  • Adding or removing walls
  • Changing the use of a room
  • Changing the piping in your house
  • Re-roofing
  • Demolition to any part of the home
  • Installing a pool or hot tub
  • Building a perimeter fence

You might not need a permit to do the following:

  • Painting a room or the home's exterior
  • Paving a driveway
  • Installing new carpet or other floor covering
  • Adding new kitchen cabinets

In addition to a building permit, any exterior change or improvement may need to receive approval from your HOA. You will need to draft a letter, detailing what you plan to change and submit it to your HOA for approval. All HOA's differ in their response time, so it is a good idea to start the approval process early.

How Can I Get a Building Permit on My Own?

Although locations may differ, the typical steps on are as follows:

  1. Complete a permit application. To get the application, you can go to the municipal or county offices, or sometimes there are downloadable forms online that you can complete.
  2. Prepare a site plan for your build. You will need to provide measurements and exact locations. If you are unsure or the project is large, you may want to get professional help from an architect or engineer. This is an important step since it determines if you meet zoning and building codes.
  3. Schedule an appointment to get your plan approved. Some offices allow an over-the-counter review where you bring in your plans and wait in line for an inspector to give you approval. Expect the approval process to take days or weeks. If any part of your plan does not meet the code, you will have to revise and resubmit. You must have the permit before construction can begin.
  4. You will need to schedule inspections periodically during your project, so verification can be made by the city or county building inspector.
  5. When your project is completed, obtain final city approval.

What Does a Building Permit Cost?

Depending on the area where you live, building costs vary. Most are based on a flat rate, a cost per square foot, or the construction value of a project. Smaller jobs, such as plumbing or electrical work generally cost between $50 and $300 while larger projects, such as total home builds or complex remodeling, can cost between $500 to $2,000.

What if I Cannot Get a Building Permit on My Own?

Getting a permit can be time-consuming and confusing. You may not even be sure that a permit is required. And what if your HOA does not give approval? DoNotPay can help by guiding you through the process, quickly and easily.

Is There an Easier Way to Get a Building Permit?

DoNotPay wants to make the process of getting your building permit easier, so you can get started on your project. Through our Planning Permissions product, we will help you:

  • Determine if a building permit is required
  • Contact your HOA to request permission
  • Generate a step-by-step guide, walking you through the application process

If you want to get a building permit easily, DoNotPay has you covered. Here's how to request a permit in a few 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.

And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting your HOA to request building permission, and generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.

Why Should I Use DoNotPay's Planning Permission Product?

The permitting process is complicated and lengthy, no matter where you live. DoNotPay can help make the process:

EasyYou don’t have to struggle to fill out tedious forms or keep track of all the steps involved in getting a building permit.
FastYou don’t have to spend hours trying to get a building permit.
SuccessfulYou can sit back and relax knowing that we will do all the work for you.

Does DoNotPay Work in Other Areas Too?

Absolutely! DoNotPay can help you with a permit for Palm Beach County, the City of Los Angeles, Sarasota County, or the City of Chicago. We can help you no matter where your project is!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay offers solutions to many of your problems. Need a document notarized? We can help. DoNotPay can help with many of the standardized legal documents that you need too. We can help you file insurance claims or show you how to reduce your property taxes. What is your problem? Let DoNotPay solve it for you!

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