Where Can I Get a Building Permit?
There are two types of home improvement projects. Those that need a building permit and those that don't. Building codes vary by state, but the split can usually be found between surface changes and structural ones. If you are opening walls or building new structural features, you likely need a building permit before the first hammer strike. Of course, getting a building permit is easier said than done.
Where can you get a building permit, and what does it take to have your building permit accepted so you can start work? DoNotPay can help you with every step of this typically complex and multi-stage process.
When Is a Building Permit Necessary?
The most important difference between needing and not needing a building permit is whether you're making integral changes. Does it open a wall, change the structure of the house, or build a new structure? You'll need a building permit. Surface-level changes, line new carpets, or even new cabinets don't need a building permit. Installing new windows does not need a permit, but altering your window frame does.
When You Need a Building Permit
- Anything that requires opening or building a wall
- Integral appliance and fixture installations
- Changes to Electrical or Plumbing systems
- Altering a window frame or door frame
- Building a new structure
- Demolishing a wall
- Finishing a basement, attic, or garage
When You Don't Need a Building Permit
- Painting and wallpapering
- Laying tile, carpet, and flooring
- Counter and Countertop installation
- Replacing a door or window in the same frame
- Installing trim like baseboards, molding, and panels
- Swapping faucets and handles
- Minor electrical and plumbing repairs
Where Do I Go to Get a Building Permit?
To get a building permit, you'll need to go to your local building permitting office. This may sound redundant, but every city and/or county has one, and their local building codes and pricing structure will apply to your project. You will need to look up the building permit process for the region where your home is located. Large cities tend to have their own building permit office, while more rural areas with small towns tend to share a county office, or if separate offices, a county-based set of policies.
If you search "Get a building permit" Google's geotargeting will likely point you in the right place. Add your city or county, plus your state initials, to be sure you get the right office website.
Each office handles building permit applications differently. Some have an online application process, but many still require you to get your building permit in person at the permitting office.
How Do I Get a Building Permit?
- Research your local building permit office and requirements.
- Build your building permit application portfolio.
- A detailed description of your project
- To-scale drawings of the changes or repairs
- Signed-off by licensed trades (ex: architect and master electrician)
- Submit your building permit application according to your local office policies.
- Wait for approval.
Because every home project and permitting office are unique, these are simplified steps. However, every building permit application follows these steps. Results may vary depending on local policies and whether you are working DIY, with contractors, or with a general contractor at the head.
Often, a general contractor will handle your building permit application. Specialized services, like roofers, may also offer building permit management.
What Does It Cost to Get a Building Permit?
The pricing for a building permit depends on both local pricing and the extent of your changes. Some regions charge by the size of your house, some by the total cost of your project. You'll need to find the price page of your local permitting office. You may need to consult to figure out the total cost of your building permit for a multi-part project that involves more than one change.
My Building Permit Application Was Rejected, Now What?
Don't worry. If your building permit came back with notes, this is perfectly normal. It's tough - even for professionals - to get the building permit application exactly right the first time. There are many little details like zoning and utility connections that may require a few changes to your initial application. It typically takes a custom project two to five application rounds before approval, so don't sweat it.
If you don't have a general contractor or specific service to help you, DoNotPay can serve as your expert to help get all your documents in order, for the first round and in response to notes from the permit office if your application is returned.
How DoNotPay Can Help You Get a Building Permit?
If you want to get a building permit without a hassle but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered. Create your own cancellation letter in 6 easy steps:
- Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
- Choose one of the following options:
- Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
- Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
- Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
- 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.
- Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.
- Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
- 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 Use DoNotPay to Help You Get a Building Permit
There are a lot of reasons why you should choose DoNotPay:
|It’s Convenient||You won't have to spend hours trying to get a building permit. Let DoNotPay do it on your behalf.|
|It’s Easy||You don't have to struggle to fill out tedious forms or keep track of all the steps involved in getting a permit. DoNotPay’s service is all-encompassing.|
|It’s Successful||You can rest assured knowing we'll make the best case for you.|
DoNotPay Can Help You Get a Building Permit Anywhere in the US
While every region may be different, our ability to help you get a building permit extends anywhere in the US. No matter what city or county you live in, DoNotPay can help. Here are some links you may find helpful.
- Chicago Building Permits
- Los Angeles Building Permits
- Palm-Beach County Building Permits
- Sarasota County Building Permits
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay was designed to help normal people deal with everyday challenges and avoid unnecessary costs. Building permit applications are only one of the many things we can do to make your life easier. Here are a few other ways we can simplify your home improvement project. Explore the many other services we offer, we're here to help!
Here at DoNotPay, we want to make your life easier by reducing the hassle and expenses that you just don't need. Check out our services or contact us today to check how and where you can get a building permit and simplify your life's hassles.