WHAT IS A PERMIT?
To authorize specified activities, cities issue an official document or certificate. This document is what is known as a permit. Permits are important in making sure that any construction, renovation, or addition to building adheres to certain regulations, codes, and safety requirements.
Permits are of different types, depending on type of construction:
Applying for a permit, whether a residential permit or a commercial permit, would require the submission of plans or drawings showing the intended improvement. The personnel responsible carries out inspection on the plans or drawings to ensure that the improvement is in accordance to certain regulations and codes.
WHEN IS A PERMIT REQUIRED?
Whether it’s a construction of a new building, or enlarging, repairing, demolishing, to any alteration of any kind to a structure. Or the erection, installation, repairing, or replacing of any building’s electrical, mechanical, or plumbing system. Be it commercial or residential, a residential permit or commercial permit is required as the case may be.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP)
A conditional use permit is the permit you obtain by asking for permission from the community, to run a home business. This permit is a little bit more difficult to get, because it involves a lot of processes:
Of course, with all this processes, you’d expect extensive paperwork. Getting this permit can be very time consuming, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t successfully get your permit. It just means you don’t have to do it alone. The process for obtaining this permit usually drags for a longtime.
How long can this process take? There are many cases of the Conditional Use Permit taking up to a year. However, paying the expediting fee can see the time you spend reduced. Please note that paying does not necessarily guarantee approval, there are so many variables involved.
Lest I forget, the CUP is expensive, and you’ll need to pay an upfront and these fees are non-refundable. The more reason why you shouldn’t try to do this on your own.
LOAD BEARING WALL MOVE AND REMOVAL
One of the most common kinds of home interior remodels is removing load bearing walls to create a more open space.
Structural engineers can determine which walls are the load bearing walls by either an onsite visit or by reviewing your home’s original blueprints. They determine how to safely remove the load bearing walls while keeping your house structurally sound and safe for an earthquake. The accidental demolition of a load-bearing wall without consulting a licensed structural engineer can cause a lot of damage.
For moving or removing a load bearing well, a set of plans are required.
SOME SITUATIONS THAT YOU NEED TO SUBMIT A SET OF PLANS TO GET PERMITS
Some of the situations where you’ll need plans are as below:
DO I NEED PERMITS FOR AN INTERIOR RENOVATION?
If your interior renovation requires no structural work, like replacing or removing a load-bearing wall. Then these permits are easily accessible. However, you may still require a full set of plans or architectural design of the interior. The building department requires these plans or architectural design for their review.
Depending on your city, you may not need plans for an interior renovation. Therefore, it is better you call the building department of your city to confirm.
DO I NEED A PERMIT FOR A HOME BUSINESS?
For businesses that require a sole operator, there is a chance that you survive without a permit. However, you will most definitely draw attention with employees, numerous clients, shipping products, or basically, if your business involves any activity that can affect your neighbors. You might need a permit. In this case, often, you’ll require a conditional use permit.
Please note that there are many variables regarding this permit. Once again, call to confirm.
WHAT NEXT AFTER APPROVAL?
After your permit is approved, you can go ahead with the construction as approved. You notify the building department that work is ready for inspection. Then the building department will send an inspector to confirm, building, addition or replacement of any kind was done according to the approved plan.
Depending on your city and the inspector sent to you, any deviation from the approved plan can be very costly, as you might need to restart or rebuild. However, most cases only require little tweaks.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A PERMIT?
Depending on the type of permit you require, you can get your permit the same day of the application over the counter. Some of such residential permits include permits for:
However, more complex permits would require a full set of plans or architectural design submission for review. The permit counter will let you know what is required and how long you’d wait for the approval.