Home Building: A Primer on Construction Permits and Building Codes

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 15 Apr, 2013
Construction permits, or what may also be called building permits, are required by most cities whenever new construction occurs. A permit is also required for renovations, and various other changes to a home. Essentially, a permit must be secured, most times, whenever a building is constructed, altered, repaired, converted or demolished. The purpose of a […] The post Home Building: A Primer on Construction Permits and Building Codes appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
Building plansare submitted at the time a permit is applied for. The plans must be detailed, and show how your project will meet applicable building codes. Each state will vary in their specifications, but many will require that the plans be prepared and signed by an architect or engineer licensed by the state where you live.
Building codesare the set of standards by which a permit approval is based on. The codes ensure the structural safety of buildings. Most cities adopt established codes provided by such models as the International Building Code, National Electric Code, International Mechanical Code, Uniform Plumbing Code and the ANSI A117.1 for Accessibility. As well there are federal, state and local laws which govern construction.
Obtaining a construction permitoccurs before you start building. The first place to look is the city website of the town in which you plan to build. Most city websites have forms you can download, as well as specific information about how to obtain a permit, and an explanation of local building codes. Your city will likely have a department which deals primarily with permitting, and you will work with them directly.
Inspectionsoccur throughout the construction process, at certain points in the project, depending on the specific work performed. It is the responsibility of the homeowner or the contractor to ensure all required inspections occur. The project is not complete until it passes the final inspection.
Build to the plan, or submit any changes to the plan to the city, to ensure the plans meet the city’s approval.
Warning!If you do not obtain a permit,  you are violating city codes and will be subject to fines and penalties. Even if you do obtain a permit, it can expire after a certain time if no inspections are made during that time period. If a permit expires before the final inspection, the home violates city codes, and you’ll need to talk to the city department about re-applying for a permit.
Next Steps:
Photo Credit, Daquella manera

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