Step 6: Apply for a Building Permit
The plan reviewer at the city may have questions while reviewing your permit application. Your contractor and architect can help you get the answers you need to get the permit approval.
All cities are different, but the general process for a building permit application goes like this:
- Determine if a permit is required.
- Download and fill out the application form.
- Compile any plans that are required with the application. This will vary by city and by project type but will usually include floor plans, elevations, building sections, and a site plan if any exterior work is being performed. Verification that you are meeting the energy code might be required based on the work you are doing.
- Bring the application and plans to the city.
- Pay the city the building permit fee. This fee is usually based on the size (either by square foot or by construction cost) of the project and can often be found on the city’s website.
- Wait 2-4 weeks (or more or less depending on the city) while they review your application.
- Once reviewed and approved, you can pick up your permit. You are ready to build.
Step 7: Let the Construction Begin!
Things to keep in mind:
- Surprises will appear, especially in a renovation since many things are physically hidden until construction begins.
- Changes will happen – hopefully these are kept to a minimum since you worked through your renovation goals early on.
- Keep tracking your budget.
- Check in with the contractor regularly.
- If you are working with an architect, you want them to continue working with you through the construction process. Your architect will work on your behalf to make sure the project is built per the plans and to quickly address any unforeseen issues among other benefits.
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