How To Get Permits For Remodel
Beginning your remodeling project for home or office is exciting, but don’t renovate yet until you know if you need a permit. Learning how to get a permit to renovate is an important step and one that will save you money on the long run. While you may own the property your project must fall in accordance to government’s building code – essentially your project must be “up to code”.
In North Florida, these building projects do not need a permit.
Pulling permits seems like nit-picking, but the government does this to keep homeowners and building occupants safe from harm. Permits help keep home and office in line to minimize fire disasters, structural collapse, electrical mishaps and potentially death. Plus, there are monetary consequence for not having permits
Do I Need A Permit?
Interior cosmetic upgrades like changing a shower head or adding flooring don’t need a permit. However, if you are adding square footage, modifying the building, or altering other components in the building, you’ll need to obtain a permit.
If your building project consists of constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, moving, demolishing, or changing the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the technical codes, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit for the work.
What Happens If I Don’t Have A Building Permit?
The following are a few disadvantages (so to speak) that will happen if you decide to forgo the permit procedures:
- Selling your house will be difficult if you can’t show a permit for your work.
- A lender will most likely refuse to grant you a mortgage if you have work without a permit.
- Local municipality could apply fines or penalties.
- Spend more money doing the work again to bring it up to code.
- An appraiser might not include the work in a future appraisal, lowering your home’s value.
How To Get A Building Permit
More than likely you won’t have to do a thing to obtain a permit – that’s if you are using a contractor. If your building project requires you to hire a contractor, that’s the person that will be responsible for pulling the proper building permits. If you are a DIY-er, then you’ll be responsible to get the proper permits…may seem a daunting task but it can be done!
Relying on a contractor or a building permit processing service is a smart idea – these are professionals that know what your local municipality will need and the correct electrical and structural plans to turn in to successfully and quickly get a permit.
Doing it alone? You’ll need to get your own building permit. This will involve you drawing up plans and submitting them. Usually for simple projects, local building permit agencies can help suggest the best route and plans to use.
Cost Of A Building Permit?
There really is no fixed dollar amount for a building permit. Prices vary widely. Factors like how extensive the project is, what the local government price scheduling is come in to play when determining the permit pricing.
Most local municipalities will have a fee schedule online to help you gauge the cost. It’s helpful to look at their site for some guidance but keep in mind not all projects are equal. Take a look at the city of Miami’s permit fee schedule for an example.
The good thing about the cost of the permit is that it will cover all additional inspections the city will need to make as your project progresses, this also includes the final sign-off.
How Long Will It Take To Get A Permit?
This question is the same as the cost. It varies. Fences, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, decks, roofing, and small remodel jobs will probably take a day to pull those permits.
Once you are beginning modifying a structure or adding to a building, the review process can take several weeks. Expect a longer time if there are projects ahead of yours. They’ll estimate a time once you submit the plans – best best is to add two weeks to that.
Once you get the permit you’ll have about six months to work on the project, after that you’ll need to file an extension.
As your project is done you’ll need a final inspection. Then, a final approval will be needed with your local building department. Keep those permits and final approvals to show as proof if you plan on selling – it’ll speed up the selling process.