Building permits keep people safe protect the homeowner, builder and occupants. Requiring a degree of construction standards to reduce the risk of damages from fire, structural integrity and workmanship, getting a permit for building is not an option.
Permits ensure that contractors use the right materials and don’t cut corners that can later cause injury or compromise the structural integrity of the building. If you aren’t using a contractor and choose to build yourself, obtaining a permit lets you ensure what you are planning is feasible. If your building plans have problems, the permit office will make you aware of them and require you to change them. Many do-it-yourselfers don’t have overarching knowledge of construction so going through the building permit process can help put them in the right direction and use their right materials for their project.
Some others reasons for getting a building permit before starting construction or remodeling include keeping your homeowners insurance valid and maintaining the value and integrity of your home if you choose to sell it. Most importantly however, building permits are required and it’s illegal to build or remodel various parts of a home without one. You could be fined or even obligated to tear down the structure if it is created without a permit.
The permit applicant will have to provide detailed plans to the permit office showing what will be built. Depending on the state and county, these might even need to be blueprints or engineered drawings along with a site map. It’s also important to note that there is a fee for building permits dependent on the type and size of the project along with the location. On the lower end a permit can cost around $50, but to build a completely new home it could cost somewhere around $500.
Upon submission, you should plan on a two-week waiting period and if your plans are approved you or your contractor will then be issued a permit. You must start the work within 6 months of the permit being issued and it will remain legitimate until the project is completed. Applying for a building permit could seem like a burden, but without one there are just too many risks involved including monetary fines and significant structural mistakes to a home or renovation.