It can be difficult to get a building permit in California, but don't worry.A permit is required for almost all work done on a building.Many of the permits, such as re-roofing or replacing broken mechanical equipment, do not involve the process described and can be handled as "over-the-counter" permits.
Step 1: You don't have to worry about a building permit search.
The process of obtaining a building permit can be difficult if you follow the steps below.If you want to keep stress at a minimum, be sure to include the permit fees and the design fees in your budget.Many of the steps can be managed by licensed architects and engineers.Make your life easier by using and relying on them.
Step 2: You can check the website of your town or city.
Every city has a detailed description of what work requires a permit, the permitting process, a list of documents required for the permit application and the fees for that permit.It is advisable to contact the local building department even with a very good description of the process.Someone will talk you through the process.Ask them how much time is required for the review process.If there are problems in the future, this opens a positive relationship with the Building Department.
Step 3: The approval of the homeowner's association is optional.
If you are a member of a Homeowner's Association, you will need to approve any work you do.Most homeowner associations have design review clauses that cover every aspect of the house, including paint color.
Step 4: Any changes to the structure of the building will need the services of a California licensed civil or structural engineer.
There are new openings on the exterior walls of the building.Most of the time, a permit or city approval is required for basic cosmetic work.Replacing old faucets or countertops in your bathroom can be done without a permit.
Step 5: Comply with the current California Building Code.
The code can be modified by each town or city, but they must be more restrictive than the CBC.If you are working in an older building, you may need to update the entire system.The electrical system in a building that is more than 75 years old is now considered to be dangerous.A requirement to update the entire electrical system may be triggered by a renovation of part of that building.
Step 6: Know your options for historic homes.
A "historic" home is usually 50 years old or has a special function.Homeowners of historic buildings can expect delays in the processing of their building permit requests.As with "normal" houses, owners who are simply making an electrical, water heater, or other cosmetic fix may not need a building permit for their renovations.It's best to check with the city before.Historic integrity may need to be maintained with designated historic preservation districts.It needs to look like what it looked like before.If you want to add roofing, windows, siding, or a historic house, you should talk to the city about what's expected.
Step 7: Follow the requirements to the letter.
Reviewing the submittal for completeness is the first thing any plan checker will do.Your project will be delayed if you have an incomplete submittal.If you can't get some of the documents you need, you should check with the Building Department to see if they have them in their files.They will need to be prepared by licensed professionals.Many older buildings don't have surveys, site plans, or even building documents on file.
Step 8: A positive attitude is what you should keep.
The review process is taking more time due to understaffed building departments.If you have a positive interaction with the Building officials, you will be able to get the review completed as quickly as possible and get past any problems that may arise in the process.
Step 9: Allow for the inspection.
The work must be inspected by the Building department after the permit is obtained.The required inspections will be included in each permit.If you attempt to cover up work that is to have been inspected, you will expose the work which was to be inspected.The Building Department must be notified of any deviations from the approved documents.An extra fee is likely to be charged for them to review the work after the deviation is approved by them.
Step 10: There is a final inspection.
Once the work is done, be sure to get a final inspection from the Building Department.All of the work is judged to be in line with the code.This document will increase the value of your building.The value of your building will be affected by unauthorized work.