A building permit is an approval that is given by your local council allowing you to start a construction or renovation project in your premise. You get the permit after approval that your building is within local regulations about the usage of land and construction.
You only need a permit if you are starting a major construction such as a subfloor repair on your property or a remodeling project. Some of the minor fixes do not require you to apply for one. But, if you’re not sure the repairs you’re about to undertake will require a permit or not, it is important to check with the laws in your locality. You can also visit the municipal offices just to be on the safe side.
It is vital that you apply for the permit early enough since it is illegal to start building without it. You could end up being arrested and fined heavily for the violation. There are several processes involved when seeking a permit that you need to know.
Contact your local council office
The first step is to contact your local government office and describe to them the kind of project you want to undertake. Give as many details as possible so that they may guide you accordingly. They will then advise you whether you need a permit for the work or not. If you need a license, you will have to fill in an application form that you need to fill in and note the requirements for obtaining said permit. Some construction and renovation works may require more than one permit, so you need to be keen on that as well.
Gather the required documents
When applying, there are some documents that you will need to provide for your request to go through. Gather copies of all the materials and attach them to the required application form. Some of the documents you will need include:
- Proof of ownership of the property which can be a certificate of the title or a signed and stamped contract showing evidence of sale.
- Your registered contractor’s details.
- Copies of the design and construction drawings
- Details about the construction and renovations in your construction site.
Submit the application
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You then submit the completed application form and accompanying documents in person to your local council offices. Some councils allow you to apply via mail or electronically, but you will have to consult whether that is an option in your area. There is usually a fee involved in the application. You will have to make the payments before your request is accepted.
Assessment of your application
A building and construction expert will assess your application as well as the supporting documents. He will check that the remodeling or construction is within the regulations of the county and that no safety regulations will be compromised during the renovations or construction. He will also check that your building is within the set local standards which include health before approving or rejecting the application.
Get the building permit
Once you get approval for your application, you can collect the license and begin construction. It is crucial that you start the work within 12 months from the time you received the permit. It also means that the building should be completed within two years otherwise the license is revoked. You should also remember to post the permit at the site of construction in case an inspection team comes to check on it.
Book for inspection
Usually, you will receive a letter stating the checks that you need to be done in the course of the remodeling or building. The inspections happen in phases, so you need to book for review once you complete each stage as per the requirements of your license. Once you go through all the checks, you will need a certificate of final inspection once the last inspection has been carried out by the council inspector.
Get an occupancy permit
If you were constructing a new building, you need to get an occupancy permit before anyone moves into the house. You will need to provide the following documents for you to get the occupancy permit:
- Form 5 which is the application form for an occupancy permit.
- Plumbing, electrical, insulation, and mechanical certificates.
Once you provide all the paperwork, a professional will review your application and issue the occupancy permit. If you do not give any of the documents required, your request is automatically denied.
Request recycling and rubbish bins
After getting the permit, you will need to order for the recycling and rubbish bins. You can only get these for newly constructed buildings that already have the occupancy permit. The final step is to ensure that your house number is visible. There are regulations about that which you can get at your local office.
Is It Important to Get the Building Permit?
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There are a few reasons that have been highlighted as to why a building permit is necessary. The essence of a building permit is not only to help the municipal raise funds to provide essential services. It is also for your own good. Sometimes, some contractors are more interested in completed the job without observing the set regulations and building codes.
With a permit, the council is aware of the construction and occasionally inspectors are sent to check on the quality of the works and safety code of the progress. Having a building permit ensures your home meets the set requirements and that it is safe for you and any other person that will occupy the home. It will also protect you from any shoddy work that might be done by the contractor.
The process of getting permits for construction or renovations is long, and there is a chance that yours could be declined. It happens if you haven’t met the regulations. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the process and attain all required documentation in good time to avoid delays and possible rejection of the application. Remember to start the process early enough to give you time to get everything done without any mad rushes.