Avoid Building Permits AND Preserve Historic Beauty. The inspector and officer agreed once they saw how little he was disturbing and walked away satisfied. A landowner must ordinarily obtain a building permit in order to construct, enlarge, convert, add onto, or demolish a structure. Those are all the necessary basics that you need to know before you start building. That allows building officials to visit the site periodically to confirm that the work meets safety codes. And the owner must obtain the permit before, not after, beginning construction. Building permits are required to ensure public health, safety, and general welfare. This process may take a couple weeks or six weeks depending on the scope of your project. It's a 100 yr old house, and it is basically unrecognizable from what it used to be inside and out. While the legal requirements for permits depends on your jurisdiction and the nature of the renovation, here are five pitfalls you may encounter if you try renovating without a permit. Building permits are mainly about safety. The Building Division accepts applications for permits online for residential permits for glazing (window) replacement with no net area change; roof-mounted solar PV; water heater replacement; gas line repairs; water sprinklers; HVAC/furnace/ducts replacement; electric heat pump or AC repair or replacement, or electrical service upgrade for existing main panel. ... he was keeping the disturbance under the building permit requirements threshold. On small interior jobs, an unlicensed contractor may try to skirt the rule by telling you that authorities won’t notice. By enforcing construction standards, they give you and the other occupants of the building the best chance to avoid fire, structural failure or something as simple as a child getting his head caught between stair posts. The Oppressive Effects of Building Codes. The negative side of building codes is that they hinder and discourage new ideas, and stifles growth of building techniques that don’t meet the “IDEA” of normal. I have never had a building permit, for anything I have done at my home in town.. And I have done some serious damage and construction to remodel this place. Apply for a Building Permit To apply for a building permit, a Land Development Application form building permit must be completed and submitted to the Building and Safety Division with all required plan submittal documents and the appropriate deposit amount for the type of permit you are applying for. Feel free to share this piece of information with your friends, DIY building enthusiasts, facebook, whatever. The building department will have to review your permit application and plans for your project. We love to hear stories like this. Specifically, he’s built a small house on an existing house site without a building permit, thus the Council is demanding he demolish it. Don’t feel bad if they come back to you and request additional information or ask … Never once had a permit, and have never been in trouble. “A building permit must be obtained before you construct, enlarge, alter, move, replace, repair, improve, convert, or demolish any building or structure. You’re legally required to get a building permit for any significant construction project. Remember, sharing is caring. One Comment There’s a bloke in Lower Hutt currently garnering publicity over his war with the Council. Building codes have a direct and verifiable negative effect on innovation and the advancement of building science and technology. Hence you again avoid the trouble with building permits. 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