What are Building Permits?
A building permit is a legal authorization required for construction of a new building, demolition of an existing one or renovation of a structure. Any construction activity, whether commercial or industrial, is required to meet a specific set of rules and regulations laid down by local governing authorities which grants the permit once it confirms that all rules are adhered to. Any sort of construction activity cannot be initiated without a valid permit and if undertaken is punishable by law.
Unlike renovation that refurbishes already existing premises, a ground-up construction involves building a structure from zero. Ground-up construction projects require a higher capital investment and their permits are a little more difficult to obtain and take more time to be granted.
Factors to Consider while Applying for Permits
There are a few factors which if considered beforehand can help a person in applying for a permit.
District or City Zones Regulations
An area in a city or district might be divided into multiple zones. Every zone will have guidelines that lay down architectural specifications for the buildings that are to be constructed in that zone. Some types of building may be allowed in an area while others might not be. Residential zone will have houses, industrial area will have factories and production houses and commercial area will have business establishments and offices. It is best to adhere to zoning regulations for faster processing of permit applications. In case a building is not intended for a zone, a special permit may also be applied whose approval will be at the discretion of the authorities.
Design of Building
Draw plans based on the specifications laid down by the authorities. Every construction procedure must meet the norms that are required. A specific set of rules and regulations are enforced by government authorities that apply to a new construction especially those pertaining to commercial activities. These may define the limits of height and width of the building, the number of floors it can have, the area it can cover, the building materials that are permitted to be used for construction, its environmental impact and the safety aspects including the ability to withstand the natural disasters. A certified professional may be hired to ensure that the design of building meets all requirements and is engineered and structured correctly.
Considering Types of Permit Needed
Permits are required for different activities. If a site involves some sort of demolition before new construction beings, a separate permit will be required for the same. Construction of a new foundation, changes to septic system, electrical wiring and plumbing will all require permits. Ensuring that applications requesting all of these are included, can help to gain a permit faster.
Documents Required for Obtaining Building Permits
Depending on the purpose of the permit, different types of documents may be required to be submitted along with it.
Application Forms: Application forms are required that request grant of permission for construction, demolition or refurbishment and may contain owner information.
Designs and Drawings: A site plan detailing the area and its dimensions and building drawing depicting floor plans and construction details must be included with permit.
Besides these, any applicable fees and other documents that are listed down by respective authorities must also be deposited. The fees are generally required only after the plans have been reviewed and passed. To ensure faster processing of permits, all documents must be submitted and all applications must be completely filled.