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Obtaining Building Permits

Obtaining building permits is a crucial step in the construction process, ensuring that your project complies with local regulations and safety standards. The specific requirements and processes can vary depending on your location, as each jurisdiction may have its own set of rules and procedures. Here are general steps you can follow to obtain building permits:

Research Local Requirements:

  • Contact the local building department or planning office to understand the specific requirements for your project.
  • Inquire about zoning regulations, setback requirements, and any other local ordinances that may affect your construction.

Prepare Necessary Documents:

  • Create detailed plans and drawings of your project. These may include architectural plans, structural drawings, site plans, and other relevant documents.
  • Ensure that your plans meet the local building codes and regulations.

Complete Permit Application:

  • Obtain a building permit application from the local building department.
  • Fill out the application form completely and accurately. Provide all required information, including project details, property information, and contact information.

Submit Application:

  • Submit the completed application along with all required documents to the local building department.
  • Pay the required permit fees. The fees may vary depending on the scope and value of your project.

Plan Review:

  • The building department will review your plans to ensure they comply with local building codes and regulations.
  • This process may take some time, and you may be asked to make revisions or provide additional information.

Approval and Issuance:

  • Once your plans are approved, the building department will issue the building permit.
  • Ensure that you have a copy of the permit, as it must be posted at the construction site.


  • Schedule and undergo inspections as required during various stages of construction.
  • Inspections may include foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, and final inspections.

Completion and Final Approval:

  • After completing the construction, schedule a final inspection.
  • Once the final inspection is passed, the building department will issue a Certificate of Occupancy or Completion, depending on local regulations.

Comply with Conditions:

  • Be sure to comply with any conditions or requirements outlined in the building permit.
  • Always remember to consult with your local building department or planning office for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the specific requirements in your area. Local codes and procedures can vary significantly, and it’s important to be well-informed to ensure a smooth and compliant construction process.

Finding people to help with permits

When it comes to obtaining building permits, you may need assistance from various professionals and experts who can help you navigate the permit process. Here are some key individuals and resources you may consider:

An architect can help you create detailed plans and drawings that comply with local building codes and regulations. They often have experience in the permit application process and can guide you through the necessary steps.

Depending on the nature of your construction project, you may need structural, civil, mechanical, or electrical engineers to provide expert analysis and drawings. Engineers ensure that your project meets safety and structural requirements.

General Contractors:
A general contractor can oversee the construction process and help coordinate the various aspects of obtaining permits. They may also have experience working with local building departments.

Land Use Attorneys:
If your project involves complex zoning issues or legal considerations, consulting with a land use attorney can be beneficial. They can provide legal advice and assistance in navigating regulatory hurdles.

Professional Permit Expeditors:
Permit expeditors are professionals who specialize in navigating the permit process. They are familiar with local regulations and can help streamline the application process, potentially saving you time and effort.

A land surveyor can provide accurate measurements and site plans, which may be required as part of the permit application.

Local Building Department Staff:
Building department staff can provide valuable information and guidance on the specific requirements for your project. They can answer questions, review plans, and assist you throughout the permitting process.

Online Permitting Services:
Some online platforms and services specialize in helping individuals and businesses navigate the permitting process. These services may provide resources, guides, and assistance tailored to specific locations.

Networking with Other Builders:
Connect with local builders, contractors, and construction professionals who have experience in the area. They may provide insights into the local permitting process and recommend reliable professionals.

Community Development Organizations:
Some communities have development or business organizations that can offer support and information related to the permitting process. These organizations may host workshops or provide resources to assist with permit applications.
When seeking assistance, it’s important to choose professionals who are familiar with the specific regulations and requirements in your local area. Additionally, communication and collaboration among the various professionals involved in your project can help ensure a smoother permit application process.

Draftsmen for permits
Draftsmen, also known as architectural drafters or design drafters, can play a crucial role in the permit application process. While architects often handle the design and planning of a project, draftsmen specialize in creating detailed technical drawings and plans that are essential for obtaining building permits. Here’s how draftsmen can assist with permits:

Creating Technical Drawings:
Draftsmen work with architects and other professionals to create detailed technical drawings that outline the specifications of a construction project. These drawings typically include floor plans, elevations, site plans, and other relevant details required by the building department for permit approval.

Ensuring Code Compliance:
Draftsmen are knowledgeable about local building codes and regulations. They ensure that the technical drawings comply with these codes, meeting the specific requirements of the local building department.

Working with Architects and Engineers:
Draftsmen collaborate closely with architects and engineers to translate conceptual designs into precise technical drawings. They play a key role in turning design concepts into practical plans that can be used for construction and permitting.

Revisions and Updates:
If the building department requests revisions to the plans during the permit application process, draftsmen can efficiently make the necessary updates to ensure compliance and approval.

Assistance in Permit Application:
Draftsmen can assist in preparing the necessary documentation for the permit application. They ensure that the application package includes all required technical drawings and information needed for the building department’s review.

Communication with Building Departments:
Draftsmen often communicate directly with building department officials to address any questions or concerns regarding the technical aspects of the drawings. This can help streamline the review process.

Hiring a draftsman can be a cost-effective option compared to hiring an architect for certain projects. Draftsmen focus on the technical aspects of the drawings, which may be sufficient for straightforward construction projects.
When hiring a draftsman for permit-related work, it’s important to choose someone with experience in the specific type of project you are undertaking and familiarity with local building codes. Additionally, clear communication between the draftsman, other professionals involved in the project, and the building department is crucial to ensure that the permit application process progresses smoothly.

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Third Dimension Design would fall under the draftsman category although we have been doing all aspects of what a building permit takes including submission to local building permit jurisdictions. We also have a great team of engineers for structural, civil, mechanical, and electrical if the need arises.