Posted on January 7, 2021
The Building Permits Process in California
California building permit
Building permits are official confirmations/ documented proof obtained from government agencies. The permit grants you or your contractor the liberty to do construction works. In California and many states, a building permit must have, in need to venture into construction or remodeling endeavors.
The permit is the only governing documentation that ascertains your building is in line with construction and zoning measures. Additionally, the permit’s stipulated rules before its acquisition ensure the safety guarantee to residents. It also enforces strict use of land and zoning policies.
In as much as building permits are a must-have before construction and remodeling, getting a California building permit takes time. However, you don’t have to go through the painstaking process. You can use a realtor to do your bidding. The real estate experts will help you get all the necessary permits while they expedite the process. Consequently, your projects get to start soon compared to when you do it yourself.
This document contains all the data about California building permits.
· How long does it take to get a building permits California?
Of course, the process of obtaining the remodeling or construction permit is lengthy. Nonetheless, upon filing the paperwork as needed, you can get your permit after two weeks for residential buildings. On the other hand, procuring a commercial building permit will take up to four weeks and sometimes even six weeks. The variations per permit are evident, and they are flexible depending on the project size. And so, to speak, if your project is small, you may end up getting the California building permit on the same day of application.
· The building permits California process
Since it’s a compendious process, California’s building permit turns out to be bureaucratic. It has stringent guides to govern you, and the area must adhere to. The guidelines are exclusively made to prepare you for the undertaking.
Anyhow, during the application process, you should contact the local authorities and give them a description of your project. Thereon, should your project have underlying reasons for not needing a permit, they will allow you to undertake it. Consequently, saving your time and speeding up project completion. On the other hand, should access be a requirement of your project, they will give you the proper application documents.
The California building permit at times needs to be double but dissimilar. This is a typical case when doing sizeable remodeling and modification of your home or commercial building. One of the double permits covers the construction/ remodeling work, while the other may cover plumbing and electrical redoing.
If necessary, as soon as you have the right application documents, proceed by compiling it with other forms such as the blueprints showing the areas to be remodeled, among others. Moreover, most projects concerning construction require blueprints drawings that show the desired work that’s awaiting completion.
The permit application, after being correctly filled, should be submitted accompanied by the necessary fee. After all these processes, you get the official California building permit certificate. The certificate can be posted on the construction site as soon as remodeling or building activities kick-off.
· When is the California building permit needed?
As a resident in California, probably by now, you know that not all projects require a California building permit. Sufficed to say, small tasks like repainting a kitchen or moving in/ reinstalling cabinets do not need permits. The inevitability of the permit depends on the requirements of the local building code. The code varies in different cities, and the issues may be reflected in specific regions. As an example, some permits in other states must take into account the cold winter weather.
The permit is required to ensure that everyone within the building is safe. With all things considered, failure to obtain the California building permit wills the shutdown of your projects. The advancements or construction made will also be demolished.
Here are the projects that require building permits California.
· Conversions of rooms – these can be expanding of rooms and getting rid of redundant ones.
· New building construction – the permit is not only needed in new building construction; it also a necessity when going for remodeling. In that case, you will need the electrical redoing and re-plumbing, which require the California building permit. Should the roofs also be part of the remodeling, the top, the building permit comes in handy.
· Demolition projects – while demolition may seem easy and even oblivious of California building [permit, that’s not the case. Demolition works may cause lives and other hazards. Precautions must therefore be followed, and that’s by getting the California building permit.
How to obtain the building permits California.
1. Do your research without stress.
Obtaining the California building permit is a stressful and lengthy endeavor. However, if you follow these steps while you are calm, you can pass through. To keep stress at bay, remember to include permit fees and the design fee since they are substantial. And in that case, your research should tell you the amount of payment required in the state of California you live in.
Approved engineers or building contractors can manage some of these steps mentioned below. Relying on them for assistance on the California building permit will be a wise and smart turn.
2. Check your town’s website.
Each city in California has a compendious description of works that require permits. The needed documents and processes for the permit application vary too. Consequently, the fees are also susceptible to changes.
Despite having the detailed process and the list of documents, you have to contact the building department. You need to have one of their personnel take you through the process. Additionally, it would be best if you made inquiries on their review process. Such relationships shall create openness and free interaction, helping you get the best responses in time.
3. Know that any advancements to the structure of the building require licensed engineers in California
These changes comprise the demolition of walls within the building or outside. In most cases, the primary cosmetic work requires a California building permit before undertaking. However, replacing the old faucets in your washroom doesn’t require a California building permit.
4. Conform to the up-to-date California building code
Each city-state may modify the code. However, modifications should be restrictive than the California building code. If you are remodeling an old building, you need to update the whole system in the entire building.
For instance, if you are dealing with buildings constructed in the 1940s, the electrical connection is probably dangerous. Renovations will trigger necessities for updates on the electrical system.
5. Know the choices you have for historical assets
In California, homes that are historically designated are usually 50 years old, going backward. Others have also hosted historical functions and have a remarkable backstory. As a historical asset homeowner, your review for the application will take longer than other buildings.
However, with normal remodeling, house owners intending to make electrical and other cosmetic fixes will require no permit. However, you must check your town’s regulations. If allowed, you can conduct the renovations.
On the other hand, historic integrity in California is a must cherish. In this case, if you were to do any remodeling, the outcome must be similar to what was before. So, if you plan to add a roof or remodel the historic house’s exterior, contact the California authorities first. If your description accompanied by the application documents is of concern, they will issue the California building permit.
6. Thoroughly follow the submittal requirements.
The first step any well-trained plan checker will take is checking the submittal for substantiality. An insubstantial submittal will derail your project. At times your application for the California building permit may be denied.
If you are not able to obtain the needed documents, you should contact the California building department. If they have them, you will need to fill them with the consent of a licensed professional.
· Phase two after submittal
1. Stay positive
In California, many building departments have a few staff. Consequently, the review process will take longer than usual in staffed faculties. Positive communication with the staff members will get your review completed as soon as possible. It will also get you through the problems that arise during the review process.
2. Allow inspections
Once you have landed the California building permit, the work covered by it must be inspected. Each permit has the to-be interviewed jobs listed by the building faculty. It would help if you didn’t cover up the already reviewed work, lest the work will be exposed for re-inspection.
Additionally, any deviations from the stipulated documents must be reported to the California building departments. There, the deviation will be approved, and additional charges might be incurred.
3. Get your project re-inspected
Upon completion of your projects, contact California’s building department for the final inspection. The work will be judged to be in line with the code and be appropriately done. The final inspection details will be documented. As a consequence, they will increase the value of your house. Antagonistically failure to write them will reduce the value of your buildings.
· The cost of a California building permit
California has not set any guidelines on permit pricing. However, the cost of building permits is $1200.
· Understanding the residential and commercial building cost
In as much as building permits for both residential and commercial buildings, there are distinctive features. The prime difference is that building or remodeling a commercial building is expensive. Residential buildings, on the other hand, are much cheaper. To develop a commercial building, you will need a California building permit.
What are the differences between commercial and residential building permits?
· Commercial buildings
Commercial buildings are designed for businesses. In terms of permits, they come with expensive permit and inspection fees. Still, they have stricter requirements that must be followed to approve the process.
· Residential buildings
On the other hand, residential building is designed to be living spaces. They come with somehow cheaper inspection fees, which depend on the work’s location. The type of project being done and the town regulation are also causing concerns. The approval process and requirements are also less strict compared to commercial buildings.
If you wish to develop or remodel a business building, the permit you get is the same for a residential building. However, more evaluation is done to assess the costs that need to be paid. With the commercial building cost, you will be required to pay 3 % of the contract’s value, which is costly.
Apart from paying the valuation fee, you will have to pay the inspection fee to acquire the permit. Inspections are necessary to ensure the building complies with California regulations.
California State sets the inspection fee for residential properties. To be sure of whether you can afford the costs, confirm with the local authorities. Seeking advice from real estate personnel will also be wise.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. How do I apply for a partial building permits California?
Amidst waiting for the full permit, the partial access will allow partly developments. The partial license may cover excavation or foundation creation. To apply it, you have to provide your project requirements. Moreover, a written outline explaining the scope of the partial permit and the permit fee is also needed.
2. How do I obtain the building permits California for occupancy?
The occupancy permit is the final approval to stay or use the building. You will only get it after the building safety code officer reviews the structure to determine whether the permit is necessary. If so, the officer shall provide the occupancy documents to the overall freelancer at the inspection time. The inspector will evaluate other pertinent authorities that need to sign off the project. Once signed, the contractor will leave the occupancy permit to the contractor. But for new business, arrangements for business licenses will have to be carried out.
3. What do the building drawings constitute?
Drawings may feature the site plan, architectural floor plans, and plumbing and electrical installations.
The sole purpose of building permits California is to ensure your project works to meet the local guidelines. Projects must be in line with zoning, construction, and the use of land guidelines. The guidelines are there to promote the safety of building users and the building’s durability. It’s necessary to have a California building permit in any state of California before doing remodeling or other projects.