Understanding building codes can make it easier to work with your contractor. This is because you'll understand why your contractor may need to modify some of your original plans to make them meet these codes.
Building codes are a series of rules and regulations that are in place to make sure local buildings and other structures are as safe as possible. These codes are location specific. They are updated as needed, so they should be checked each time you plan a new remodeling project.
The first thing that needs to be checked is whether your local zoning ordinances will allow you to build your addition in the location you have planned. These ordinances will also define how much land you need for the size of the addition you want to build.
Let the Professionals Handle This Process But Stay Involved
Meeting with your local building department to complete this process can be intimidating and time consuming. To save time and aggravation, consider letting your experienced contractor take care of this step for you.
Even though you'll probably let your contractor be the main contact with your local building department, you should try to be involved enough to always know your building compliance status.
Building Department Steps for Approval
The first contact will probably be by phone. During this call, your contractor may request a copy of the latest zoning ordinances related to your project. The next step is to provide the building department's inspector with a set of blueprints of your planned remodeling project. If needed, the building department will consult with other departments, such as the fire department, public works, and traffic engineering departments.
After gathering all the necessary information, the building department inspector will review your remodeling plans to make sure they meet code. If they do, your plans will be approved. If not, the inspector will ask you to make changes.
Don't Begin Work Until After Receiving Building Permit
After your blueprints are approved, your contractor can apply for a building permit. If you're working with a professional contractor, you shouldn't have to worry that he or she will begin work without this permit because pros understand that the consequences could be severe.
If construction begins before receiving a permit, there is a risk that the plans won't meet code. If this happens and the building department's inspector finds out, you may need to tear down the new construction and then rebuild according to the codes.
Prepare for Possible In-Person Site Inspections
The cost of the permit may be about 2 or 3 percent of the total cost of your remodeling project, so factor this into your remodeling budget. Before approving your blueprints, your building department inspector may schedule an in-person meeting in your home to get a better idea of the changes you plan to make.
After you receive your building permit, you and your contractor will have to work with your building department inspector until your project is complete. Your inspector will need to assess and approve, or require modifications for any changes you want to make throughout your remodeling project.
To apply for your building permit, you or your contractor will need to submit a copy of the blueprints that were approved, and your permit application. You'll have to go through another approval process before you receive your building permit, so allow for possible delays during this stage.
To get an idea of how much time you should allow, ask for an estimated time of approval when you submit your permit application. Contact a general building contractor like Taylor Construction Co today for more information.