Obtaining a building permit is the first step for a homeowner, home builder or general contractor to begin the process of building a new home. Official building permits are required for most home remodeling and addition projects as well. The state or county where a home is going to be built must issue the building permit. A permit grants legal permission to build a home according to all of the local ordinances and regulations for the area, as well as those pertaining directly to the property.

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Building a new house requires strict adherence to local building codes.

Call or visit the local permit office or check the website to learn what the city requires to be submitted for supporting documentation with an application for a building permit. Typical documentation will generally include a copy of the building plans, Certificate of Title or other proof of property ownership as well as any site survey documentation, soil and water reports.

Draft building plans for submission with the permit application. The city will need to see exactly what type of structure is going to be built, including specifics on the site, elevation, drainage plans and utility connections. An experienced drafter may write up plans independently, but the best thing to do is to hire an architect who will draw up official blueprints for the construction. A copy of the blueprints can be submitted to the city as the official building plans.

Hire an independent site inspector or request a city site inspector appointment to view the property. The site inspector will be able to tell if the building plans suit the area and the property, and whether or not the city is likely to approve the permit application as it is. An inspector can make recommendations that may save a home owner or builder valuable time and money on repeated permit applications or costly building errors down the road.

Fill out the permit application in its entirety and submit the permit application along with a copy of the building plans, the title showing ownership and all other necessary documentation to the city permit office. Make sure to include the permit application fee or the application will not be processed. A permit may be immediately approved by the city, or it may be approved with amendments required. Depending on the local regulations and restrictions, additional inspections or testing may be required.

Address any corrections that are needed to the building plans and resubmit the permit application for final approval.