If you’re in a position to have your first home built from the ground up, you’re no doubt captivated by the nearly limitless possibilities of designing your own castle. However, bringing your vision of a dream home to life starts with a heavy dose of reality in the form of obtaining a building permit. A building permit is required before starting virtually any form of major construction, and although the process may vary slightly from municipality to municipality, the basics of the process are fairly universal.
As with most municipal procedures, the permit securing process begins with the payment of a required permit fee determined by the local government. In some areas, this is even the end of the process, as a permit is then issued, but in most cities and towns you will then have to appear before the local zoning or planning board to further detail your construction plans.
Presenting a Proposal
The difficulty in obtaining your permit from the local planning board depends on factors such as the scope of the project as well as its appropriateness for the area based on its design, the materials used and the character of the neighborhood.
The board will ask to see the construction schematic and other details about the new home’s impact on its surroundings along with tax and financial information, and will then typically review the proposal as presented for a period of time. They may also request an on-site visit for a more thorough evaluation of the specific area. Each state is different, for instance the house and land packages in Perth can be a lot easier to get through, when compare to some other states.
Many proposals are approved on the first evaluation, but there are several common reasons for a rejection of an otherwise legitimate proposal. One of these is planned construction in a protected area such as an official historic district, which has a more protracted process and much more stringent guidelines for approval of new construction. Another is unsuitable design, an outcome in which the committee finds that the new structure will detract from or otherwise negatively alter the surrounding area.
More frequently, when an application is not approved outright, it is returned to the proposer with suggestions to bring the construction plans into compliance. If the plans are amended to include the suggestions, they are most often approved unless there are other issues with the construction or the prospective homeowner.
Building permits serve an important purpose in helping communities retain a defined identity and aesthetic. Although the process of obtaining one may seem inconvenient, it is measures such as these that distinguish the most desirable home building locations from faceless plots of land.