We all want to live in a home that is safely built and efficiently designed. Life is just more comfortable that way. But in order for your home to be constructed in a safe manner with properly tested materials and skilled labor there needs to be a system of standards and accountability to ensure those standards are followed. Simply put, that’s why there are building permits. And you can count on your Virginia contractor to help you wade your way through the often complicated world of permits.
From Application to Inspection
Depending on the type of home improvement project you have on the go, the building permit process can be a lengthy one. An initial application will need to be filled out and submitted, along with an application or permit fee.
Your Virginia contractor may include this service and fee in their estimate. Or they may specify that you apply and pay for the permit separately. Good contractors will offer you the advice and information necessary to obtain a permit, even if they do not apply on your behalf.
From the date of application you will generally need to wait for the municipality or state to review the drawings and plans and issue their approval. There could be changes to the project at this stage, forcing you to comply with current building codes or insisting that certain parts of your home be upgraded to today’s standards. Be prepared to have some flexibility in your design until you have that seal of approval from the planning department.
Once the project is underway there will likely be inspections during the process. These usually need to be booked by the contractor, since they know how far along the work will be and when. You may need to be present at the inspections, although some projects and some inspectors will simply leave a confirmation of the process allowing the contractor to move forward.
Always be sure that any changes to the job are handled quickly and professionally. You do not want to take short cuts and have the building department shut down your job.
A final inspection is very often required in order for the final permit to be issued. There may or may not be infractions at this point. Be aware that even the best contractors get infracted at some point or another, sometimes due to error and other times due to design or communication issues. Infractions can usually be taken care of very quickly and the permit issued soon after.
Permits are Important
Your insurance company and financing arrangements may insist that a building permit be issued for your home improvement project. This covers your liability and ensures that the contractor follows building codes and produces good quality, consistent work. It is an added cost and does take a certain amount of time, but in the end obtaining a permit is not only necessary, it’s also wise.
An experienced Virginia contractor will have the tips and information to help speed the building permit process along. You can count on their advice, design and skills to make this portion of your home renovation move smoothly and efficiently.