Building Approval Permits: Why You'll Need Help

The do-it-yourself home renovation or addition is nothing new, and as people try to save money, more and more are looking at ways to complete work themselves instead of working with a general contractor and other professionals. This works out well for some — but definitely not for everyone. One aspect of home renovation and construction that often trips up new DIY people is the permit process. If you have no experience with home renovation or construction, contact a general contractor instead of trying to navigate the permit process yourself. You'll be happy you did when you see just what's involved.

You Might Not Have Heard of Some of These Permits

Everyone talks about getting a "building permit" when doing construction, but you can actually need several permits, including some you might not be familiar with. Are you building a guest dwelling on empty land you own? Maybe you'll need an occupancy permit. Do you have to remove an old, crumbling structure first? Maybe you'll need a demolition permit. If you're subdividing land, permit strata might apply. If you don't have the right permits when you start work, you can't say you've never heard of those before.

You Might Not Realise You Needed These Permits, to Begin With

These permits aren't limited to just commercial buildings or new builds done by professional developers. You need permits even if working on your own land and even if the project will be for your use. Take that occupancy permit, for example; you may have thought of office buildings and concert halls when you thought of "occupancy," but you'll likely need it if you're building something that someone will occupy, even if that structure is in your backyard.

You Might Not Know About Exemptions That Make a Permit Unnecessary

And then there are the situations in which you don't need a permit. You can't assume that you qualify for one, and you might not be able to locate all the exemptions in online guides from state governments. A general contractor, however, will be more familiar with what it takes to qualify for an exemption.

This does not mean that you can never do any work on your home yourself. But when you're new to the process, jumping into DIY isn't a good idea, especially where permits are concerned. Working with a general contractor instead helps you get through the process smoothly and legally.

Contact a local general contractor to learn more about building approvals.