How to Get a Building Permit After Buying Land: What You Need to Know

Get a Building Permit after Buying Land
Get a Building Permit after Buying Land

When Do You Need a Building Permit?

The building of a house for your family or construction you will use for your business always starts with buying land. However, the required paperwork does not end with signing the appropriate type of land purchase agreement. In fact, it just starts there! After the land purchase is all set, it is time to get a building permit.

A building permit is an important document you must receive before starting to construct a new building, demolish the old one, or make any additions or renovations. Many people confuse building and land use permits. Remember that these two permits are different documents and should be applied for separately. The building permit is also known as a construction permit.

Request a building permit when you want to:

  1. Construct a new building that exceeds ten square meters. Thus, even if you are intended to build a tiny house, the law requires you to obtain an appropriate permit first;
  2. Construct a seasonal building;
  3. Make a foundation;
  4. Renovate, repair, or make any additions to an existing building;
  5. Change the use of a purchased building.

If you doubt whether a permit is required in the specific situation, contact your local authorities.

Do I Need a Building Permit?

If you have decided to buy land for building a home or any other construction, you must obtain an appropriate construction permit. There are several types of building permits. They are issued depending on the type of building you want to construct (a residential house, a multi-family building, a commercial building, or other) and depending on the changes you want to make (construct a new building, install a new roof, change electricity, perform any plumbing or other works).

You need to obtain the permit before any works have started if you want to avoid legal issues. Besides, a building permit will:

  • Ensure your building meets all the safety practices and building codes requirements;
  • Your contractor is using safe methods and materials while building the construction;
  • Add the value of your building;
  • Prevent you from troubles with the insurance company.

How to Get a Building Permit?

Whether you have bought the land for commercial use or to build your new home, there are several general steps you need to follow to obtain a construction permit:

1. Make a project plan. If you are constructing a new building, you may need a qualified engineer or an architect to help you with the plan. Project planning is a good opportunity for you to get acquainted with the mitigation techniques that will be integrated into the building plan to reduce risks from natural hazards. Download and examine a project planning template to understand the basic planning elements considered by building departments and design professionals;

2. Meet a local code official. Before submitting an application, discuss the plan with a code official to avoid potential problems and figure out what additional documents may be required for your application to meet the requirements of the local law;

3. Fill out and submit the application form and additional documents. The three basic elements are the application form, application fee, and a project plan. The staff reviewing your application may also require energy calculations, maps, photos, architectural and engineering designs, construction plan, and post-disaster damage inspection. The application fee may be different as it depends on the changes you want to make.

After that, the appropriate officials will determine if your project meets the requirements. If it does, permits are issued. Otherwise, а local code official may specify what is lacking and may suggest ways to fix the issues.

After you’ve received the required permits, you can start the construction. In the course of building or altering your construction, you will have to face a building inspection. The main aim of this inspection is to ensure that the building is constructed according to the plan indicated in the permit and the building codes. The number of inspections may vary. A large building project will require more visits from an inspector than a tiny house. Typically, the construction of a new building requires five inspections, including an inspection of footing, foundation, framing, fire protection, and final inspection. If the inspector finds any problems, you have to correct them before proceeding with your construction.