Steps to Pull Building Permits

Following Part I, “The Top 3 Reasons to Pull A Permit on Every Project,” let’s break down the steps to pull the permit.

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The first step is to visit the Land Use/Building Department and obtain a form at your City/Town Hall. Some towns offer these permits online, so check there first. It’s always easier to fill these out ahead of time but not every town has embraced the online option.

In many towns, you will also need to pull a Zoning Permit, separate from the Building Permit. Plan to get a Zoning Permit if you are changing a floor plan, adding livable space or potentially affecting anything outside which might interfere with set backs from the road or a neighboring property. There is usually a set fee for the Zoning permit review process.

You will also need to pull a separate permit if you live in a town that has a Health Department and you are doing anything that involves adding a bathroom. However, if you have city water and sewers, you will not have to worry about this step. Again, there is typically a set fee for this permit review process.

When you pull the Building Permit, you will need to include as much detail as possible about what you are planning to do. Many times, drawings are required, depending on the scale of your project. They do not have to be professional drawings in most cases, but town inspectors will want dimensions and any structural changes that are part of the project. If you have drawings for the project, be sure to include them in the permit and save a second copy for Zoning. Building permit costs are determined based on the total cost of the project. Every town is different with what they charge, but in CT, it is based on each thousand of the total cost. Typically, there is also a maximum, but few ever reach that number!

With all of that said, I highly recommend that you have your contractor take care of this for larger projects. They know the ins and outs of the process, and if they have been around long enough, they know the key players and can help move things along much quicker. In the State of Connecticut, if the homeowner pulls the permit themselves, they are considered the General Contractor for the project. However, if you have any problems during the project, you will have more options available to you through the Department of Consumer Protection if your contractor pulled the permit. Just remember, you have to have a contract to be fully covered.

Once the permits are submitted for review, you will be notified once they have been approved. In some cases, the Building Official or Zoning Official will deny the permit pending additional information. You will need to provide them with what they need and wait for the approval.

For more information, feel free to contact us at Shaw Remodeling.

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