Getting to Know Your Building Permits

Building Permits

Getting a building permit is quite easy. Whatever you need it for, the State of Florida is sure to have it easily accessible for you to download and fill in. The challenge that comes with permits is making certain you understand what they entail, that you are ready for the process, that your list of necessary permits is complete and accurate, and most importantly that you understand all the implications of going about the process yourself.

Because access is easy, many people feel as though this is an okay journey to take on their own. Curbing costs when building is a massive temptation. But there are ways to cut and ways to not cut costs.

There are so many permits for such specific areas of building and construction that it can become quite confusing. And getting advice is tricky because every county has their own permits and codes. This is why it becomes advisable to employ a contractor who is a specialist operating with experience in your area. A reputable company with all their licenses in place will be the most beneficial building partner to you.

Getting to Know Your Permits

First off, there are permits for the kind of building you want to work on, so be sure you are looking at the right page, or have you contractor fully aware of the purpose of your building before going forward.

  • Commercial Permits

    Commercial buildings will have to follow a completely different set of criteria with different permissions than a residence. The space does not fulfill the same purpose, create the same traffic, or have the same needs as a residential development. The size and spheres of what you are trying to accomplish is much larger and probably has to account for the safety of many more people. There is a great deal more liability involved when it comes to commercial building construction.

    Permits will be based on the function of the space. Look at the following list to guide you when accessing or listing the permits you will need.

    1. Manufacturing Plant
    2. Offices
    3. Stores
    4. Warehouses

    You can guess by the list that permits will be hugely specific. But any kind of building will require permits for structural modifications as well as any wiring or plumbing. Later in this article we define a list of other kinds of additions or changes that require permits.

    Basically, you need to consider that permits are there to protect all parties from as much risk as possible and so commercial permit lists will be extensive. Doorways, stairwells and elevators, all require their own permits, depending on your county. Having the correct permits will mean each aspect of your structure that poses the most risk will have passed assessments, making you less liable.

  • Residential Building Permits

    Your home does not need to be any less safe than commercial spaces. The measures needed to make them safe will differ. The functionality of a window, for example, will determine how it should be structured. Plus, the nature of the residence will play a part. If it is going to be more than one story, house more than one family, or be landlord controlled or privately owned will all determine the kinds of permits you will need. Again, this applies for each part of the structure, the same as for commercial.

    1. Free Standing Homes
    2. Duplex Structures
    3. Townhouses
    4. Apartments

    These various buildings will be subject to different standards because the future of the structure will not be the same for each. A freestanding home is more likely to get renovations or remodeling than apartments, for example. They will be owned and managed differently and so permits also help to mediate liability and will inform insurance policies.

  • Permits for Add-Ons

    Any object or addition you want in your own home must first be weighed against how it will affect the structural integrity, the environment, the neighbors, the use of space and function.

    1. Burglar proofing systems
    2. Weather proofing and screens
    3. Perimeter fencing
    4. Decks
    5. Air conditioning and electric
    6. Watering systems and plumbing installations 
    7. Gas tanks and generators
    8. Pools
    9. Boat houses and docks
    10. Roofing, windows and entrance ways

    This list is general. You need to check that you get county specific permits for everything required by your county government. Sometimes permits need to be cross referenced with state regulations depending on what exactly you’re trying to build or change.

    A professional contractor with an appropriate amount of experience will be able to do all of his for you without any risk that your applications for permits will be returned too many times. There is a limit to how many times you can submit an application for a permit before extra measures will have to be taken, so you really want the process to run smoothly.

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