A small business owner recently decided she needed more space, so she decided to lease a newly available space next to hers and expand her office. She then had someone install an interior door building contractor with experiencebetween the offices so her staff could move between the two spaces without having to go outside.

Shortly thereafter a city inspector arrived and asked to see the permit for the construction project. She hadn’t applied for a permit, so the inspector told her she had to get a permit or restore the wall it its original condition.

The client then contacted me to help her through the often confusing permitting processes.

I did some research and discovered local building codes in her city required her to create or identify:
1. A site plan
2. A floor plan
3. Parking layout
4. Equipment and fixtures
5. General notes and details
6. Disabled access requirements
7. Records of building
8. Construction details

I’m not going to list the steps this project required, I am just explaining that there is a bit of work involved lining up permits for any construction project. And you might have to un-build everything you just built if you don’t have the proper permits.

All this for just a door!

Additionally, if the proposed change of use can not be checked over the counter, meaning that the plans be shown to the City Plan Checker and if they are simple enough he looks at them and decides they are simple and have everything required he will approve them right there at the counter. Otherwise, three sets of plans are to be submitted for a Regular Plan Check, meaning the plans you submit will be put on a stack of other plans to be reviewed and given back to you at a later time with corrections or requests for other data. This could take a few days or weeks.

Is the permitting process over-burdensome on a small business owner who just wants a door between two offices she rents? I think so. However, you can tell from the above story that it is even more burdensome to not have the needed permits, so it’s better to do it right the first time.

So before you start your next home or office remodel, call Silva Construction.

Doing it right the first time will save you money in the long run.
Dave Silva

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