What does Building Permit Mean?
Definition of Building Permit in Construction
The building permit is a document that provides permission to the owner and the contractor, to construct the project. This is issued by the local municipality, and is based upon review of the plans and specifications by the various departments within the Town’s Building Division. Typical departments include Department of Public Works, Engineering , Fire and Safety, Planning and Zoning, Wetlands, Highway, etc. The issuance of the building permit for the project, is totally dependent upon the preparation that the owner had already performed, as they prepared to submit for the permit. If the owner had involvement with the departments, prior to the actual application, then the issues have already been addressed, and the building department issuance of the permit becomes a formality. However, on the other hand, if there has been little or no initial preparation and discussion involving the project, and the application is submitted without discussions and preparation, then it will require a longer period of time to secure the permit. Once the permit is approved, normally the building department will assign a permit number for the project and the required inspections will be listed, on what is called the inspection card. Most municipalities now use a computerized system via the internet to schedule inspections and indicate permit status. The building permit itself is normally required to be posted in a prominent position on the jobsite for easy access by inspectors and other municipal officials. There is normally a period of time that the permit is valid for, if the project schedule is delayed , then in many instances the permit will need to be re-applied for, or the time allowed to complete the project, extended. The building permit indicates that the project documents have complied with the codes and that permission is granted to construct the project. Unfortunately for contractors, each inspector has the right, as they conduct their individual inspections, to require whatever they feel necessary to ensure a safe and structurally sound project.