Understand Building Codes
Before you get to designing a building, you need to know the local building codes. These codes state the minimum requirements for any construction. It is important to be aware of them before beginning!
This part explains how to understand building codes and how they relate to your plans:
Research local building codes
Find out who regulates local building codes. This is key to get your construction plan approved. Understand the rules and restrictions.
- Learn which org is responsible.
- See what their requirements are.
- Research local policies and fees.
- Look at land use and safety laws too.
- Know what parts a plan needs.
- Get details and fees sorted.
- This saves time when submitting.
Familiarize yourself with building regulations
Before you start planning to build a structure, familiarize yourself with the building codes of your local government. These codes vary from country to country and even from state to state.
In general, these regulations cover topics related to safety, structural integrity, and the ability to withstand natural disasters. Furthermore, certain types of buildings may have extra requirements such as energy efficiency or environmental concerns.
When submitting your plans for a building permit, make sure they follow all applicable building codes. You can find information on what materials are necessary in local government publications or on government websites. Additionally, understand any special requirements or exemptions that apply to your project.
Remember to take any future modifications into consideration. Changes like adding additional floors or increasing square footage may demand additional approvals at a later date.
Create a Site Plan
Ready to apply for a building permit? First, create a site plan! This shows where the structure will be built and its boundaries. It’s a crucial part of the planning process.
Want to know how to create a site plan for your permit application? Let’s look!
Measure the dimensions of the property
Creating a property development project needs an exact site plan. This is a top-view map of the boundaries which includes man-made things (like buildings and fencing) and natural elements (such as trees and streams).
Begin by gathering precise measurements. Start with the dimensions of the land. Include the location of nearby public streets or alleys. You can find this info on county land plat maps or ask your local building department for help.
Now measure any existing structures like buildings, viewsheds, and easements. Record distances between objects and angles of view accurately. Half an inch can make a difference to zoning laws. Lastly, note any trees or plants that may interfere with construction or people’s use of the structure in the future.
Having the right site plan will save lots of trouble when you submit your building permit requests and start constructing. Follow these steps and you will have all the info to design knowing local zoning regulations, public rights-of-way and land surveying principles have been taken into account:
- Gather precise measurements.
- Include the dimensions of the land.
- Locate nearby public streets or alleys.
- Measure existing structures.
- Record distances and angles of view accurately.
- Note any trees or plants that may interfere with construction.
Draw a site plan of the property
Drawing your property’s site plan is key for getting a building permit. It should show existing structures, fences, driveways, walkways and utilities, plus the area you want to develop, and any other features like trees.
- Mark the plan’s scale, and list all dimensions. Use an “Imperial scale” (1 inch = 20 feet) or “Metric scale” (1:100 proportion). To measure, use a tape measure and yard stick.
- Start with two points on the property, such as two house foundation corners or one fence post corner and one tree corner.
- Indicate which type of utility it is, like telephone/cable lines, gas lines, water pipes. Show if they’re above or below ground level, and any slopes. For fencing, note what type it is, such as wood pickets, so it meets local standards.
Draw your site plan on graph paper. Mark North, South East & West points of reference, and longitude & latitude coordinates. This will help with precise measurements near area structures/utilities.
Design the Building
Designing the building is the initial step for getting a building permit. Where doors and windows will be located, wall height, roof type, foundation type and other details should be thought through carefully to get the best design. It is recommended to hire a professional designer or an architect for more intricate designs.
Let’s take a closer look at the design process for obtaining a building permit:
Sketch the floor plans of the building
Designing floor plans for a building is important. Whether you are a beginner or experienced builder or designer, it’s important to be precise. Measurements of doorways, windows, interior rooms, walls, ceilings, and any obstructions due to plumbing or HVAC systems must be included in the design. If you plan on installing any appliances such as laundry or a kitchenette, make sure it’s detailed.
Include information about staircases, for safety regulations. Step by step instructions about electrical wiring must be included too. With modern technology, renovating or designing is simpler. However, accurate blueprints are still needed for permits and inspections prior to construction.
Include details of the building’s features
When designing building plans, you should add plenty of detail. This is important for getting an exact building permit and making sure the structure follows regulations. List the total length, width, and height, plus any overhangs.
For each room, include its purpose, measurements, wall/window placement, flooring, and plumbing/electrical setup. Also, if there are stairs between levels or interior balconies, draw them and give their measurements.
For exterior features, such as staircases, decks, awnings, or porticos, provide measurements and details. Lastly, give specs for the foundation and list material, slab depth, footing location, and measurement.
Draw Elevation Plans
Drawing an elevation plan for a building permit is a must. It provides a detailed visual of the building and land. Dimensions, window/door locations, elevations and materials should be included.
Here’s a guide on how to draw a permit-approved plan:
Draw a side view of the building
An elevation plan is a drawing of the front, back, left, and right sides of a building. Architects and designers use this to map out building levels and sections, so they can accurately determine its height.
The view should include walls, columns, stairs, balconies and other details like skylights and mechanical openings. It should also have window and door dimensions. Arrows can help to indicate changes in direction, such as steps leading to the main entrance.
Cross sections are helpful for calculations such as R-value. Color shading is used to differentiate between levels and sections. Labels make each element easier to understand quickly.
Include the building’s features in the elevation plan
Elevation plans are key for building permit applications. It is important to draw a scaled diagram with exact details of the building, like height, width, roof pitches, opening sizes and window locations. Measure all walls, structures and openings with a tape measure or other measuring tool. Include details of roof pitches or other features that will affect the finished look.
- Ensure the plan is cross-referenced with environmental limitations and city codes.
- Wear protective safety equipment when conducting tests.
- Gather materials and follow the outlined program.
- Respect regulations and comply with them.
Prepare Final Plans
Before submitting your plans for a building permit, create final drawings that comply with local building codes. Ensure the drawings are accurate with all structural, electrical, and plumbing details. Plus, include dimensions, window sizes, and more.
Here are the steps to take to prepare final plans to submit for a building permit:
- Research local building codes.
- Create detailed drawings that comply with local building codes.
- Include accurate dimensions, window sizes, and other details.
- Review drawings with a professional to ensure accuracy.
- Submit drawings to the local building department.
Include all relevant information
Before submitting your plans for a building permit, it’s important to include all the information that is necessary for safety and lawfulness. This should include a detailed layout of the structure, including its measurements, materials used, and other structural components. Blueprints to show elevations from all sides is also beneficial.
Other elements to include:
- Location of windows, doors, and ventilation systems
- Drawings of staircases, beams, and columns
- Specifications for electrical wiring
- Water lines, sewer pipes, and drainage systems
- Structural supports to handle environmental stressors
- Inspection certifications, if needed
- Any other relevant data required by local codes/ordinances.
Submit plans to local authorities
Before the building plans can be okayed for the project, paperwork must be done. You must hand in a full set of plans + specs to your local city hall or other government office. Make sure you include all building codes + zoning requirements relevant to the proposed project. Show electrical, plumbing + mechanical layout drawings too.
The plans will be checked by municipal or county authorities. If there are any queries about permits or rules, they’ll request more details or clarity. How long this takes depends on their response rate and their workload. After all questions + paperwork have been addressed, you can start the plans:
- Full set of plans + specs
- Building codes + zoning requirements
- Electrical, plumbing + mechanical layout drawings
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are building plans for a building permit?
Building plans for a building permit are detailed drawings and documents that illustrate the design and construction of a building. They include floor plans, elevations, section drawings, foundation plans, and technical specifications. These plans must be submitted to obtain a building permit from the local government before construction can begin.
2. Who can create building plans for a building permit?
Generally, building plans for a building permit must be created by a professional architect or engineer who is licensed in the state where the construction will take place. Some jurisdictions allow homeowners to create their own plans for smaller projects, but it is important to check with the local government to determine the requirements in your area.
3. What information needs to be included in building plans for a building permit?
Building plans for a building permit must include detailed information about the dimensions and construction of the building, as well as additional information about electrical, plumbing, and heating systems. They should also illustrate compliance with local building codes and zoning regulations.
4. How long does it take to get a building permit?
The time it takes to obtain a building permit can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the requirements of the local government. In some cases, it can take several weeks or months for a permit to be approved.
5. Can building plans be modified after a building permit has been issued?
Building plans can be modified after a building permit has been issued, but the changes must be approved by the local government before construction can proceed. Depending on the extent of the changes, additional permits may also be required.
6. What happens if construction begins without a building permit?
Starting construction without a building permit can result in fines and legal consequences. Additionally, it may be necessary to correct any work that was completed improperly or without meeting local building codes, which can result in significant additional expenses.