Once the Construction Documents are complete, a building permit is obtained from the governmental jurisdiction having authority. This is usually a municipality or county. Logically, we call this the Permit Assistance Phase or simply “Permitting.” We will have previously made a study of the local building codes and designed the project respecting those codes. Nevertheless, building codes are often not written with exactness and as such are open to wide interpretation. Some building departments are notorious for making interpretations of codes that are very restrictive. In addition, it is not uncommon for interpretations of the codes to vary even within the same building department depending on which examiner does the review.
Navigating this “minefield” requires a skill most clients do not posses. It is for that reason that even though it is the client’s responsibility to get a building permit according to most governing jurisdictions, except in rare cases we will do that work on your behalf. While we are very familiar with this process and it most often goes very well, it sometimes happens that building department interpretations are so adversarial to the client’s interest that the process of obtaining a building permit becomes protracted and costly. In these rare cases, we make every effort to see this anticipate these issues and advise you accordingly in advance.