We have often responded to our customers’ concerns about building permits in the United States and more specifically in Florida.
Even if it was easy and not very restrictive to build in Florida before, it is not the case today, especially after the passage of hurricane Andrew in 1992 (see our article about Irma).
Indeed, it is not possible to build or remodel a property without complying with certain rules, unless you want to take the chance of having your work stopped, and/or receive a ticket, or even in the most extreme cases, be prosecuted criminally.
Once you want to build or modify a property (house, building etc. …), the first step is to pull several permits with the city concerned.
These building permits must be detailed for all trades, thus ensuring a good execution carried out in accordance with the rules of the art.
Pulling building permits can take up to several months, depending on the city. You must provide a detailed statement and some architectural plans of all the work to be done whether it’s electricity, windows openings, plumbing, flooring, roofing, air conditioning, pool, etc.
But you must also define the location on which you intervene by a cadastral survey (plot survey). For certain areas at risk, it is also essential to verify the nature of the soil on which you are intervening to be sure of its stability and its ability to absorb water during heavy rainfall. It is necessary or even mandatory to start any project.
Once this “grail” is finally obtained, each step of the work will be sanctioned by an intermediate inspection to determine whether the work was carried out according to the plans provided but also according to the standards (distance between the screws for the partitions, windows anchoring, insulation of electric cables).
Without this, you cannot advance in your work, these inspections allow you to go from one phase to another and so on until the completion of the project.
When the project is completed, each permit must be closed with a final inspection, and the master permit must also be closed by an overall inspection of all trades. Finally, some municipalities require a “re-occupancy inspection” in order to validate the overall conformity of the property with the rental or sales standards of the city!
Without this, no sale can be considered because an unclosed permit represents a “cloud on the title”, a clause not lifted and therefore an unresolved problem.