As an Owner Builder, getting approval from the Building Department can be a challenge. There are building codes to follow, neighborhood restrictions to comply with, and often a whole host of hoops to jump through. This can be overwhelming for the average person taking on a building or remodeling project.
It can take weeks or months to get a major project approved by your building authorities and if you're not prepared well or if you have insufficient expertise, you can fail completely. This one challenge is often enough to dissuade people from attempting to manage their own projects.
THERE ARE PROFESSIONALS WHO CAN HELP YOU
I recommend professional help. Wasting time is wasting money. We're not talking about painting a room or replacing carpet. A major remodel, addition, or building a home from scratch is a big endeavor and you're going to need a lot of help. Getting the proper professionals lined up from the very beginning is going to help you immensely. The first real hurdle they'll help you over is the approval of your building plans.
If you've been following my articles and the information found at sites like Dream Home Creation, you know the value in the practice of using a Home Building Coach to assist you in any major Owner Builder process. Your coach will guide you to all the proper steps and professionals to ensure your success.
How To Ensure Home Plan Approvals
In the interest of brevity and simplicity, I'm going to show you one path you can take to accomplish this goal. There are others. As an owner builder, you'll find this path or a close variation of it, to be useful and easy to follow.
- Hire a HomeBuilding Coach first: Getting this consultant in your corner is going to make life much simpler. Her contacts, experience, and knowledge will save you time and money. Do this as soon as you decide to build.
- Use a professional drafter, designer, or architect: Your coach can lead you to the best solution for you and your local requirements. A drafter should be the least expensive but may not be "allowable" in your market. When using a drafter, you'll likely need a structural engineer to sign off on the plans.
- Work with a Structural Engineer: As mentioned, with a drafter it will be required or highly recommended. Most residential designers and architects will work with these engineers anyway. The engineer is going to calculate and certify that all codes were followed.
- Communicate closely with your professional team: Once plans are submitted, the building department is going to come back to you with "corrections". As an owner builder, you will likely be the one who must relay the needed changes to your team. Keep them informed and keep them motivated to make the corrections.
It's not really that hard to get your plans approved if you put the right people in place. Work with your coach and keep the ball rolling. These professionals will know the requirements and they'll be able to communicate with the building department if there is any confusion about what they want. You don't want to be doing this yourself.
Following this plan will remove the "plan submission overwhelm" and get you going towards your home building or remodeling goals. Make the decision to use these professionals and eliminate this most difficult challenge.