advice on building permits needed

Old 03-05-06, 07:00 PM
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Question advice on building permits needed

I need to pull permits for a remodel project i am doing, which involves turning 2 bedrooms into a master bedroom and bath. I understand i need permits to do this, but I need plans for this project for the inspection department, my question is if i do these plans myself using "punch pro" software, would they be acceptable? if not how can i aquire plans for what i want to do without spending a fortune. thanks for any advice
Old 03-05-06, 07:32 PM
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I've always gotten away with a simple drawing - to scale - done in pencil on proper grid paper. They basically want to see the existing structure - and the proposed modifications. Make 5 copies at Kinko's and take them with you along with your permit application.
Old 03-05-06, 08:23 PM
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This is just a short but not complete sample of what should be included but CALL YOUR LOCAL BUILDING AUTHORITY FIRST (some items may not be needed)

What you need to provide will be scaled drawings 1/4" =1'-0",

Existing layout which may include all floors (foundation) - all dimensions, notes
Proposed layout with all dimensions, door and window sizes, notes
Floor joist layout (existing and sizes and direction)
Ceiling joist layout (existing - sizes and direction)
Wall/ceiling/floor definitions
Window sizes (egress in particular) and associated headers
Electrical Layout to include your smoke detectors
Notes including any new beam installations, point loads and new footings to support above structure
Elevation views if you are changing window locations
Cross sections may be necessary depending on the requirements in the wall removals.
HVAC and/or plumbing modifications needed.

Drawings could be done on 8x10's if acceptable by your building officials. What one has gotten away with doesn't mean its acceptable by all municipalities nor applicable to you.

Even if this seems small, in regards to the remodeling being done, Punch can draw all the lines but it is all the other issues that you may not be able to deal with nor know what should be noted on the plans. If you do, great but I am assumning not. As I have mentioned before, software means nothing if you don't know what is required or have the experience as that of a professional.

Hope this helps!
Old 03-06-06, 12:33 PM
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I think Doug's first paragraph says it all... Contact your permit office before going forward. Obviously some building offices require a lot more than others. I've gotten permits in 4 different counties, 3 different states, using the drawings I've outlined above. In my personal experience, the "online permit application" gives a draft of what is required along with the application. For specifics, I've always contacted the permit office, and they've been extremely helpful. Don't be scared off by the "possible enormities" of the task - it might be a lot simpler than you expect. On the other hand, I've never had to apply for a "structural change' type of permit - simply addition of plumbing fixtures, electrical runs, and/or new "non load bearing" walls. Good luck!
Old 03-06-06, 08:40 PM
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You are not going to be graded on the quality of your artwork at the Bldg. Dept. You just need something that they can follow and inspect.

For what you will pay for this "punch pro" software, you could probably go to a designer and have plans drawn. (How many times will you need "punch pro" after this??)

Another way to look at it -- you buy the "punch pro", draw the plans, make a 1/2 dozen trips to the bldg. dept. for corrections, and FINALLY get the permit -- or you pay the draftsman upfront and the permit sails through. I know what my time's worth -- 1/2 dozen trips to the bldg. dept. just ain't gonna happen!!

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