The Permit Process

On 6/29/17 we got our final plan set from our architect, a year in the making, we had designed our perfect family home. We had landed at about $10,500 for house plans, money well spent but hard to swallow, with only pieces of paper to show at this point. Having our final plans meant we were ready to go to the county and apply for our building permits. But first we were headed to the lake for the 4th of July holiday.

When we got back, on Monday July 6th, we walked into the county offices. They require 3 sets of printed plans and a $3000 deposit to apply. We had no idea what to expect so we anticiapted being there all day, we were in & out within a few hours. The staff was immensely helpful, surprised we were applying ourselves and so familiar with our plans as opposed to having a builder do it all. They reviewed the plans on site and accepted them for review, despite missing our fire sprinkler plans in the package, which we were aware of.

Within about a month we had our plan review comments back, with any changes that would need to be made. It was surprisingly good, very few revisions to make. We’d need 1.) The fire sprinkler plans and fire dept approval 2.)grading information added to our plans 3.) To apply for a grading permit 4.)water and gas point of entry added to plans. It would mean chasing a few items.

We touched base with the architect who went to work making his portion of the changes to our plans then visited the fire dept and submitted our plans for review by the fire Marshall. The fire dept would prove to require the most leg work. We would need a fire hydrant on site, which amounts to a 5,000 gallon water storage tank with a fire hose bib. The tank had several requirements for location and set up, to allow ready fire engine access, as well as add an additional turnout to the driveway. We ended up having to move the water tank on our plans.

It took a few months of back and forth with changes, but the fire dept signed off at the end of October, our updated plans were done about the same time. Once everything was resubmitted to the county, we had final permit approval within days. Permission to build!!

Our county is notorious for being one of the most expensive to build in. We accounted for this when buying our lot. The online fee estimate from the county put our permit fees at about $55,000, ouch!! Final permit approval also came with good news on the fee front. There were several fees that would not apply to our build, the largest portion, about $12k, was not due because our driveway exits onto a private road vs. A county maintained one. Total fees would be @$43,000, less the deposit paid at application. Our first budget mishap and it’s actually in our favor!

In order to close the construction loan, the bank requires approved permits,  and that no work be done to the property, for fear that mechanics liens could be an issue. Our loan was waiting for this approval. They now sent out an appraiser to value what the proposed house on that lot would be worth and calculate our final loan to value. That happened last week. My next post will likely be with the closing of the construction loan and that process.

We are scheduling for grading to happen this coming week and have high hopes to have a foundation poured before rain becomes a huge issue. 

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