What is a permit?

A DC building permit is permission given to someone by the District to build in Washington DC based upon sanctioned plans (provided by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs office) that contain a precise scope of work. Additionally, any changes to an agreed upon plan, must be reapproved by the DCRA office.

Who Needs A Permit?

If you are a primary resident in the Washington DC and are looking to build, then having a permit is an absolute must! Whether adding an addition on to your home, hanging a new sign for your business, removing an old structure or adding additional alterations to a building, you need to know which permit is right for you. Each permit is different and the process can be complex in some cases.

  • It’s also important to note that if you are applying for a DC building permit in Washington DC and your structure is a part of a historic district then you will have additional requirements that can add a level of complexity that often requires a DC attorney.

How much do permits cost?

Permits are calculated based on the type of permit you need and the scope of work that is involved. The DCRA has list of fees to help you determine the price of a permit. Also, many building projects often require other permits like a Supplemental Systems Installation, which covers air conditioning, electrician and plumbing work. SSI permits are only issued to industry professionals.

What happens if I start building without a permit?

Starting construction on your building project in the District of Columbia before securing the proper DC building permit can lead to heavy fines and in many cases can leave a person and/or company in financial hardship. It can also affect your insurance policy as well. The same goes for continuing to build after a permit has expired.

  • Also it is important to note that your DC building permit will become invalid if you fail to begin work on your project a year after it has been authorized.

How do I get started applying for a Washington DC building permit?

You can apply for a building permit at 1100 4th Street SW on the second floor. The permit center closes promptly at 4:30pm daily, so getting there early is ideal. Some permits can be obtained online as well.

Understanding and filling out the proper forms for your project can be tedious and confusing, that’s why we recommend that our clients take advantage of our FREE CONSULTATION to learn more about this process.

DC Building Permit Forms

If you would like more information on obtaining a building permit in the District of Columbia, please contact the Law Offices of Paul Hunt. Paul Hunt is an experienced attorney in Washington DC and is proficient in Home Improvement Contractor Licenses. Call (202) 463-1965 or feel free to send us a message below.

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