A construction permit, also called a building permit or a repair permit is a lawful formality required in most U.S. jurisdictions for new or expanded construction or adding onto pre-existing structures, and in some cases for major renovations. Property owners who do any essential remodeling or adding other improvements to their real properties, such as decks, pools, or retaining walls, usually are required to apply for a building permit.
Unlike real estate property records, a building permit report relates to an actual structure – in a way it reaches inside a structure.
In theory, the safety of the occupants of buildings is the primary reason for having construction codes and zoning compliances. An argument is often made as to why one needs a permit to build or add to something on a person's property? The compelling reason for requiring and insisting on building permits, even for jobs done by a licensed contractor, is that if a structure is substandard or the workmanship is subpar, it usually inconveniences neighbors and others in surrounding areas and could lead to serious problems. Building permits are one of the ways for a municipality to regulate construction to ensure that everything is safe and in compliance with local laws and regulations. Normally, the new construction must be inspected during construction (not to be confused with 'Builders Risk' – a term used in the insurance industry) and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes. Failure to obtain a proper permit is punishable; it can result in hefty fines and penalties, and even demolition of unauthorized construction, if for whatever reason it cannot be made to meet codes. Property owners may need to create plans to submit to the local permitting authority, make a plot plan for their property showing the improvements, and describe the type of construction they will be using.
Most cities across the U.S. have adopted several codes, among them the Uniform Building, Mechanical, and Plumbing, National Electrical codes, etc. In addition to city codes, certain federal, state, and local laws governing construction, such as regulations covering energy conservation, must also be taken into consideration.
There are several different categories of permit records based on the type of construction: structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and combination (used for single-family home construction and other undersized projects). Most projects embarked on by homeowners require a combination permit. In addition, the entire demolition and/or relocation of buildings also require permits.
The logic behind the Building Permit History Report: to provide instant online retrieval of building permit records available on a subject property. In addition to new constructions, accompanying records may also include recent and previous remodeling or other improvements requiring permits.
Types of Properties: residential, commercial, industrial, all most other available types of Real Estate Properties that have, or may have had, or have been applied to have a permitted structure. Just like property records, the fee is the same for a Commercial property permit record vs. a Residential property permit record.
Accessibility: HomeInfoMax developed the Building Permit History Report through collaboration with BuildFax – the largest source of digital permit data in the U.S. At this time clients have access to more than 35 million building permit records covering over 12 million properties in more than 1,700 local jurisdictions. As the leading repository of building permit records, BuildFax not only continually collects and manages building department records from several thousand municipal governments, it also updates the databases and assures access to the latest possible records.
Unlike real estate property records, building permits are not as widely available – in fact, some municipalities and jurisdictions, even in urbanized areas may not offer building permit records in a digital format. Before your report purchase is finalized, the system will validate the presence of permit data. Upon your approval, your order will be processed and the available data will be displayed.
Contents of Building Permit History Report: various permit records including current and historical information on possible permits such as Plumbing, Electrical, Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning (HVAC), Building Additions, Grading, and other alterations and repairs. A Building Permit report also may include Non-Building permits on real property. The summary of Permit Records with Issued Date, Permit Type, Valuation, and Permit Number, as well as the Jurisdiction Information, are also a part of this report.
Permit Data: most records contain, in chronological order: Applied and Issued Dates, Completed and Closed Date, Permit Number and Permit Type, Proposed Use, Valuation, Contractor's Name, and Location, Extended Work Description, and other information such as Status, and Work and Permit Class. Please review the sample of a Building Permits History Report.
Property reports do not represent the condition of the title and may not include all recorded information. Property records are in the public domain -- government establishments, such as the county recorder, and the local tax assessor's office, are tasked with maintaining them. Not all data may be available in all Counties or on every real property.