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Old 07-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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Approved Plans vs Permit


I've been talking to a lot of contractors to do some remodeling. Many of them won't bid unless I have "approved plans". Understandable since if plan doesn't get approved, bid is wasted.

What I'm trying to understand is, approved plans mean I have to pull a permit. So is that a sneaky way for the contractors to say they want me to pull an owner-builder permit for them to do the job? I always thought it was the contractors job to pull permits.

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Old 07-01-2010, 12:55 PM   #2
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Approved Plans vs Permit


Plans can be approved without a building permit being issued
My plans were approved so the foundation could be poured
We then looked at getting bids

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Old 07-01-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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Approved Plans vs Permit


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Plans can be approved without a building permit being issued
My plans were approved so the foundation could be poured
We then looked at getting bids
hmm the local building department has told me otherwise. That the permit is issued the same time the plans are approved.

What was your procedure for getting plans approved without getting permits? Is that like going through the process as if you were getting a permit, then skipping out on the last step?
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Approved Plans vs Permit


This is the final page, #4, of our local Plans Review instructions. They don't turn loose of those approved plans without a permit being applied for, and issued to, the contractor of record as noted in line item #5...... and that takes you back to 3-C.

(I would have included pages 1, 2 and 3, but I didn't want to scare you senseless. They are all twice as long as this one.)

It may be different in other areas of the country. I sure hope it is. This is only the Plan "Review" Process... the whole mess gets staggering in its complexity.

Approved Plans:
1. The permit application for plans approved by any plans examiner must be processed before the actual permit is issued.
2. Permit technicians will be responsible for pre-processing permit applications approved by plans examiners.
3. The pre-processing of permits cannot be completed if any of the following are not provided:
a. The plans examiner must input the results of their plan review into the computer.
b. Plumbing fixtures must be identified by the plans examiner and included in the description of the building and indicated on the back side of the permit application.
c. Contractors must be registered with the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and the State.
i) If the Company address is located in the City of St. Petersburg, they must also obtain a occupational license from the City of St. Petersburg’s Occupational License Department.
d. All applicable permit fees must be paid at the time of the permit issuance.
e. The General Contractor must have sufficient funds to pay the cost of the permit for all trades associated with the construction of the building or structure.
4. The plan routing specialist will notify the contact person when the plans have been approved, processed and ready for permit issuance.
5. Permits and approved plans may only be issued to the primary contractor of record
6. Approved plans must be issued a permit, picked-up, and removed from Construction Services within 45-days from the approval notification. Plans that remain in Construction Services more than 45-days after our notification are presumed to be abandoned and will be destroyed.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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Approved Plans vs Permit


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hmm the local building department has told me otherwise. That the permit is issued the same time the plans are approved.

What was your procedure for getting plans approved without getting permits? Is that like going through the process as if you were getting a permit, then skipping out on the last step?
No, for us the foundation permit was seperate from the rest
But you can't get a foundation permit without some sort of plans for what is going on top of the foundation
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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Approved Plans vs Permit


I imagine what your contractors might be asking for are "STAMPED" plans. These are plans drawn up by a design firm, an engineer, or an architect with their license stamp upon the pages. This supposedly assures that the plans are accurate, safe to build, and reflect adherence to local code, although not yet "approved" by the Plan Review Examiner of your local Building Department. In other words, not something scratched up by your brother-in-law.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:34 PM   #7
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Approved Plans vs Permit


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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
I imagine what your contractors might be asking for are "STAMPED" plans. These are plans drawn up by a design firm, an engineer, or an architect with their license stamp upon the pages. This supposedly assures that the plans are accurate, safe to build, and reflect adherence to local code, although not yet "approved" by the Plan Review Examiner of your local Building Department. In other words, not something scratched up by your brother-in-law.
thanks for clearing that up. it makes sense now.

I was wrong in thinking that it was the contractor who's responsible for those things (codes, safe building, etc).

I drew up the plans in autocad. The job is for a garage conversion (2 car tandem into bedroom & bath). I figure it was simple enough because no load bearing walls are touched, except one questionable one. I may not know all the codes, but enough that i'm sure what i'm doing is ok, maybe some small details here and there. Now, I'm considering owner builder route.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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Approved Plans vs Permit


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Originally Posted by acerunner View Post
thanks for clearing that up. it makes sense now.

I was wrong in thinking that it was the contractor who's responsible for those things (codes, safe building, etc).

I drew up the plans in autocad. The job is for a garage conversion (2 car tandem into bedroom & bath). I figure it was simple enough because no load bearing walls are touched, except one questionable one. I may not know all the codes, but enough that i'm sure what i'm doing is ok, maybe some small details here and there. Now, I'm considering owner builder route.
The thing to keep in mind is that often the contractor, himself, may be unfamiliar with some of the code requirements (there's only a million of them), and he would certainly not feel comfortable with just accepting arbitrary loads and stresses on a 'generic' set of plans.

Would you, if the roles were reversed, be willing to stand behind a quote submitted according to plans a possibly unqualified source drew up?

See their dilemma?

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