Why You Need Zoning and Building Permits for Extending Your US Property


Making changes to a house is every homeowners dream. Whether it’s simply by changing the design and décor inside or if it’s by something a little more drastic like extending out your property, nothing is better than seeing your home moulded to your personal tastes.

Unfortunately, you’re not free to do everything which springs to mind. If you’re going to be undertaking a serious bit of engineering, then there are certain projects which you will need to secure a zoning permit and a building permit for.

These are the main two types of permits you will need if you plan on creating a new large-scale structure either extending from or close to your property. These alter in specifics state by state, however generally cover the same areas.

What is a zoning permit?

Most major developments are regulated under two main codes. A zoning permit is required for the first code, the zoning code. This permit is usually the first thing needed when applying for permission to build a new structure.

You will be granted a zoning permit if your new building is seen as in keeping with the community. Every state is divided into zoning districts and each one has an individual set of regulations which will need to be met in order for approval to be granted.

It is wise before starting a project to seek background information about your zoning district and the rules and regulations that may apply.

What is a building permit?

The building code is the second primary code which your building will need to abide by in order to be granted approval. This is a more straightforward code and is all to do with the safety and structural integrity of the new building which is being submitted for approval.

To be granted a building permit, your new structure must be constructed to an appropriate standard and are deemed safe for the uses of which it is intended. For an application for a building permit to be accepted, it is often the case that archaeological construction illustrations of the planned property must be submitted alongside the relevant paperwork and small print.

Are they any other codes I should be made aware of?

Whilst these zoning and building are the two primary codes, there are a few others which your property will need to adhere to. These do depend on the type of structure you’re building however, so it’s best to do some independent reading into the specifics of your intended structure.

One code which will need to be adhered to is the fire code. Your building must be fitted with smoke alarms and have clear exits, so that in the case of a fire any inhabitants can escape quickly and safely.