how to draw plans to get a building permit???

jaansuNovember 24, 2010

I need to put in a permit request to remove a wall in my laundry room. I had a structural engineer do the analysis and he gave the OK to remove it. What I'm wondering is what sort of style and detail would a typical township permit guy want to see in my freehand drawing of what I will be doing. There is a light and switch that needs to be redirected and a heating vent that will go from the removed wall to the floor. Are there sources on the web to show what is a good drawing for such work?/

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If a contractor is involved he/she can do it.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 2:35PM
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Building departments differ greatly in their requirements. If you follow our advice you may put in too much or not enough work on the drawings. Last time I needed to submit plans I talked with the permit folks and they showed me a couple of examples of what was acceptable to them. I suggest you do the same.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 6:37PM
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Kudzu9 is right - ask down at city hall. If you're in San Francisco, you'd probably have to hire an architect to battle city hall. In most small to medium sized towns, a hand drawn sketch and a cordial conversation would suffice.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 10:03PM
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What is it about the work that would require a permit? I don't know what "a light and switch that needs to be redirected" means but you shouldn't need a permit to move a non-bearing wall and a duct.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 10:13PM
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Usually only the electrician would an electrical permit for this work but I suspect he/she would treat it as a repair for which a permit should not be required.

The building department is concerned with modifications that disturb a code controlled building element or system and they want to see how the work will meet the code.

Their primary concern in this case would be the required 3 ft wide egress path which is not very important if the basement is not habitable and in any event, that could be described on the permit application form.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 9:26AM
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"... treat it as a repair for which a permit should not be required"

The vast majority of repairs require a permit in jurisdictions using the full NEC.

Replacing toggle switches, 120 V receptacles, and light fixtures (often only if the new wattage matches the old with no other changes like adding a fan) may be exempt by local rules.

Even demo work is permitted in many places under the mechanical and other codes.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 10:05AM
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The work requiring a permit would be spelled out in the administrative section of the applicable building code regardless of the other codes referenced by that code. Drawing requirements would be defined by the local building department.

We don't enough about what the OP wants to do or what building code applies or the drawing requirements of the local building department so it's the perfect setup for a never ending pointless discussion so popular at the Garden Web.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 9:44AM
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somebody tell me why it was necessary for anyone to critique someone elses post on here? Why can't you just offer helpful info without having to disrespect someone elses helpful info? Some people sure go through great lengths to back-bite others to satisfy an ego.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 10:19AM
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The pot calling the kettle black.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 6:22PM
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All the comments directing you to start with the City in which you are working are correct. And, it is best to talk directly to the staff member who will be doing the review instead of the front desk person.

If you need to hire out the exhibits, make sure that the person you are hiring knows how to deal with the reviewer/City and put it in writing..."the Engineer will produce plans in accordance with all local and state regulations, requirements, etc, bla bla bla". You should not have to pay for major revisions becuase the drafter did not know the requirements. They should know what they are doing up front. Minor edits are to be expected.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 2:31PM
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Thank you for the varied responses. All I was really asking in the OP was a website that showed the correct drawing icons for items such as lights, switches, ducts, etc. I spoke to the individual who would review my permit request and he poohpoohed my request for a model and suggested do my best, it should be fine. So I asked if someone on the web could show me what they drew or what symbols are used.
My township asks for a permit for essentially anything more complicated than painting the house. As I'm taking down what theoretically could be a load bearing wall, I'm glad they do so! This wall contains a switch and a heating duct, which I'm sure the township wishes to be sure are safety rerouted. I plan to use no contracter beyond the structural engineer who already ascertained the wall is not load bearing.
I apologize for not including more details and leading to any confusion. And I thank all the regulars, such as Brickeyee, who continue to give me good advice.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:00AM
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Two thoughts - first, google images may have some examples you can use, second, there are quite a few cheap, simple CAD/home design programs that you may be able to use that will be loaded with the correct symbols. Maybe there's even something web-based.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:01AM
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You don't need any symbols; they're used for large drawings that contain repetitive elements.... just label everything. I can think of no safety issue associated with ducts. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

If you get a permit with a drawing that shows electrical work you will probably have to hire an electrician. A homeowner can act as the general contractor for their own house but electrical work is usually restricted to replacing fixtures.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:42AM
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