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Hawaii Building Permit Process

No matter what your project is, a home renovation will take a lot of planning. Before bringing your dreams to life, you will first need to handle the most essential part of the process, which is securing a building permit. If this is your first time building in Hawaii, you may be wondering how to get a Hawaii building permit; read on to find out more. 

What We'll Go Over

What Is A Building Permit? 

Building permits are issued by the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) and serve two main functions. The first is to ensure that all building projects undergo proper planning and conform to all land and zoning use ordinances and building codes. Secondly, a building permit will formally start the property’s inspection process which includes the following: 

  • Erosion and sediment control 
  • Plumbing, building, and electrical inspections
  • Welding, building pressure, and A/C ducting testing 
  • Fire sprinkler inspections 

Receiving your Hawaii building permit gives everyone on the project the city’s go-ahead to get started. There are three building permit categories: 

  • New construction projects: These take around four to eight months to get approved, taking into account the current conditions with Covid-19. 
  • Renovations and alterations: These will have no specific approval time since they will vary from project to project.
  • Demolitions 

Reasons For Needing A Building Permit 

A building permit is needed for any kind of alteration or work needing to be done within your home or property. This includes any significant electrical or plumbing work, but not nonstructural cosmetics or things that are done for maintenance. However, some projects don’t require building permits such as: 

  • Cabinetwork 
  • Floor covering
  • Painting
  • Planter boxes
  • Curbs 

Some shorter fences and retaining walls do not need building permits. State and county regulations can change, so look into your area’s specific requirements if you plan on building a fence. 

The Hawaii Building Permit Process

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the various steps — below is a list of steps you need to get started. Fortunately, at Pacific Construction Builders, our team consists of architects and engineers that will take charge of the whole design process. If you want to go through the process yourself, here’s what you need to do: 

1. Submit Your Application 

If you want to start a construction project, you might need to hire a designer to put everything into paper. You may also need to hire a surveyor who will assess where you plan to start building. They can provide necessary help when it comes to land located on steep slopes. However, they’re not required throughout the whole process, and you can opt not to hire one. 

2. File Your Permit 

Once you get your permit documents together, submit them to the Honolulu DPP for review. During this time, you will need to pay a few fees, and you can expect to see a complicated process that involves a lot of paperwork. Many people who plan to build will opt to have us take care of everything to make the process easier and smoother. 

3. Approval Of Permits 

At this point in the process, your application will either be approved or given back to you for adjustments. If the DPP approves your application, they will provide you with a physical copy that can be posted where your project is located. Getting their approval means that you can continue with your project and you are allowed to get contractors for the job. 

However, your application can also be returned to you should certain changes be needed on your plan. Once you’re able to make these adjustments, you can resubmit your application to be reconsidered. It may take several changes to your plans before it is approved, so be prepared to receive markups and comments during the whole process. 

4. Filling Your Permit 

If you’re looking to file a construction such as scaffolding, you will find that more permits are required. This is because these jobs involve a high level of danger and risk. As such, you will need to review your permit carefully before submitting it to the DPP. 

Get Started With Pacific Construction Builders Today 

To ensure that your building permit is awarded as smoothly and swiftly as possible or to have our team of professionals handle every aspect of your construction project, contact us at Pacific Construction Builders by calling (808) 554-4977. You can also send us a message to find out how we can help make your construction plans a reality. 

Learn more about constructing in Hawaii and how Pacific Construction Builders can serve you here.

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