Unpermitted Project

Projects Without a Required Building Permit

  • Room Additions
  • Patio and Porch Enclosure
  • Garage conversion
  • Closet, Attic and Basement conversions

Permits Required

Before a building or structure can be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolish, a building permit is first required. In some instances, work is done on a building without the required permit. When this happens, a property owner may be cited by a City Inspector or Code Enforcement and advised to obtain a permit (after the fact). If work is done that cannot be permitted because it is in violation of the zoning and building code, the work must be undone and the building restored to its original approved condition.

Examples of such violations include:

  • Building additions into a required yard
  • Building additions that exceed the maximum floor-to-area ratio or maximum height requirements
  • Building additions that exceed the maximum lot coverage
  • Building additions that fail to meet the minimum parking requirements, and
  • Building additions and conversions that do not comply with the minimum dimensions and structural and safety requirements of the building code.
  • Fence exceeding the maximum height requirement.

After the fact Approval

If you have done work on your home that could have been approved had you obtained the proper permits, you may be able to obtain a permit “after the fact”.

To do so, you will need to have your project approved by the Building Department. To begin the process, you should consult with our Permit Specialist, where the Zoning requirements of your project can be reviewed in details. You should bring with you a plot plan that shows a “bird’s eye view” of the property including an outline of all buildings and structures.

On the plot plan, you should indicate the total square footage of your lot, the square footage of the main building and all accessory structures, and the distance of all buildings and structures from the property lines. In some cases you may be asked to also submit an elevation showing the side view of the exterior of the building. All of this information will be helpful to us in determining whether you are in compliance with requirements of the Zoning Code.

If you are in compliance, we will work with the City’s Planner and have Zoning approval issued for your project, and we may then proceed to meet with the Building Plans Examiner for Building Plan Check. Depending on the nature of your project, the documents required for Building Plan Check will vary. For example, if you have enclosed your patio, a detailed drawing (e.g., plot plan, footing, and materials) may be sufficient. If a room was added to your home, you will need a plot plan, floor plan, elevations, structural plan, etc.

You may be required to obtain the services of an Architect or Engineer to investigate the work and provide a report to the Building Plan Check.

If your plans are approved,  we will work with a Building official to schedule an inspection of the work that was done. The Building Inspector will determine whether the work was done to code and will advise us of any corrections that are needed. Once the work is found to be in compliance with the building code, the Building Inspector will approve the “after the fact” permit and the addition and/or conversion will become part of the permanent building records for the property.

The requirements for each City may vary depending on the location of your project.  Please call us (714) 815-4455 for more information or fill out the form below.