It takes a special kind of expert to build a house in Houston. The skill set of an expert contractor requires a mix of artistry, fundamental engineering and project management. However, there’s another component to the building process that most contractors find challenging and time consuming no matter how gifted they are: Timely pulling the permits needed to build a house.

Attorneys and permitting specialists spend years studying the nuances of real estate law to fully understand the process of pulling a construction permit in varying circumstances. Nevertheless, even throughout the process professionals can face seemingly insurmountable roadblocks. It’s no wonder that pulling permits for construction can be frustrating for the average Houston contractor.

When Is Pulling Permits for Construction Necessary?

The “better safe than sorry” maxim applies to most permitting questions in Houston. Generally, any construction project beyond maintenance, simple repairs and basic aesthetic improvements requires a permit.

Here are a few scenarios to offer some perspective:

  • Esthetic repairs don’t require permits: Imagine you’re putting in a new set of kitchen cabinets, painting or repairing some holes in the wall. You probably don’t need to go through the process for getting a building permit in these cases. Ask the experts at Plans & Permits for clarification about whether your project requires a permit.
  • Deeper remodeling projects require permits: If you’re rearranging the plumbing, making structural adjustments, adding a new addition or redesigning the electrical system, you better get a permit for projects of this scale.
  • New construction projects require permits: You definitely need a permit to build a new home or any other kind of new construction.

What If I Started My Project Without a Permit?

If you started a project without a permit, the “better late than never” maxim also applies. You might have to pay a fine or premium to receive a retroactive permit, but the permit will be important should the homeowner sell the residence in the future. It’s not uncommon for home inspectors to require proof of inspection and permits associated with any major home projects.

How the Permitting Process Works in Houston

As for how to get a construction permit on a new home in Houston — or any other kind of project in Houston — here are four important steps:

1) Visit the Houston Permitting Center Website

At the Houston Permitting Center website, you’ll find free information and forms regarding the inspection standards that apply to your project. The Houston Permitting Center website features information about building code enforcement, swimming pool permits, fire permits, new home construction permits, commercial permits and more. Become familiar with this website and set up an account that you will use during the permitting process.

2) Review Applicable Permit Forms and Guidelines

While visiting the Houston Permitting Center website, make sure that you take time to absorb the information at the following links:

The above resources will help you understand (1) what permitting inspectors require and (2) how to complete the permitting application forms.

3) Apply for an Electronic Plan Review

Find the link for Houston’s Electronic Plan Review service. The City of Houston offers the online plan review services require. It also avoids the time and costs associated with the physical delivery of blueprints and in-person meetings. Review times are typically the same as in person services. Most contractors hire outside vendors, such as Houston Plans & Permits to personally expedite and manage all associating with the city.

pulling permits for construction

4) Meet with an Inspector

An in-person meeting with a city inspector could help you avoid many potential difficulties. An inspector will explain the inspection process and help you avoid expensive mistakes by making sure you have all the necessary plans to obtain the permits for your project.

Hire an Expert That Knows How to Pull Permits on a House or Project

Knowing what permits are needed to build a house in Houston can be a difficult task for contractors to navigate on their own. Houston Plans & Permits offers services that handle the entire permitting process for busy time and budget constraints. The professional design and permitting team at Houston Plans & Permits has supported Houston-area home builders with their permitting challenges since 2001.

Don’t take a risk when you can expedite the Houston permit process with expert assistance.