You Plan to Build Your Dreams
You may want an extra bedroom or to add a second story to your home. Perhaps your dream is to add a Recreation Room/Accessory Living Quarters, Carport or an Art/Music Studio to your existing Single Family Dwelling. Or, you may want to start a new business and need a location and a commercial use project plan to be approved. Most people believe it is in their right to do whatever they want to their property because they are the owner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. To be done legally, all projects involving structures require building permits and must go through a rigorous scrutiny to be approved by the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. Projects will be analyzed from the soil up to the top of the roof. Don’t feel discouraged. It can be done. However, unless you are experienced, you will need help. You will require help from people who successfully navigate you through the building permit maze in order to make your project/dream a reality before you run out of patience and budget. This happens all too often. Have you ever seen construction on a new home begin only to stop for mysterious reasons? Or, a business puts out a sign anticipating a “Grand Opening” – only to never see the new home built or the Grand Opening day? Of course you have. The construction work was started before the permit process was completed or even researched. So much money spent for nothing. Don’t do that. Professional guidance of your project from the beginning can save you thousands and thousands of dollars. Building Permits Los Angeles is able to help you from the beginning to the end of the building permit process until you arrive at that very satisfying moment when “Approved” is stamped on your plans. Only then will you be in the clear to “Let the Work Begin” on your site.
Building Permits in Los Angeles are either very simple or very complex
If you never have been through the building permit process in Los Angeles you may be in for a shock; It’s rarely simple. As no two projects are the same, different processes and application types will apply to the Scope of Work you propose. Building Permits Los Angeles can help you. Since 1997 we have expedited hundreds of building permits, from simple Room Additions to New Single-Family Dwellings, Tenant Improvements, Conditional Use Permits, Zone Variances, Specific Plan Exceptions, Modifications and Multi-Million dollar Commercial Projects. Building Permits Los Angeles will assist you to define the scope of work for which you are applying, then create a Plan of Action to streamline the process and speed your project to fruition knowing that you have completed the process in full compliance with the law. Anything less may result in a nightmare of needless additional expense, frustration, legal action, Orders to Comply, Notice to Quit and many other painful hurdles to jump over. If these occur, your project will be delayed at best or made impossible to complete at worst – after spending a fortune. Building Permits Los Angeles is plugged into the system and has the experience that comes from successfully completing the building permits process countless times. Building Permits Los Angeles knows what to anticipate and what to expect.
Here is the key to saving time, money and ultimately your investment
The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety generally desires to review only completed plans. They wish to avoid consultations on proposed plans. They avoid being in the position of offering advice that might be questioned later by their own department. By knowing how to work with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety at the earliest stages of your project Building Permits Los Angeles can save you time, money, frustration and ultimately your entire investment. It can require thousands of dollars to generate building plans and structural calculations, only to risk being told by the City that, “You can’t do it.” You need to know from the beginning what is feasible, but no one at the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety wants to risk being held accountable for potential misinformation. Building Permits Los Angeles has experience since 1997 cutting through the haze and delivering concise and practical information regarding your proposed project before you commit your investment capital.
Call Building Permits Los Angeles first
at (310) 663-1985 and ask for John. I can assist you. Upon a site visit and analyzing your proposed project, Building Permits Los Angeles will give you advice and feed back as to whether your project is feasible or even possible in the eyes of The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.
Schedule a Site Visit
Scheduling a site visit by Building Permits Los Angeles is your first step. Visiting your site is essential for Building Permits Los Angeles to fully understand the scope of work you propose to do. It is also necessary for identifying the occupancy and use of surrounding and abutting properties to your site’s location. This information must be observed and ascertained before going to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety with your project proposal. Even the most detailed telephone conversations between us and a property owner will not begin to convey the full scope of work you propose to do or what may result from your proposed project once submitted for Plan Check Approval. Once we have observed your site, taken a photographic survey, created preliminary sketches and have completed a thorough Code Search of the property, Building Permits Los Angeles can submit a first-touch proposal application for your project to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. It is in your best financial interest to do this building permit step prior to footing the expense of hiring of an Architect or Engineer.
Running through the City’s Regulatory Maze
The process to get an approved building permit goes through city departments that view the world differently. You need to fully satisfy each one to reach your goal. The first entity you must deal with is the Department of Building and Safety.
“Welcome to the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety”
This is the greeting that awaits you as you walk onto the Fourth Floor at 201 North Figueroa or access the website of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. In order for you to obtain building permits to legally construct and realize your dream project, you will need to enter the system and go through the process as outlined by The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. This process can be simple or incredibly complex depending on the location of your property and the scope of work you propose to do. It all depends on factors such as your property’s:
- Zoning Designation
- Department of City Planning Ordinances
- ZAA Hearing Decisions
- Overlay Zones
It also matters whether your property is located in a:
- Hillside Area
- “Q” Condition Specific Plan Area
- General Specific Plan Area
- Enterprise Zone
- Historical Preservation Overlay Zone – HPOZ
- Design Review Board – DRB
Determining and understanding all of these property definitions and designations is vital before you seek plans from an Architect or have plans generated by a Soils or Structural Engineering firm. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars only to find that the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety will say, “You can’t do it.” So don’t.
A Code Search – Crucial Information
After our Site Visit and determining the Scope of Work for your proposed project, the next step is to perform a code search. A Code Search is the process where Building Permits Los Angeles obtains all the available property records and land use history:
- Certificate of Occupancy (only available for properties after 1948 in Los Angeles)
- Building Permits already on record
- Plot Plans (simple sketches on record of approved existing structures on the property in regard to property dimensions and set-backs throughout the property’s history)
Note: Some records may not exist for your project. The next step is for Building Permits Los Angeles is to present your project concept to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to find out what they have to say in regards to the feasibility of what you propose to do.
The Department of City Planning
Your project next needs to go to the Department of City Planning. The Department of City Planning looks at your project through a different lens. They ask, “Does this project fit into the Zoning Regulations and General Plan of the City of Los Angeles?” While the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety looks at the structural elements and Structural Code Compliance of a project, the Department of City Planning looks at your project to ascertain whether your project meets all existing Zoning Codes – that is, will it even be allowed at this location? Are you confused yet? You may be. It’s not you, it’s the system. Building Permits Los Angeles helps you navigate the different goals of the City’s departments.
Project Proposal for Submittal
Once Building Permits Los Angeles has all of the preliminary information for your proposed project we will generate a project proposal that includes projected application and consultant service fees, such as necessary services from Architects, Structural and/or Soils Engineers, to provide cost estimates for the documents, drawings or calculations required to formally file for approval of a building permit/Certificate of Occupancy for your project. With these documents in hand we initiate the final building permit approval process and file for a Plan Check.
Plan Check Submittal
After your Plan Check Application has been submitted and the required plan check fees have been paid to the authorities, (this fee is based on a percentage of your projects valuation), there is currently estimated to be a 25 day period before receiving Plan Check Corrections. The term Plan Check Corrections can be very misleading. It sounds as though your Architect or Engineer made a mistake or did not know what they were doing. This is not the case at all. Every plan submitted to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety receives plan check corrections. Corrections can be as simple as “Change the style of the “North Arrow on the Site Plan, or “Call out the Bathroom as Restroom”, or “Add a dimension here”, “What kind of Door Knob will be installed?” To be sure, some Plan Check Corrections can be crucial; important items may have been over-looked and need to be detailed and “Called Out” on your plans. In any case, you can always count on having Plan Check Corrections — It’s their job to find something wrong with your plans.
Once the the Plan Check corrections have been made to your plans and resubmitted to the City you are ready to receive your City of Los Angeles building permit. Building Permits Los Angeles will help keep your project on time and under budget by determining early on what the City considers feasible and by pulling all the confusing pieces of the puzzle together for a building permit in exactly the way the City wishes to receive and review them.