How do I get a Building Permit in Los Angeles?

Blueprint and folding ruler
Blueprint and folding ruler

The only way to answer this question with any certainty is, “Know exactly what it is you want to build, exactly how to build it, and make sure it can be legally built where you want to build it.” – That’s basically it in a nut-shell.

Simple question, simple answer.

If it were only that simple.

First you need to know the Zoning Designation of your project site property. R-2, R-3, M-1 etc. This is the first touch to understand what is structurally allowed and what use is allowed to exist on your property. The property you own has many definitions in the eyes of the Department of Building and Safety, Zoning Department and The Department of City Planning. Having completed this research, then and only then do you request the services of an Architect. You must guide the Architect to draw what you want to have built. Architects are construction ”Artists” that wish to create beautiful structures on paper. And when possible, after approved construction, we all benefit from the beauty of these structures. However, on the onset of design conception these structures may be unrealistic, unsafe and impossible to legally construct under the law. Know what can be done first. He or she, the Architects, will create building plans based on the parameters outlined in your properties Zoning/Planning designation. The Department of Building and Safety will examine these plans for structural integrity in regard to personal and public safety.