Guidelines to Washington DC Building Permit Process?

Obtaining a building permit in Washington DC can take around 5 months or more. For the last few years, various aspects like the thriving construction market, revised zoning code, and the implementation of Green building have created a difficult environment for the building owners and developers, who are not acquainted with the permit expediting the process in DC.

Whether it’s a building permitting need for hotels, offices, multi-families, or high-end residences, managing permit expedition is a vital part of every project’s success. So, you should pay heed to a few things while undergoing building permit expeditions in DC like the process of permitting, agencies involved in the permitting process, and permit review disciplines for involved agencies.

Guidelines

What is Building Permit?

Building permits are written authorizations issued by the county or a city for project construction. These are essential for new construction and remodeling, to ensure the safety of the building work and compliance with construction, and zoning codes. The primary aim of the commercial and residential building permits is to ensure safety. Further, the building officials review applications and approve them once they’re satisfied with the project plans, calculations, and specifications, matching with local adaptations of relevant codes.

Types of Building Permit Services Washington, DC

Addition & Alteration

After Hours

Awning

Postcard

Capacity Placard

Demolition

Fence & Raze Permit

Foundation

Firework Stand

Historic

Retaining Wall

Scaffolding

Demolition

New Building

Foundation

Shed & Tent Permit

Sign & Garage Permit

Soil Boring

Tenant Layout

Swimming Pool

Underground Storage Tank

Tower Crane

Excavation

Scaffolding Permit

Why Do I need a Building Permit?  

Construction activities of a project need building inspection to get approval from local building authorities like DCRA. Individual permits are essential for demolition, construction, and MEP work, as per the project scope and the jurisdiction like for instance:   

  • Adding and removing walls 
  • Modifying the room usage 
  • Changing the piping in your house 
  • Re-roofing house or demolishing a portion of the house 
  • Garage conversion 

Which Documents are necessary for online Building Permits in DC?  

The permitting process starts at the building construction department, where the officials accept your application and validate all essential documents. Usually, a permit application for new construction includes the following supporting documents:  

  • Site plan for building permit 
  • Demolition, Structural Engineering Drawings & Calculations 
  • Architectural Floor Plans & Building Elevations 
  • Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Drawings 
  • Technical Details regarding the Construction 
  • Compliance Forms & Disabilities Access  

Building Permit Expediter Washington, DC

 How Do I Get a Building Permit in Washington?    

Want to know the process of getting a building permit? If you are applying for a construction permit in Washington DC, it should entail an online submittal to the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for reviewing and approval from all relevant agencies.   

Check out the steps of the building permit application process as per 2018 Mark G. Anderson Consultants Inc. 

  1. Take Preparation to meet the minimum requirements of DCRA permit: 

  • Submission of online application 
  • Payment of filing fees 
  • PRC record payment 
  • Sending of invitation to project document 
  • Uploading the plan of the applicant to the project document 
  • Reviews of the plan by PRC 
  • Acceptance of job by PRC 

2.Planning Review Cycle: 

  • Assigning review disciplines by PRC 
  • The applicant referred to engage sister agency’s processes 
  • Sister agency review 
  • Review by DCRA disciplines 
  • Applicant notified of approval 
  • Residual fee submission 
  • Permit issuance 

You need to spend time ensuring that your permit application and drawings are complete before submission, as multiple rounds of reviews are conducted by several agencies till your plan gets the required approvals. It is only after the review and approval of the relevant agencies, DCRA will issue your building permit.  Keep in mind that design changes pertaining to the issue of a building permit could lead to additional plan checks. In cases, where major design changes have been made, permitting process of the project, may need to be started from the beginning.  

Agencies Involved in the Permit Processing Services: 

  • DCRA Permit – The primary agency involved in the permitting process is the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for Washington DC. However, like other permitting agencies in other cities dealing with the issues of busy construction markets, DCRA faces the problems of limited resources corresponding to the processing workload. Considering the statistics of the past 5 years, the volume of the permit has grown above 30%. However, the number of permit reviewers has not perceived a parallel increase. It is uncertain about how DCRA will overcome the challenges and move forward, though the agency has discovered varied options for streamlining their process like the commencement of new permitting programs. 

 

  • Other Reviewing Agencies – Even if DCRA is the prime permit issuance agency, other agencies get engaged in the review process before the application reaches DCRA. Projects requiring reviews from additional agencies include new building additions, excavation, restaurant and historic district locales. Usually, a building permit gets issued once a project meets all the standard requirements of a relevant discipline, though there is currently no central tracking system to consolidate updates from involved agencies. 

 Permit Review disciplines as per Permit STAT for involved Agencies: 

  • DCRA (Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs) – Primary permit issuance agency for structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, green building, energy & zoning 
  • DDOT (District Department of Transportation) – Reviews building projects affecting public spaces like roadways, sidewalks, trees, public parking & public space 
  • DOEE (Department of Energy & Environment) – Reviews building plans with environmental components like stormwater management, lead-based paint, water quality, air quality, asbestos abatement & hazardous material 
  • DOH (Department of Health) – Regulates building quality & safety for healthcare & food establishment facilities including hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, outpatient rehab facilities, restaurants, grocery stores, wholesale markets, hotels & swimming pools 
  • DC Water – Reviews construction projects touching DC’s water & sewer systems, ensuring that the projects meet design criteria, handling capacity of change, performing inspection for assuring work quality & assessing inspection fees & work orders for every project 
  • Office of Planning – Reviews construction projects in historic districts, onsite of historic landmarks & use of public space and directs the historic preservation of review board to oversee & designate historic properties 

A unique aspect to consider in Washington DC is the association of the US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), which oversees both the public and the private projects involving alterations to external architectural features, elevation, look, color and texture of the materials of construction visible from public spaces. The CFA works along with the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) & the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for ensuring the preservation of historic character in all Federal & District of Columbia government projects and 2 designated neighborhoods – Georgetown Historic District & Shipstead-Luce Area. A project with external adjustments meeting these criteria needs to get reviewed by the CFA, HPO, and the HPRB. 

What is the Cost of Permit Expediting Services? 

The commercial building inspection cost, as well as the residential building inspection cost, varies to a great extent on the basis of the project types and volumes.  Prices also vary according to the size of commercial property inspection companies. A small and medium-size company will usually charge less compared to a big building inspection agency. 

 Let’s take a look at the prices of various permit expediting service providers: 

Approximate Cost of Construction Permit Expeditor 

Average national cost – $560 
Range of average cost for building permit expediter – $480 – $610 
The minimum cost of DCRA permit expediter  – $259 
The maximum cost of Maryland permit expediter – $1100 

Permit Cost by Project Range

Low Cost – $259 – Repairing permit for a task less than 500 sq. ft. 
Average Cost – $570 – Addition permit for a job 
High Cost – $1100 – Permit Services for a new construction over 1500 sq. ft. 

Cost of the Different Types of Building Permits 

Building Occupation at $37 
Demolition at $210 
Modification & Repair at $210 – $515 as per project scope of work 
Swimming Pool Creation at $280 
New Construction – $1100 – $2100 
Building Permit Expediter

Building Permit Expediter Washington, DC

How can we help? 

Are you navigating through the building Guidelines to Permit process in Washington DC? Do you consider it to be challenging and difficult? Want to know the right cost to enclose a carport? 

Where to get the best ‘building permit expediter near me’? How to get in touch with a competent ‘building inspector near me’?  

 Experienced permit expediting companies like Tejjy Inc. can help you to navigate the process, defining a realistic schedule for the construction project, leveraging relationships with relevant agencies. By appointing an expert design-build team of Tejjy Inc. you can reduce the risk of errors and shorten the revision cycle that an application has to endure. Our dedicated team furnishes accurate code-compliant drawings and building specifications.  

To know more about the DC permitting process, call 202-465-4830 or write at info@tejjy.com for faster construction permit approval in Washington DC.