You’ve decided that your building needs some improvements, and you’ve laid out the project. All you need to do now is buy the materials, hire the crew and get started, right?
If only it were that easy.
In Kentucky, as in most states, a building permit is required for any type of construction regulated by the state building code and local zoning ordinances. As the Kentucky Building Code Section 109.01 states:
“Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, remodel or change occupancy of a building, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas mechanical or plumbing system the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.”
Kentucky building permits do serve a valuable purpose. The inspection and permitting process is designed to protect the public and maintain community standards through enforcement of all applicable codes and ordinances. Obviously, substandard construction is a threat to both citizen safety and property values.
Kentucky requires commercial building permits on all new buildings, new additions, new paving, remodeling of any kind, fences, canopies, retaining walls (2′ or more in height), towers and satellite dish installations, and liquid and gas storage tanks. The state also requires residential permits for all new residential construction.
The permitting process varies throughout the state. In Lexington, the Plan Review Board, consisting of representatives of all agencies involved in the review process, meets weekly to discuss permit applications. At these meetings, applicants make their preliminary submissions and are advised of any corrections or additional information needed by the board.
Once all required documents have been submitted, reviewed and approved, a building permit is issued by the Kentucky Division of Building Inspection. The fees assessed depend on the type of used and size of the project, as defined by the local code of ordinances.
For new residential construction, on-site inspections must be scheduled, and a final inspection and issuance of a “Certificate of Occupancy” is required before the structure can be occupied.
So, before you tackle that construction project, make sure you get the necessary permits. Just remember to do your homework before working on your home (or business).
To find out what building permits are required for a project in your community, contact the Kentucky Division of Building Inspection office nearest you. A county-by-county list for Kentucky is available on the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction website at http://www.dhbc.ky.gov/plb/plbiibc.htm.