It’s been heard by everyone about acquiring a building permit in Hawaii and horror stories abound. You hear that there was another hoop to jump through or how it took so long. But with a little forethought the procedure you can avoid many of the hassles and it doesn’t have to such a challenge.
- BE THOROUGH
Those are his first words of advice and a subject that is common. He says, straightforward as it sounds, a surprising variety of people do not match the conditions. Frequently, plans are drawn poorly or the info is not there at all. Making sure that the application is complete permits the reviewer to make methodical remarks at the beginning of the process, so minimizing delays and unforeseen difficulties. Folks ask why they did not ask for that the first time around. But if their application is losing lots of things, that’s why it has a while.
- MAKE USE OF THE INTERNET
The City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) has resources online, including a checklist that clearly shows the conditions for residential and commercial building permit applications. Visit http://honoluludpp.org. The website also offers a system compute fees, together with an Internet version of the number counter on an office wall and to submit license applications online: It shows in real-time what customer number is served in the city’s building permit centers in Honolulu and Kapolei.
- KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS
In the event you are doing something that is a large-scale project, it’s best to engage an a licensed engineer or an architect. Occasionally, people draw their own plans on graph paper or folder paper, in pencil, not even utilizing a straight edge, he says. They think they’re planning to submit those plans, but those plans will get rejected at the desk. Something that might look straightforward, such as a plan for a little retaining wall will most likely demand a stamp and computations from an authorized engineer.
- HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Small business owners and homeowners often have a drafter draw their plans, and not an architect, to spend less. There are several good designers and draftsmen in Hawaii that can do this but sometimes the drawings are less than adequate. Architects and architecturally trained draftsmen are the most knowledgeable about the building codes, which may differ by county.
Homeowners often think they do not have the time or the money so they do the design and permitting themselves. But a hurriedly prepared plan and lack of experience with the City and County will probably create a lot of comments on the plans and application from the intake clerk and reviewers, resulting in more delays and extra time spent trying to make the corrections. This often means the plans go back to the owners with much to fix before submitting again. That review and correction cycle will go on as long as thee are unanswered questions and that is when things get held up.
As the owner of Owner Built Design, LLC, I’ve worked as a professional residential designer in Hawaii for over thirty years working in the owner-builder design niche. I strive to offer my clients useful tips about how to generate a better experience while getting your permit and making it easier to homeowners who have never done it before.