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FAQ's
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Q:
  When performing work inside my house, what needs a permit?
A:
  A permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, remove or demolish any building, structure or part thereof.
   
  • All new construction work requires a building permit.
  • All existing construction work if altered requires a building permit.
  • General maintenance or repair work which does not change the occupancy and the value of which does not exceed $500 in labor and materials may qualify as an exception to the requirements of obtaining a building permit. The following repair/replacement projects always require a permit(to name a few):
    • Water heater change out
    • A/C change out
    • Heat pump/heater recovery change out
    • Tub/shower pan change out
    • Electrical service change out/repair
    • All repairs due to a fire

You may contact a building department inspector prior to the start of a project to discuss building code requirements or possible exceptions to a building permit.

     
Q:
  Why is obtaining a building permit of benefit to me as a homeowner?
A:
  When a permit is submitted to the Building Department, it is reviewed to see that it meets established minimum criteria. The review and approval process allows problems to be identified and corrected before any non-complying work occurs. During the process of submitting a permit, a contractor's licensing and insurance are verified.
   
  • Having a permit allows a person knowledgeable in construction the opportunity to inspect and confirm that minimum code prescribed construction requirements is met.
  • The transfer of property could be delayed when non-permitted work is discovered. Work completed without permits and/or inspections is deemed to be unsafe.
  • Work that is done without a permit is subject to double permit fees and may have to be partially or completely demolished.
     
Q:
  As a homeowner, can I apply for my own building permit?
A:
 

Yes, if you are competent to perform the work and if you meet the owner/builder exemption. You will be required to read, understand and certify compliance through the completion of the Owner/Builder Affidavit. Our experience is that most Owner/Builders do not comply with these requirements on large or complex jobs but may on small miscellaneous permits such as patio slabs/decks, fences, walkways, etc.

Warning: If you are allowed the exemption, you take all the responsibilities and liabilities as a contractor.

     
Q:
  What are the most important things I should know about hiring a contractor?
A:
  It is important to know if the contractor has a valid License/Certificate of Competency, if he/she can provide recent references, or if the contractor has expired permits. Other important information you should also know:
   
  • You can check with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for complaints against a contractor's license, click here to verify a license.
  • Use a contractor that will fulfill their contract and return after completion of the job for warranty issues.
  • Compliance with the Code is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner. Be sure that all inspections have bee approved and that you are satisfied with the work before making final payment to a contractor. Make sure your contract does not conflict with this.
     
Q:
  What do I need in order to apply for a building permit?
A:
  For documents required please visit the Building Department on the 2nd Floor of the Government Center located at 8401 NW 53 Terrace during the hours of 7:00 am to 2:00 pm or our Permit Information page.
     
Q:
  How much does a permit cost?
A:
  The cost varies based on the permit type. Click here to view our current Fee Schedule.
     
Q:
  How long does it take to process an application for permit?
A:
 

The processing time depends mainly on the amount of work in the system at the time of application. The Building Department provides a walk-through period Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays between 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for minor permits such as roofing, driveway, fence, repairs, and burglar alarm to name a few. Larger projects are influenced more by the amount of work in the system and an estimate is difficult to cite but the Department is committed to efficient processing.

     
Q:
  How can I check the progress of a permit application?
A:
 

Pending New Permit System - Currently dial (305) 593-6700.

You will need the process number that begins with a "D" (D2011-XXXXX).

     
Q:
  Can I obtain a Building Permit Application online?
A:
 

Under the Building Department menu select "Forms" and then search for the Pemit Application or click here.

     
Q:
  Can I start work when I submit a permit application before it is approved?
A:
  No - not usually. In an emergency such as air-conditioning or water heater replacement with the approval of the Building Official, work up to the first required inspection may be allowed.
     
Q:
  How much time do I have for the work to be done once a permit is issued?
A:
  Permits expire and become null and void if work is not started and an inspection is approved within 180 days from the issuance date of the permit. After such work has commenced, the permit will expire when work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 6 months, unless an approved inspection is obtained.
     
Q:
  Who is responsible for calling for an inspection when work is ready?
A:
  The permit holder or his/her designee.
     
Q:
  How are inspections requested?
A:
  Inspections may be requested Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays between the hours of 7:00 am to 3:30 pm by using our phone messaging system 305-593-6770. Currently online inspection requests are not available. 

When using phone messaging system, requests must be made by 3:30 pm for the next business day. Be sure to leave the permit number, job address, type of inspection desired, contact name and phone number or your request will not be processed.

You will need the permit number to schedule inspections.
     
Q:
  After requesting an inspection when can I expect the inspector?
A:
  Inspections are performed the following business day.
     
Q:
  Do I need to request a final inspection?
A:
  All permit types need a final inspection. The final inspection provides closure to your permit and signals the end of that project.
     
Q:
  Where do I request a Fire Inspection?
A:
  Fire Inspections are conducted by the Miami-Dade Fire Department for all occupancies, except single family and duplex residence. Call 786-331-4800 to request your inspection.
     
Q:
  I do not want to make final payment until I know all inspections have been approved. How do I find out if all of the required inspections have bee approved?
A:
  You may call the Building Department at 305-593-6700 with your permit number.  In the case where there is a master permit and multiple sub-permits, each master and sub-permit must have an approved final inspection in order to be considered closed.
     
Q:
  Do I need a Certificate of Occupancy (CO)?
A:
  Generally all new construction, commercial alterations and change of occupancy require the issuance of a CO. If you are a homeowner doing repair work on your home you do not need a CO.
     
Q:
  Does the City issue Temporary Certificates of Occupancy (TCO)?
A:
  TCOs may be issued upon request to commercial work when non-life safety issues are pending. The City can issue TCOs for portions that are ready to be occupied safely. For information about how to request a TCO, please contact the Office of the Building Official at 305-593-6700, Extension 3101.
     

Next Council Meeting: Wednesday May 14th, 2014 at 9:00 AM & 6:00 PM at the Doral Government Center
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