PATRICK HAYDEN DESIGN Residential Architecture and Interior Design

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How to Get a Permit

"My house addition project flew through our town permitting process in one day, as the drawings we hired Patrick Hayden Design to produce answered all their requirement questions efficiently."

-- B. Hayward, Northborough Massachusetts

Step One:  Visit the "building permit" or "construction permit" web page of  the municipality where you pay property taxes.  All of the towns in the areas we serve, Albany New York, White River Junction Vermont and Hanover New Hampshire, have permit information on websites.  If the website does not have a page with detailed permit instructions, call the office. Let them know if your project changes the footprint of your existing house or not.  Footprint changes and new construction almost always require a zoning or planning review by a Selectboard or Zoning/Planning Review Board.  Arrange to pick up a copy of a permit application, fee information, and applicable zoning laws or print them at your taxing entity's website. Expect a permit within two weeks of submitting drawings when no zoning/planning review is required.

Step Two:  Hire an architect to do a basic sketch for your design, based on an at-site consultation.  Many architects can be hired on an hourly basis.  A residential consultation is usually takes two to four hours of the architect's time.  If you live in a higher population area, such as Albany New York as opposed to Burlington or White River Junction Vermont or Hanover New Hampshire, anticipate needing an architect licensed in your state for a permit. Give yourself one to two weeks from this point until the consultation date, to assemble permit requirements documentation.

Step Three: Present the permit requirement documents to your architect at the beginning of the consultation. Walk the site with your architect and explain your goals and priorities. Discuss your aesthetic, budget and maintenance cost concerns and what your goals are.  If in a coastal area, such as Rye or Portsmouth New Hampshire, ask how specifications will address weathering conditions specific to coastal areas.

Step Four: Sign a contract with the architect to produce permit drawings.  Have a rough idea of when you'd like the project to start and what your completion date is.  Remember this is your home, so schedule carefully around upcoming family events.  Try to plan to be away or on vacation as much as possible during construction.  Ideally you'll be close enough for weekly inspections and far enough away to avoid day to day workplace activity.

Step Five:  Submit permit drawings to your taxing entity and wait one day to three months for approval, based on your project's scope, complexity and your municipality's approval process.

Step Six:  Stay on Good Terms with your Neighbors  Once the permit is issued, the town usually requires it be displayed in a visible location during construction so your neighbors need not worry the construction is illegal.

Architecture Project Information

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New Construction, House Addition,  Garage Conversion, Garage Design, Kitchen, Bath
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My Style is (select one from below):Classical, Mid Century Modern, Modern, Abstract, Other, Help me Define

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