Pre-engineered Steel Buildings – Who pulls the permit?

steel building preliminary drawings

Pre-engineered Steel Building - Who pulls the permit?

A question we get quite often about a pre-engineered steel building is "Who pulls the permit?".  First and foremost, Renegade is a steel building supplier.  We are not licensed contractors and as such we cannot pull a permit for our customers.  Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about your permit and building process.

Before you work on the permitting process, you should at least contact your local building office to ask them what building code they require and specifically the wind and snow load for a pre-engineered steel building in your area.  Another key question is to make sure of your zoning and if you have to observe any setbacks on your property.

No permit needed

steel building preliminary drawings

Steel Building preliminary drawings

In some cases you may not be required to pull a permit for your building.  There are many areas of the country, especially in the more rural areas, that allow you to build your building without a permit.  You should contact your local municipality to determine if this is the case for your area.  You never want to just assume this is the case as the penalties can be severe if you build without a permit when one is required.  Often you can simply take a set of preliminary drawings to show them what you are planning to build and they can tell you what is needed.

Self contracted permit

steel building permit drawings

Steel Building Permit drawings

If a permit is required, you may be able to act as your own general contractor.  If that is the case, you are responsible for any permits / inspections your local municipality may require.  You may want to start with preliminary drawings again to show them what your project looks like and have them help guide you on what is needed.  In many cases, much of the permit application process can be found on your local county or city government web page.  One item to pay particular attention to is what is required for codes and loads for your building.  Our software provides general guidelines for codes based on a zip code, but a local municipality can always adjust what they want to see a building designed for.  We can't know each and every city and county government in the country, so it is up to the customer to verify.

The main item you will receive from us will be stamped engineered steel building plans which includes the anchor bolt plans (not the same as foundation plans).  They may also need to see a steel building foundation plan for your concrete work (you may get these from your concrete contractor).

Additional interior build out as well as any pluming or electrical may require information from those sub-contractors.

General Contractor

Some customers choose to hire a general contractor depending on the complexity of your building project.  In this case, your contractor would use his GC license to acquire your permit from the permit office.  They will still use the stamped drawings we provide for the permit process.

Even though the GC is responsible for the job, you still need to verify the codes and loads so that your building is built to the specs needed for your specific location.

While a GC helps alleviate the work and trips to the permit office that you would have to do, it does come at a price.  You will pay for the service they provide even if all they do is oversee the job.

What happens if I don't get a permit?

If you are required to obtain an permit, but fail to do so, there could be minor repercussions up to major fines or worse.  Each permit office is different in how they handle violations.  We have heard stories of officials needing to have all of the work certified by an onsite engineer in order to certify the building, to fines being issued and orders to remove a building.  While this is not meant to scare you, this is not the case where you just want to ask for forgiveness later.  It is best to know what you need to do upfront than to end up with a building you can't put on your property.
We hope this helps with what to do for permitting your building.  The permit drawings are vital in your permitting process.  One often asked question is can we provide permit drawings so that you can see if you need and can obtain a permit.  You receive the permit drawings after you put a deposit on your building.  That starts the process of engineering your building.
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