Short answer: almost any time you make an alteration to a building or one of its many systems (plumbing, electrical, mechanical, etc.)
The location of your project and your planned scope of work will determine what permit(s) you need, and the process for getting those permits. This flowchart provided by the City of San Luis Obispo provides an overview of the process of getting from idea to final project approval and (finally...) construction. While the exact process and requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction, the general process is similar.
It looks confusing, and it can be frustrating, but Hunter Smith Architecture is here to help you every step of the way.
In the past, we have worked with clients who have come to us because they needed help rectifying an issue that was created when they began construction prior to receiving the correct permits. This often results in long project delays, duplicate work, and a contentious relationship between the building department and the project owner.
One thing we have learned: It is always easier to obtain project approval prior to beginning construction. Our services include all of the work necessary to receive project approval and permits. Our collaboration with engineers and other consultants that may be required for your plans ensures that the permitting process is as efficient as possible.
We know that this process can be frustrating and lengthy; but, doing it right the first time pays off in the end. We pride ourselves on the quality of our plans and how we collaborate with our agency partners to ensure an efficient project approval process. We have experience with several jurisdictions throughout California. Contact us to discuss your project. We can give you an idea of what kind of planning and permitting processes your project will require, and how we might be able to assist as you move forward with your project.