Before starting any construction project, you’ll need to obtain a building permit. Your building permit grants you permission to build on a certain piece of land. But keep in mind that your building permit doesn’t last forever.
Building permits can expire, so it’s important to understand the terms of your permit and how long it’s good for before you even obtain one. Keep reading to learn more about the terms and timeframes of building permits and what to do if yours expires.
How long is a building permit valid?
A building permit is likely valid for about 6 months after you obtain the permit if you haven’t started work on the project. If you have started construction, your permit is likely good for 1-2 years.
Tip: Do your due diligence — check with your local building department for exact permit expiration timelines.
Factors that affect how long a building permit is good for
- Your jurisdiction’s policies. Every state and municipality has its own time frame for permit validity.
- Whether you’ve started work on the project. If you haven’t started construction, the permit will likely expire sooner than if you have started construction.
- The type of permit you’ve obtained. Depending on your jurisdiction, commercial and residential permits may have different expiration dates, as might different kinds of construction permits.
Do building permits expire?
Yes, building and construction permits expire.
On average, you can expect that your building permit will expire after about six months if you don’t start work on the project. Once you do start construction, your permit may expire if you don’t complete the project within 1-2 years.
However, remember that every jurisdiction has different permit expiration terms, so make sure you know your local policies.
What to do if your building permit expires
If your building permit expires, don’t panic — but don’t continue construction, either! Working with an expired permit could land you in trouble, facing fines and penalties.
In some cases, you may be able to renew your building permit or get an extension. But in others, you’ll have to request an entirely new permit.
If you need to get a new permit, it shouldn’t be too difficult if you haven’t changed any of your project plans. However, you’ll likely have to pay a fee. Expect to pay roughly 50% of the initial permit fee if you haven’t suspended work on the project for more than a year. If the project has been halted for more than a year, you may have to pay the full permit fee again.
Keep in mind that all of these figures are estimates, and will depend entirely on your jurisdiction’s policies and fee schedules. So always consult with your local building department!
How to renew an expired building permit
If your building permit has expired, follow these steps:
- Determine if you can renew the permit or request an extension.
- Request a new permit if yours can’t be renewed or extended.
- Re-submit your project plans if needed.
- Pay any associated fees.
Avoid the headaches of the permitting process
From doing research to filing paperwork to following up on your application status, obtaining a permit can be a huge headache. So ditch the stressful work and let PermitFlow handle everything instead.
PermitFlow makes it easy to apply for and obtain a permit quickly. We’re also ready to step in if you need assistance with an expired permit.