Thursday, June 7, 2007

Permit, check.

Three permits actually, building permit, driveway opening permit, and the subsurface wastewater disposal permit (septic system). There are others of course, but no more that we need to coordinate. The plumber will pull his permit when he begins work inside, no electrical permits as is typical in most locales, though the CEO (code enforcement officer) checks for basic National Electrical Code compliance. We're happy to have crossed this hurdle, having checked with the CEO prior to purchasing the land to be sure we could place the house where we wanted to place it, we assumed it was merely a formality but there was an outside chance that something was missed during the intial evaluation.

Had we chosen to let our contractor pull the building permit for us we would've spent an extra $420. The process is straightforward, if you can handle registering your car, you shouldn't have any trouble pulling a building permit, you certainly don't need any special drawing skills, napkins are even acceptable.

Step 1: Any designed septic system will be accompanied by the necessary three copies for CEO approval and will have complete information that the State of Maine requires. You'll pay between $300-400 for the septic design but this is money well spent as the requirements for this permit are specific and tedious. You'll receive the design in triplicate ready for your signature and submission.

Step 2: Building permit application. Find your tax map and lot number, the CEO can then tell you the zoning district you reside in. Each zone has different requirements for setbacks make sure you comply with every single one of these standards. Small lots are usually more problematic in this regard.

Step 3: Driveway opening permit. Fill out the fee, and they have to grant you at least one entrance permit. They'll check the road width and length and be sure you're in compliance with their standards. If your driveway is long beware, you may have to build a much wider road to allow fire vehicles passing space. Sitework is a significant expense so making a road wider by just a few feet will cost a lot of money.

If you have wetlands on your property, be sure to consult with the DEP and your local CEO. The more information you have and they have the smoother the process will go...and get absolutely everything in writing you'll need it. We had no trouble communicating wetland information to the CEO after meeting with the DEP and getting a letter from them stating the outcome of that meeting.

Our next step...sign the contract with our builder and wait for the trucks to arrive.

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