PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS
Why do I need a permit?
Permits, and the inspections that follow, help protect your safety and the investment in your property. Permits and inspections are required by mortgage lenders and by insurance companies. Without permits you may find it difficult or impossible to get a loan, collect on insurance, or sell your property. With permits and inspections you have greater assurance that your property and the buildings on it are safe for you, your family and other occupants.
When do I need a permit?
Permits are required to:
Separate permit applications are required for all signs, whether erected with a building or not.
- Sanitary plumbing and water supply systems
- Electrical wiring and equipment,
- Air conditioning and refrigeration equipment
- Boiler equipment
- Roof coverings
- Swimming pools
- Fences or walls
- Construct a new building
- Demolish an existing building
- Make alterations or additions to an existing building
- Change a building's use, say from commercial to residential
- Clear land for any purpose
- Install, alter or repair
- Parking areas, driveways or other paved surfaces
What information do I need to provide?
You are encouraged to call or visit the Building Department to learn what information is required for a permit in your specific case.
In general, for new construction you will need to provide:
- A legal description and address for the land on which the work is to be done
- The proposed use or occupancy of the building
- .The value of the proposed work
- The planned start and completion dates
- The name of the licensed contractor who will undertake the work
- Two sets of plans and specifications as required by the Building and Sanitary Code (one additional set for the Ministry of Health for restaurants and food stores)
Plans should be signed and stamped by a registered architect and be reviewed and stamped by Grand Bahama Power and the Grand Bahama Utility Company before submission to the Building Department. Each plan set should include:
- A site plan by a land surveyor, including property boundaries, dimensions, rights-of-way and easements, legal description of the property, drainage details, nearest intersecting streets, and a location map,
- Architectural floor plans for each floor and a roof plan,
- Exterior elevations for all walls,
- Typical sections through the entire building and detailed wall sections,
- A foundation plan,
- Structural framing plans for each floor and the roof,
- Column, beam and footing schedules and typical details,
- Electrical plan showing lighting and electrical distribution, the tabulation of electrical load and riser diagram,
- Plumbing plan and isometric,
- Septic tank or sewage disposal unit and location,
- Mechanical plans if building is air conditioned or refrigerated,
- Telephone layout for residential buildings of over 8 units and for commercial buildings,
- Site layout and landscaping plan, ,
- Parking layout and walkway plan,
- Details of all special conditions
(e.g., connections to existing structures or commercial ratings).
Special cases may require coloured elevations, perspective sketches and three-dimensional models.
Now that I have a permit...what next?
- Post your permit number in a prominent place on the building site and keep it there until all work is completed and approved by the Building Department.
- Start work within 90 days of receiving your permit. If this does not occur your permit will be voided.
- Notify the Building Department 24 hours before starting work.
- Notify the Building Department immediately of any changes from your approved plans that occur during construction.
- Make sure that your approved plans are on site at all times. Notify the Building Department 24 hours in advance to request a required inspection. When you call for an inspection, please have your permit number and the legal description of your property handy.
- Submit the name of any contractors or sub-contractors of record to the Building Department before an inspection of that contractor's or sub-contractor's work.
- Make sure that the contractors are on site during the inspection of their work.
- Provide a safe ladder on site for any inspection above the first floor.
- Remove all debris from the site to an approved disposal site before each inspection.
- Have a measuring tape available for the first inspection so that setbacks can be checked.
- Foundation Inspection ~ after excavation, erection of forms and placement of reinforcing steel, before pouring concrete.
- Pile Inspection ~ during the driving of the piles and after all the piles have been driven and forms and reinforcing steel are in place and tied, before pouring concrete.
- Reinforcing Inspection ~ after reinforcing steel is in place and before pouring concrete (Termite spray must be applied before placing the floor slab.)
- Frame Inspection ~ at each floor level and after all framing, fire blocking, furring and bracing are in place and plumbing and electrical work are roughed in.
- Roofing Inspection ~ before base sheet or sheets have been tincapped and before cap sheet is mopped on.
- Lathing Inspection-after lathing and before plastering, where plastering is a requirement for fire protection or where suspended overhead.
- Plumbing Inspection--to be made of the groundwork and at each floor. All plumbing work shall be left uncovered and convenient for examination until inspected and approved. Floors shall be left up in all bathrooms and elsewhere above all sanitary plumbing, water supply and gas supply piping and other plumbing work until it has been examined, tested and approved.
- Electrical Inspection ~ at each floor level and of all under ground conduits for main feeders. No conduit, boxes, panels or other electrical equipment shall be covered or concealed until approved. The ground well must always be accessible.
- Special Inspections ~ to be made of all mechanical installations, signs and awnings immediately upon completion and at intervals during the progress of the work as required.
- Other Inspections ~ as the owner, contractor or Building Department may reasonably request.
Final Inspection: after all work is completed and the structure is ready for use and occupancy.
Final inspections for Certificates of Occupancy must be requested three days in advance. Please make sure that work is completed to code before requesting an inspection. Failed inspections are subject to a re-inspection fee.
- All wood trusses must be approved before fabrication and must be installed according to manufacturer's specifications.
- Concrete must be poured with a minimum 3" slump. Concrete shall be a minimum 2000 psi 25 day, or higher on special designs.
- Ground rods (especially rigid rods) should be tested every one to two years to ensure safety.
- Work done without permit, in non-compliance with the Building and Sanitary Code, or in an unsafe manner may be subject to a STOP WORK ORDER.
This is a general guide only. For a complete explanation of requirements, please refer to the Building and Sanitary Code. Copies are available from the Building Department. The Building Department will also be pleased to answer questions or assist with problems. Phone: (242)350-9178.