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2024 Building Permit Costs And Fees: Everything You Need To Know [Update]

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2024 Building Permit Costs And Fees: Everything You Need To Know [Update]

When planning a new project, building permits probably aren’t at the top of your mind. Creatively drafting ideas, brainstorming elements of the building, and getting artistic with interior and exterior design are all far more interesting and fun than worrying about getting your hands on the correct documents.


Unfortunately, though, it’s not all fun and games. Your site plan will need to be reflective of what you’re going to build so that you can submit it for a building permit. Without a proper site plan, your project could go up in smoke before you’re ever able to break ground.


Although site permits are a real pain, they’re also a necessary part of starting a building project. In this blog, our team of experienced site professionals at My Site Plan will explore the ins and outs of permits, how to obtain one, and the permit fees you can expect for just about any building project  you’re planning.

What exactly is a building permit?

building or renovation permit is a government-sanctioned document that builders are required to obtain before beginning any construction, renovation, or additions on a particular site or property.


Every jurisdiction in the United States (including states, counties, and cities) has varying requirements for issuing permits. Every jurisdiction also has different building codes and costs associated with issuing permits as well.


Essentially, an area’s zoning board will determine what a permit covers once the site owner or building company submits the site plan. Then, the proper costs and fees need to be paid before the permit is issued. Once paid and issued, construction can begin.


Unfortunately, the building permit process doesn’t end once the permit is issued. After construction is completed, a government inspector will visit the construction site in order to conduct a full inspection. This is done to ensure the building or renovation passes the relevant codes. To note here, this inspection will cost you a further fee, so make sure to check this fee in advance and factor it into your costs.

Building permit costs in 2024

worker looking at a site plan

If you plan on starting a full-structure project or remodeling your home, obtaining the correct permits is crucial. They are designated by state and local governments to ensure the safe building of the structure.


The costs of a building permit will depend on a wide range of factors, including:

  • The size of the job 

  • The type of work involved 

  • The total construction cost 

  • Where you live 

  • And more… 

Generally, permits for smaller tasks like electrical and plumbing work are on the lower end in terms of price and will typically set you back $50 to $300 according to HomeAdvisor. When it comes to the permits needed for construction projects, building houses, and remodeling, the costs can run much higher and are typically $500 to $2,000. 


A building permit for any single structure can range from $300 to $2,000, on average. This often equates to between 0.5% to 2% of the total average construction costs. While it’s not a cheap process it is a necessary one. 

Building permit average costs

The costs below include the average cost range for the permits needed for specific jobs. Depending on what area of the United States you live in, your costs may vary. Let’s explore some of the most common building permit costs in 2024, according to our friends over at HomeGuide.

  • Building a New House: $1,000 to $3,000

  • Building a New Garage: $150 to $500

  • Garage Conversion: $800 to $1,500

  • Room Addition: $200 to $600

  • Bathroom Remodel: $200 to $800

  • Deck: $50 to $150 (In some areas, deck renovation won’t require a permit if the renovation is relatively minimal.)

  • Shed: $50 to $145 (In some areas, shed renovation won’t require a permit if the renovation is relatively minimal.)

  • Pergola: $60 to $150 (In some areas, pergola renovation won’t require a permit if the renovation is relatively minimal.)

  • Building Inspection: $100 to $500

  • Basement Finishing: $200 to $1,000

  • Electrical: $50 to $350

  • Roofing: $150 to $500

  • Fence: $40 to $150

  • Plumbing: $30 to $500

  • HVAC: $50 to $1,500

  • General Construction: $500 to $2,000

  • Window: $50 to $200

  • Demolition: $100 to $450


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Tools for calculating building permit costs

Figuring out what your total permit costs are going to be can be tricky. Luckily, there are a ton of excellent tools out there for  calculating a more accurate number for your permit fees. One of our favorite tools is ImproveNet.


This tool involves simply entering your ZIP code in order to see the national average, minimum cost, maximum cost, and average range of your specific county for different types of projects.

Essential information on permit costs

worker calculating permit costs

Before we continue, let's briefly cover some other key factors you'll want to consider regarding overall permit costs. 

  • Most construction companies typically include the costs and fees of building permits in their original estimates. This means you probably won't have to deal with paying extra for permits when working with a credible construction company.

  • How long it takes to receive a permit depends on several factors but primarily on the project’s size. You can sometimes get a permit in only a day or two for small projects, whereas it can take as long as two weeks to get one for a more extensive project.

  • If a homeowner acquires an owner-builder permit, they automatically assume all financial liability, insurance risks, and responsibility for adhering to building and zoning codes. 

  • People can work with permit service providers, who will handle all of the paperwork, legalities, and inspections needed for permit acquisition. Their services may be costly, but they can help streamline the permit process.

  • According to law, any construction or renovation projects that don't require an official permit still need to follow all local zoning and building codes.


Has your building department requested a non-certified site plan so you can acquire all of the permits required to get your project started? Our team of highly-trained drafters from My Site Plan is here to help, so consider contacting us today to learn more! 

Residential vs. commercial permits

a residential property requiring a building permit

It’s important to understand the distinction between a residential project and a commercial project before submitting the necessary paperwork.


Commercial buildings usually represent businesses. The requirements and permit approval processes are significantly stricter for commercial buildings as they are typically open to the public. The fees for getting a permit and inspections are also more expensive.


Residential buildings refer to homes or living spaces for families, residents, and individual members of the public. Usually, permit requirements and the approval process for permits are significantly less strict and generally operate on an individual basis. The required fees will depend heavily on individual county regulations, the location of the building, and the type of renovation or construction that will take place.


Residential and commercial permits are very different. For example, commercial buildings will need to apply for the same building permits as residential spaces for any type of new construction or remodeling plan. Additional evaluation and inspection are also required and will apply to the total cost, along with the general building permit fee.


This fee is typically around 5% of the contract's total value in addition to building permit fees. Commercial buildings are subject to very rigorous inspection fees to comply with government regulations for safety. Residential buildings, on the other hand, are only required to pay county rates.


The best way to find an exact price for these fees would be to contact your local government during the site planning process. However, there are various ranges you can keep in mind for average permit fees regarding both property types.

Residential building permit fees

According to HomeGuide, residential construction for family homes and condos typically involves building fees ranging from $0 to $400 for more minor repairs and projects, while significant structural work, remodeling, and new construction average between $600 and $3,600. However, after-the-fact or as-built homes can require permits that cost as much as $2,000 to $8,000. 

Commercial building permit fees

Unlike residential building permits, which typically involve a wide range of factors for permits- including fencing, foundation, HVAC, and much more, commercial building permits are often based on total building size. Generally, permits for commercial buildings cost between $0.15 and $0.84 per square foot of space, which equates to around 1% to 5% of the project’s total value. However, permit fees are also impacted by construction type and occupancy classification, such as healthcare, industrial, business, or high hazard.


For example the permit cost for a:

  • 5,000-square-foot building would range from $750 to $4,200

  • 10,000-square-foot building would range from $1,500 to $8,400

  • 25,000-square-foot building would range from $3,700 to $21,000

  • 50,000-square-foot building would range from $7,500 to $42,000

Demolition permit costs

Although we’ve been exploring building permits, it is important to keep the idea of demolition permits and costs in mind when planning your next project .  After all, many construction and remodeling projects require demolition before building can occur and you usually need a permit even to knock down a single wall! A project may also have to undergo some demolition if any significant errors occur during the construction process. 


Like building permits, a demolition permit’s overall costs and fees depend on various factors, such as what’s being demolished and how much material is involved. On average, a demolition permit will cost anywhere between $100 and $450, though some cities automatically include demolition permits as part of a building permit, saving people money.


Additional demolition permits may be required if you are:

  • Demolishing a historic landmark (between $300 and $10,000)

  • Relocating or capping lines (between $100 and $150 each)

  • Removing trees (especially older, larger, healthy, or rare trees)

  • Closing a public right-of-way

  • Dust control

  • Altering city zoning regulations


Related content:

Site plans for permits from MySitePlan

During the permit granting process, builders and contractors will often need to provide their local government with a site plan in order to gain approval. But as we’ve discussed in this article, ensuring you have the right documents in place can be complicated and time-consuming. That’s where MySitePlan can help!


MySitePlan offers a variety of non-certified site plans that include buildings, lot lines, landscapes, and more.  We use public data and send the plan to the client to verify dimensions and mark any changes on the plan, which we update free of charge.


Drafting a site plan has never been easier, so contact us today to learn more about how we can help! And if you’d like to access even more essential know-how on site plans, permits, construction, and more, please don’t hesitate to also explore our wide selection of other educational resources. 

 

FAQ Answer
What should be included in a site plan for a building permit? A typical site plan should include detailed information such as the layout of buildings, lot lines, landscaping, and any existing structures. It must also adhere to local zoning and building codes.
How can a homeowner reduce the cost of building permits? Homeowners can reduce costs by ensuring their project adheres to local regulations, possibly qualifying for exemptions or lower fees. Also, bundling multiple projects under one permit might reduce costs.
What are the risks of not obtaining a building permit? Operating without a permit can lead to legal penalties, additional costs, and the need to redo non-compliant work. It can also affect insurance coverage and property value.
How do I find out the specific building permit requirements for my location? Contact your local building department or zoning board to understand specific requirements, which can vary greatly by locality. They can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Can building permit fees be negotiated or waived? Typically, permit fees are fixed and based on local regulations. However, waivers or reductions might be available for certain types of projects or for community-based or non-profit initiatives.
What happens if you fail the inspection after a permit is issued? If a project fails inspection, the inspector will issue a list of corrections. The project must rectify these issues and pass a subsequent inspection to comply with local codes and regulations.

This post was originally published on 2019-09-04. It was updated by Ryan Crownholm on 2024-04-09 to reflect new information and current prices.

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  • Ryan Crownholm