I have heard so many different things about Hawaii building permits. When do I need one?
Building permits are required for most construction projects in Hawaii, but the exact requirements depend on the county where the property is located. For example in Hawaii County, you need a permit to build any new structure, including fences more than six feet high and swimming pools more than three feet deep, as well as to relocate, repair, alter, or make additions to an existing structure. This includes changes of occupancy or the installation of energy saving system such as solar panels. However permits are not required for most detached decks and repair projects under $1000 in value. But in Maui County, you need a permit for all work that creates a new structure or affects an existing structure in the county. The City and County of Honolulu has its own unique rules and regulations.
|CLICK THE LINKS TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUILDING PERMIT
Some cities have a general building permit application, whereas others have separate permit applications for project type or for the different phases of construction. Not all cities have forms on their site and might only list a contact and phone number.
Do I need to get a permit for electrical or plumbing work?
Generally yes, you will need to get a permit for most electrical and mechanical work since Hawaii usually requires that the work be completed by a licensed electrical or plumbing contractor. Individual homeowners are usually not allowed to do the work themselves unless it only involves cosmetic work such as changing a light switch plate.
Now that I know that I need one, where should I apply for my building permit?
Building permits in Hawaii are issued by the county government in the county where the property is located. It is the location of the property that matters, not where you yourself live. In the City and County of Honolulu it is the Permit Issuance Branch of the Department of Planning and Permitting that handles all building permit applications. In Hawaii County, the office that issues building permits is the Building Permit Office within the Department of Public Works while in Maui County you should submit your application to the Building Office within the Development Services Administration. For the appropriate office in the other two counties in Hawaii, check with your local county government website.
Besides the completed application, is there anything else that I should bring with me when I file my application?
Most counties in Hawaii require that you also submit multiple copies of the drawn construction plans. Certain information is required to be included in the plans, such as the plot plan, accurate dimensions of the property and the proposed structure, the floor plan, address of the property, and a map key. Depending on the size of the project, some drawn plans must also have an architect’s or engineer’s signature and stamp in order to be accepted.
In addition to drawn plans, some permits will require that you first obtain the approval of other agencies in order to be issued. If this is the case, you must also submit proof that this approval has been granted for your building permit application to be processed.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.