When it comes to construction projects, building permits are crucial. They ensure that your project complies with local building codes and regulations, ensuring safety and quality. However, there are times when these permits expire before a project is completed. Don’t worry; you can still navigate through this challenge. This guide will walk you through re-approving expired building permits and help you understand the steps involved.

Why Do Building Permits Expire?

Building permits have expiration dates for several reasons:

1.    Safety – Adapting to Evolving Standards

Building codes and regulations are not static; they evolve to incorporate the latest safety standards and practices. These changes may be in response to new construction technologies, materials, or insights gained from past construction failures. Authorities ensure that ongoing projects adhere to the most up-to-date safety requirements by requiring permits to expire.

Imagine a scenario where a permit from a decade ago, when certain construction materials were considered safe, remains valid today. Bringing existing projects is crucial if new research reveals potential hazards associated with those materials. Permit expiration prompts a review of ongoing projects to ensure they meet the required permits to updated standards, safeguarding the well-being of occupants and the broader community.

Another scenario that just happened was for an individual who bought a home, but did not know the previous owner had done work almost a decade ago.  The building permit had expired and now the city is after the new owner to get it permitted and have her go through a lot of paperwork and inspections including structural inspection, creating drawings for the re-model and getting city inspections to bring it to latest building codes.

2.    Accountability – Encouraging Timely Completion

Permit expiration is a mechanism to hold project owners accountable for completing their construction projects within a reasonable timeframe. Without this accountability, some projects might linger indefinitely, causing long-term disruptions in the community. Expired permits signal that a project’s timeline has exceeded the initially approved scope, urging project owners to take and finish what they’ve started.

In essence, it prevents projects from becoming perpetual eyesores or safety hazards within a neighborhood. Communities benefit from knowing that projects will reach completion and that any associated disturbances will be temporary rather than indefinite.

It also helps to ensure accountability and the safety of the present owners  and neighbors. Some of the areas of safety scrutinized by the city are fire hazard, energy, shock and mechanical hazards.  This is a great service the city does for its citizens.

3.    Quality Control – Monitoring Project Changes

Building officials aim to ensure that construction projects progress as initially planned and that any alterations made during the building process comply with established regulations. Permit expiration prompts a reevaluation of the project to verify that it adheres to the original permit’s specifications.

Throughout a construction project, various changes can occur. These may include adjustments in design, materials, or even the contractors involved. Permit expiration ensures that these changes are reviewed and, if necessary, approved by the permitting authority. This process helps maintain the overall quality and safety of the structure, as unchecked changes could lead to potential issues or code violations.

Understanding the Renewal Process

The process to renew expired building permit involves several steps:

1.    Assess the Situation

The first step is determining whether your project complies with the original permit. Have there been any changes or modifications to the plans? You may need to consult a building engineer to assess the structural design and ensure it meets current standards.

2.    Contact the Permitting Authority

Contact your local permitting authority, often the city permit inspection department. They will guide the renewal process and inform you of any additional requirements. This is also an excellent time to inquire about any outstanding inspections that need to be completed.

3.    Documentation Review

Gather all the necessary documentation, including your original permit, construction plans, and any changes or updates. The permitting authority will review and determine if your project is still viable.

4.    Fee Payment

There may be fees associated with renewing an expired permit. Be prepared to pay these fees as part of the expired building permits process. Check with your local authority for the specific fee structure.

5.    Inspection and Compliance

If your project requires structural changes or updates, schedule a home structural inspection with a building engineer. They will assess the construction to ensure it meets current codes and standards. You must complete all the necessary modifications before the permit can be renewed.

6.    Re-Approval Process

Once your project complies with current regulations, the permitting authority will review your renewal application. This process may take time, so be patient and prepared to provide additional information or documentation if requested.

7.    Permit Extension

In some cases, you may be able to obtain a permit extension without going through the entire renewal process. This is typically allowed for minor delays or issues beyond your control. Contact your permitting authority to discuss this option.

Expert Tips for a Smooth Renewal

Re-approving expired building permits can be a complex process, but with the right approach, you can make it smoother:

1.    Plan Ahead

It’s always best to avoid permit expiration in the first place. Plan your construction timeline carefully; if you foresee delays, communicate with the permitting authority well in advance.

2.    Maintain Documentation

Keep all construction documents organized and readily accessible. This includes the original permit, architectural plans, engineering reports, and correspondence with the permitting authority.

3.    Stay Informed

Stay up-to-date with local building codes and regulations. Code changes can impact your project, so regular check-ins with the permitting authority are essential.

4.    Work with Professionals

Engage a building engineer or architect well-versed in local building codes and regulations. They can help ensure that your project remains compliant throughout its construction.

Why Choose RSH Engineering and Construction?

At RSH Engineering and Construction, we understand the complexities of the permit re-approval guide. Our experienced professionals are here to guide you through renewing expired building permits. Here’s why you should choose us:

1.    Expertise in Permit Renewals

Our experts have in-depth knowledge of local building codes and regulations. We will help you navigate the expired building permits renewal process efficiently, saving time and potential setbacks.

2.    Structural Design Evaluation

If your project requires structural changes, our skilled engineers can assess and provide solutions to ensure compliance with current standards.

3.    Timely Inspections

We prioritize timely inspections to keep your project on track. Our team will work closely with local authorities to promptly schedule and complete required building engineer inspections.

4.    Documentation Assistance

Gathering and organizing the necessary documentation can be overwhelming. We’ll assist you in preparing all the required paperwork, ensuring a seamless renewal process.

5.    Transparent Communication

We believe in open and transparent communication. You’ll be informed of progress and any actions required throughout the expired building permits renewal guide.


Re-approving expired building permits may seem like a daunting task. Still, with the proper guidance and a reliable partner like RSH Engineering and Construction, you can successfully navigate the process. Safety and compliance with local building codes are paramount, so never compromise. Whether it’s a house structural or a comprehensive review of your construction plans, we’re hunting, still, with the way. Don’t let an expired permit delay your project; contact us today to get started on the renewal process and keep your construction project on track. Your dream structure is closer than you think!

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