What is a building permit?

A building permit gives you permission by your city or county jurisdiction to start your project in accordance with the approved drawings. Cities and counties establish minimum standards to protect citizens using codes and regulations. City and county building permits indicate that your detailed planning of a project meets their minimum standards.

Your city or county allows a few minor projects without obtaining a building permit such as retaining walls and planter boxes, four-foot fences, decks and platforms, swings and playground equipment, tool sheds, and playhouses. Building permits are required for every other type of project in your city or county. 

To obtain a building permit, you will need some general documents to accompany the application. The experienced associates at Creative Directions can draft these documents.

Minor Repairs and Alterations

  • Construction Drawings – Construction drawings demonstrate that the project meets code requirements and may include landscape, sign and parking design.
  • Elevation Drawings – Elevation drawings indicate all finishes, new and existing, height of floor and overall structure and roof slope.

Major Repairs, Alterations, Minor Additions, Tenant Improvements and New Construction

  • Construction Drawings – A construction drawing is a complete set drawn to scale, including specifications, calculations, details, systems and layouts demonstrating that all meets required codes.
  • Floor Plans – Floor plans show the exterior dimensions, along with each room’s intended use.
  • Structural Calculations – Engineered structural calculations show the planning for the structure as a whole.
  • Plot Plans – A plot plan is a drawing of the site, including buildings, structures, retaining walls, sidewalks, streets, meters, contour elevations curb cuts, driveways, and the distance to property lines.

Contact our associates at Creative Directions to discuss your drafting needs for your specific project. We will be happy to look at your ideas and turn them into a technical drawing that will communicate your detailed plans and get you that building permit.


What are permit drawings?

Permit drawings are a lot less detailed than construction documents but for some projects, permit drawings may be sufficient for a building permit. Creative Directions would be happy to draft permit drawings on your next project.

Permit drawings include general architectural plans with minimal details leaving the client to assume responsibility with their contractors to make all the decisions not addressed in the permit drawings. If you are looking for a minimal detailed drawing to apply for a building permit, use for estimating costs or taking bids, then permit drawings may work for you.

Permit drawings are not fully designed projects and are only to obtain a building permit. Further construction drawings would be required to use as the plans for completing a project. Common details left out of permit drawings include the way in which a heating system would duct, what light fixtures to use, how the cabinets fit together and the types of floor materials. Our design team at Creative Directions can turn your permit drawings into construction drawings.

The city or county permit office will depend on you to provide a plan sufficient to show the scope of your project, and you will want to be as thorough as possible. Consult with our associates here at Creative Directions to see if permit drawings would be sufficient for the project that you have in mind.