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Time-Saving Tips for the Permitting Process in Hawaii

Hawaii Home Building Permits

Are You Prepared for Hawaii Home Building Permitting?

Building or renovating a perfect home takes time, but it’s important—for both your budget and your sanity—to prevent unnecessary delays.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of home construction is the process of obtaining a building permit. Due to a high volume of construction, homeowners can expect to wait anywhere from 4 to 6 months to get permit approval through the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP). This means spending more money paying rent or on the mortgage of an existing home rather than one you truly love.

Fortunately, there are some new options specifically designed to help expedite the permitting process.

One option is the One Time Review (OTR) for single family residential building permits. Applicants submit completed building plans to the Department of Planning and Permitting only once, receive and resolve any comments made by the DPP, and return the plans for final approval. Instead of submitting multiple times, the OTR is a one-time submittal which resolves comments with DPP for final permit approval upon return of the plans. The plan reviewer reviews the drawing set only one time. If any issues are identified during construction by the building inspector, the owner has to resolve these issues with the inspector on site. Any issues spotted during the building process can still be addressed by the DPP, but for most homebuilders, the OTR is an efficient way to obtain building permits that still ensure a structurally sound home.

What to Expect When Submitting a One Time Review

The Process for Submitting an OTR Includes:

  • Submitting 4 sets of plans using an OTR form.
  • Drawings are reviewed by the assigned plan reviewer which normally takes a minimum of 2 to 3 months before comments are received.
  • Comments are then addressed and returned.
  • The permit is approved after the plan reviewer completes the review of the returned plans.
  • If any issues develop in the field, the owner abides by the decision of the building inspector.

Another time-saving option involves hiring third-party residential plan reviewers—This is a pay-per-service option. Several independent companies offer this service—in which the homeowner, architect, or contractor submits drawings on behalf of the homeowner. The third-party then reviews the plans and obtains any required permits. Third-party services will cost at minimum between $3,500 and $4,000, but can vary based on the scope of the project.

More importantly, a third-party review allows you and your contractor to focus on building and designing your home instead of navigating the DPP. If you’ve already begun the permitting process and want to expedite receiving your permit, a third- party review can be hired at any time, and usually sees results within 30-90 days.

Remember, even smaller scale renovations like electrical repair and plumbing (over $500) require building permits performed by licensed contractors.

If you are interested in Third-Party Residential Services, please contact us for an estimate!

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