How to Get a Building Permit in Washington DC

How to Get a Building Permit in Washington DC


How to Get a Building Permit in Washington DC

Getting a Washington DC building permit requires more paperwork than most other areas, but it isn’t too hard once you understand the basics. This guide will quickly show you how to get a building permit in Washington DC (with direct links to all of the most important forms) for your next basement remodeling project.

Washington DC Building Permits

You can either apply for a building permit online (and also check the approval status online as well), or submit a building permit application to:

1100 4th Street SW
Permit Operations Center, 2nd Floor
Washington DC, 20024

You must also submit 4 copies of building plans that are at least 11 x 17 inches with an 1/8th inch-to-foot scale minimum. These plans must also have:

  • All materials used (wood species, grade, concrete and steel specs, etc.)
  • Manufacturer’s design specs for any premade fireplaces
  • Architectural plans with dimensions and intended room use
  • Entry and exit dimensions as well as details
  • R-value of all insulation used
  • Height from floor to ceiling and also from floor to lowest protrusion
  • Foundation information
  • Framing information with cross sections and stud details
  • Piping and fixture connection details
  • For a full list of required information, please refer to page 2 of the building permit guidelines

You also need to fill out and submit with your application a contract agreement with the property owner’s signature as well as the estimated costs.

Mandatory Environmental Forms

Washington DC has strict environmental regulations in place, which means more forms for basement remodeling projects. You need to submit an Environmental Intake Form. This will determine whether you will need to submit a more in-depth Environmental Impact Screening Form in the future – you will be notified of this usually within 30 days of submitting.

You also may be required to contact other environmental departments (such as the Air Quality Division and the Water Quality Division). Fill out and submit this mandatory questionnaire to learn which departments you need to contact.

Zoning Permits

Submit a zoning datary summary form with your building permit to verify important dimensional information about the worksite.

Certificate of Occupancy

If you are remodeling a basement in anything other than a single-family dwelling, then you are going to need to fill out a certificate of occupancy and submit it with your building permit application. Single-family homes do not have to submit this form. If you are required to do this, you also have to submit a Certificate of Occupancy Authorization Form for signed consent on behalf of the property owner.

Need More Washington DC Permits?

Check out our next blog for Washington DC electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permit applications!

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