How do I apply for a building permit?

When submitting an application for a building permit to the town hall, you might as well make sure you prepare your file correctly so as not to risk wasting time. It is indeed essential to obtain an agreement before opening the site. Let’s see what are the documents to attach to the essential Cerfa form, and what is this duty of posting incumbent on the applicant when his building permit is granted. We will also mention the risks incurred by anyone building or renovating without a building permit.

What is a building permit?

It is a sesame without which many construction sites cannot be opened because they would then fall into illegality. The works concerned are for example:

  • The extension of a dwelling, its elevation, its enlargement or the development of the attic,
  • Building a house on bare land,
  • The construction of an annex building to the dwelling,
  • The construction of a swimming pool.

Far from being a simple formality, the building permit – compulsory in many cases – requires the establishment of a complex file. It allows the town planning department to verify compliance with the rules imposed when a construction project must be implemented.

Application for a building permit: first refer to the PLU

We start by going to the town hall of the municipality in question in order to obtain a town planning certificate. It is very important because it allows the interested party to be informed about their construction possibilities. You should know that they are not the same everywhere in France. It all depends on whether you are in an ABF zone (that is to say, which is governed by the Architectes des Bâtiments de France) or in a protected area, or even not far from a historic monument. the Local Urban Plan is therefore the essential reference.

Building permit: properly prepare your file

The person concerned must first carefully complete the Cerfa form corresponding to his project. This is a official administrative document which can be downloaded from the Public Service website. Please note that there are different Cerfa forms, each corresponding to a very precise situationto know :

Then, to compile your building permit application file, it is imperative to attach to the Cerfa form them documents following:

  • The site plan which makes it possible to locate the lot in the municipality and to check, for example, whether or not it is in a classified area,
  • The ground plane, whether the project is a construction or a modification. On this aerial view appear:
    • existing buildings,
    • The building(s) to be erected,
    • The dimensions of the project,
    • existing trees,
    • Indications concerning, where applicable, the trees to be felled,
    • Locations for connections to different networks.
  • The cutting plane which indicates :
    • The profile of the land before and after the works,
    • The exterior volume of the construction(s),
    • The location of the building in relation to the profile of the land.
  • At the notice of description globale planned works. She specifies:
    • The materials,
    • The colours/shades of the construction,
    • The lay of the land…
  • The plan of facades and roofs which shows:
    • The different heights of the construction,
    • The external appearance of the building in project.
  • The 3D graphic plan which is none other than the modeling of the project in three dimensions in its environment. It allows to appreciate the aspect of the project seen from the public space.
  • A photography of good quality presenting the constructions located near the project and showing the land in its close environment,
  • A photography good quality showing the terrain in its surroundings distant. We must therefore visualize the land, but also the possible constructions of the sector, the streets…

If it deems it useful, the town planning department reserves the right to ask for other supporting documents, which may be the case for a project whose characteristics are very specific.

Application for a building permit: transmission procedure and deadlines

Once the file is perfectly constituted, it remains to take care of its depositau minimum in quadruplicate, to the town planning department of the municipality where the work is planned. The applicant must also keep a copy of his request. He can submit his application for a building permit:

  • Either by Postal routeby registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt,
  • Either give it directly to the town hall, clean hand.

And receipt is then given to him and a registration number is assigned at his request.

Once it is returned to an iinstructor competent, the file is examined with great care. The characteristics of the project are displayed at the town hall within 15 days following the submission of the request, but the time required for instruction is understood between 2 and 3 months depending on the geographical area and the project. Beyond this period, the absence of a response is worth tacit agreement. However, before starting the work, the person concerned has every interest in ask for written confirmation at his town hall.

You should know that for a project to be granted, it must comply with municipal regulations and be deemed feasible by the town planner. Finally, the mayor is the only competent authority to whom the final decision rests. In other words, it is he who validates the project. Once obtained, the building permit is valid for 3 yearsbut it can be renewable twice for 1 yearwhich therefore corresponds to a maximum period of validity of 5 years.

Building permit granted: what about the duty to display?

As stipulated in article R 424-15 of the Town Planning Code, it is compulsory for the beneficiary of the driving license to respect his duty to display throughout the duration of the construction through a panel that obeys strict rules. It must be placed in front of the house or on bare ground, so as to be clearly visible from the public thoroughfare. The dimensions of this rectangular panel building permits must be at least 120 x 80 cm. The indications, clearly legible to mention there are the following:

  • The file reference number,
  • its date of issue,
  • The nature of the project (extension, construction, etc.),
  • The name of the beneficiary(ies) as well as the company name if it is a company,
  • The height of the building,
  • The construction floor surface,
  • If applicable, the area of ​​the building(s) to be demolished,
  • The area of ​​the land,
  • The name of the architect if there is recourse,
  • The address of the town hall where it is possible to consult the file,
  • The maximum number of lots planned if the project concerns a subdivision.

A third party has a 2 month delay pour challenge the building permit from the time it is obtained (and displayed).

It is in no one’s interest to derogate from the obligation to apply for a building permit because carrying out their work without permission exposes the offender to sanctions. The construction may be subject to compliance as provided for in the Town Planning Code. But the court can also demand the immediate stoppage of the work or even the complete demolition of the construction.

Before it is too late, it is fortunately still possible to regularize the situation by asking for a building permit after work, which implies specifying on the Cerfa form that the request concerns a regularization. But you have to be aware that if you extend your house illegally, for example, any undeclared room does not exist for tax purposes. It therefore brings no added value to the property, which is a major inconvenience in the event of resale, for example…

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