With the exception of minor interior repairs, homeowners and contractors are required to obtain permits for all remodeling projects. (In the industry, this is often referred to as “pulling permits.”) Permits are pulled at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), located at 941 North Capitol St. NE on the second floor. If the job is small enough, you can generally “walk” your permit through in a day (or two, or three, depending on the mood of the public servant who happens to be on duty). However, for larger projects where zoning and historic preservation are issues and multiple permits are necessary (generally a Building Permit, Plumbing Permit, Electrical Permit and Mechanical Permit are required), construction documents must be submitted for a more extensive review. This review and approval process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months.
In order to get a larger project started while approval for construction documents is pending, you have the option of submitting Demolition Plans. This allows you to obtain a Demolition Permit, enabling you to begin work.
For the project at 753, we made the trip down to DCRA on a morning late in July, and two hours later, emerged with the “demo” permit in hand!
Visit the DCRA website for more information regarding building regulations: