Tips for Malibu General Contractors for the Permit Process in the City of Malibu

Malibu general contractors must have a basic understanding of the permit and plan check process for the city of Malibu in order to provide a full and accurate service to their clients. While the permit process is considered by many to be an extremely challenging experience, understanding the process from the initial submittal to the planning department through the final building and safety department requirements can minimize this complex process.

The critical path begins with design and understanding the code requirements, yet at the same time making the most of the guidelines in order to exceed the homeowner’s expectations. Typically, permits are expedited with an in-house expeditor so that the design team has first hand information and communication with the City of Malibu to eliminate wasted time and duplicated information.  A knowledgeable designer and experienced builder can be the most efficient land use consultant to expedite your plans through the permit process in the City of Malibu.

The plan check process involves a plan examiner reviewing the architectural and structural plans to determine if they meet the appropriate codes. During this process, it is most likely that the plans will need to be reviewed by the following city departments: Fire, Geology, Environmental Health, Coastal Engineering, Building and Safety, Public Works, and Biology.

Fees are generally required for each stage of the process from each department.  If processed by your general contractor or design team, the submittal process for a custom home or major remodel will include plans, specifications, engineering, geology/soils reports, and survey.  The submittal requirements are determined by multiple factors, such as the complexity of the custom home project or remodel project which includes the following: existing land use, usable lot area, proximity to Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA), allowable buildable area versus proposed structure height, and many other elements.

Throughout the plan check process, there may be multiple corrections and re-submittals. Corrections will likely need to be addressed by your design team and other team consultants before plans will be approved.

Once the plans are approved by the planning department, building and safety department, and any other departments and agencies, the building permits can be issued for the project.  Because the project is the builder’s responsibility, it is always recommended that your general contractor pull the permit directly to take responsibility for the project since it is of no advantage for a homeowner to pull a permit as Owner/Builder when working with a Malibu General Contractor.

Written by Miguel Luna for Avalon Construction Corp

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