Tag Archives: building permits in other countries

Obtaining a Building Permit Around the World

Building Permits Around the World

One might have the mistaken idea obtaining a Building Permit is the same pretty well anywhere in the United States. Unless you have had the opportunity to be involved in construction in various locales across the country, you might have the idea what happens where you are in “the norm”.

One thing I have learned is, norm is not Norm!

building permitHere in Roberts county, South Dakota a minimum of $20 will obtain a building permit from the county clerk – no plans, no inspections and same hour service. Get to the I-5 corridor in Washington, Oregon and California, a permit for the same sized building could cost thousands of dollars and involve a several month wait for someone to come to your property to do a wetlands evaluation! I’ve seen permits take up to a year to be issued in California!!

My friend Dom, in Ecuador, recently obtained a building permit, and shares his experience:

“Building permits can be tough in Ecuador, but they can also be ridiculously easy.

Depends a bit on the project and the municipal where it´s located.

In my experience, the municipal in Playas Villamil is really a pain.  Quito not so much.  While the municipals in Santa Elena (Salinas area), and Jipijapa (for area of coast south of Manta) are pretty easy.

My experience this week at the municipal of Jipijapa getting a permit to build my 170m2 (1829ft2) house on a 330m2 (3552ft2) lot was pretty straightforward.

The hardest part was the week or two wait for the municipal to send an inspector to define the construction limits or as they say here “linea de fabrica”.  It helped that my architect knew someone in the municipal who owed him a favor (I guess).  

Once that happened I had to go to the municipal with a signed official copy of the architectural plan which after heavy negotiating cost me $500 for a plan guaranteed the municipal would approve.  If not, he´d redo it.

Plus, I had to take several copies of the property deed (escritura), certificate of registry (certificado del registro de la propiedad), electrical plan also made by the architect, and a copy of the 2015 property tax payment (predios) which for my property cost well under $100.

Altogether the permit cost $135 and took 3 days.

The requirements are basically the same all over Ecuador but every municipal will have their particularities.

So now on the blueprints, permit, the 2015 tax payment and a few other minor things I´ve now spent a total of $900.

And now I´m also ready to build!”

No matter where you are in the world, some advance preparedness when planning to build is always a good choice. Do this first – it will save you a potential world of hurt later:

A few more words of wisdom: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/01/planning-department-3/

Anyone have any experiences in another country? Canada or Mexico perhaps? Please write me, I’d love to hear about it