Planning and Development
Frequently Asked Questions
Before developing or starting any type of new construction, moving a manufactured home or modular home on your property, or adding on, you need to obtain a Building Permit from the Acadia Parish Police Jury Permit Office. This page explains the need for building codes and permits. If you should have any questions not mentioned on this page, please do not hesitate to call the Permit Office at 337-788-4999.
What is a building code?
Practically it is the government’s official statement on building safety. It is minimum safety standards. It embraces all aspects of building construction – fire, structural, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical.
Who needs building codes?
We all do, whether in our homes, offices, schools, stores, factories, or places of entertainment. We rely on the safety of structures that surround us in our everyday living. The public need protection from disaster due to fire, structural collapse, and general deterioration underscores the need for modern codes and their administration.
How reliable are they?
Most aspects of building construction – electrical wiring, heating, sanitary facilities – represent a potential hazard to building occupants and users. Building codes provide safeguards. Although no code can eliminate all risks, reducing risks to an acceptable level helps.
Why should codes apply to my home?
For several reasons:
- For your personal safety, and that of your family, and the guests invited into your home.
- To ensure the economic well-being of the community by reducing potential spread of fire and disease.
- For the conservation of energy.
- To protect future home purchasers who deserve reasonable assurance that the home they buy will be safe.
How do building codes help you?
The regulation of building construction is not a recent phenomenon. It can be traced through recorded history for more then 4,000 years. Today, most of the United States is covered by a network of modern building regulations ranging in coverage from fire and structural safety to health, security, and conservation of energy.
Public safety is not the only byproduct afforded by modern codes. Architects, engineers, contractors, and others in the building community can take advantage of the latest technological advances accommodated by these codes with viable savings to the consumer.
For codes to be effective, an understanding and cooperative relationship must exist between building officials and the groups they serve – homeowners, developers, urban planners and designers, and others in the construction industry.
What is a building permit?
A building permit gives you legal permission to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawings and specifications.
What are the benefits of building permits?
Building permits are very beneficial to you and your community. By working with code officials, you will benefit from their knowledge of building codes to ensure your construction project is built right, will be safe, and will last.
When do you need a building permit?
The best way to find out if you need a permit is to call your local building department. Discuss your plans with the code official before beginning construction to determine whether you need a permit.
Permits are usually required for the following:
- New buildings
- Additions (bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied, or make costly repairs. By following code guidelines, the completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends, or future owners.
How do I obtain a permit?
At this stage you will document the “Who, What, When, and How” of the job, along with any sketches or plans of the proposed work. A fee, based on the size of the job, is collected to cover the review and the inspection process.
What happens after I apply for a permit?
In a short amount of time, the code official will review your plans and determine if your project is in compliance with local requirements. If your plans meet these requirements, a permit is issued. If not, the code official may suggest solutions to help correct the problem.
Once approved for a permit, you have legal permission to start construction. You should consider your code official as an ally who will help you make your project a success.
On-site inspections will be required to make certain the work conforms to the permit, local codes, and plans. The code official will let you know approximately how many inspections may be needed for your project. Usually, a one or two day notice is needed when requesting visits.
Upon final approval, the code official will provide documentation when construction is complete and code compliance is determined. You will then have the personal satisfaction of a job done right.
It takes everyone in a community to keep our home, schools, offices, stores, and other buildings safe for public use.