Worries may continue after learning more. Finding out what the permit requires causes delays for some homeowners, especially experienced applicants. In fact, the most common change to initial plans among this experienced group is delaying the start of the project.
Nearly half (47 percent) of first-time homeowner applicants change their plans in some way after learning about permit requirements, while 42 percent of experienced applicants do so. The most common change among first-timers (25 percent) is deciding to hire a pro instead of undertaking a DIY project.
Building regulations lead to plan changes. The policies of local building departments make revisions necessary for the projects of more than a third of homeowners. One in five projects ends up different than initially planned (though of similar size), while one in seven ends up larger than originally planned. Nearly two-thirds of projects remain similar to what was initially envisioned.
Mixed feelings abound. Some respondents found the permit process fairly straightforward, while others found aspects of it frustrating. In terms of finding out whether a permit was required, about 45 percent of those who received approval said the process was straightforward, while 7 percent said it was frustrating. The rest (48 percent) were somewhere in the middle.
About 73 percent of homeowners who received a building permit found at least one aspect of the permit process frustrating, and about 84 percent found at least one part of the process straightforward.