It has been quite a process to get to this point and it’s always nerve-wracking applying for a building permit. As I ride the elevator to the third floor of the Civic Building, I can’t shake the feeling that after all of this work we may still not reach our goal – permission to build the Tiny House.
When the elevator doors open, I begin the journey that the City of Pittsburgh refers to as applying for a building permit. First I turn left and head towards the zoning counter. This time I’m lucky and am able to walk straight up to the counter without waiting in line. I submit my completed occupancy application and answer a number of questions, such as “what’s the size of the deck?”, “what materials will be used for the pergola?” and “what are the overall dimensions of the house?”. When the questions are complete I’m given a receipt.
With receipt in hand I cross the hall towards the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections (PLI). I visit the cashier on the way who takes the zoning receipt and creates a file for the project and gives me a second receipt.
With the second receipt in hand I enter PLI and line up at the submission counter on the left. When it’s my turn I submit two sets of construction documents, stamped with our architect’s seal, along with a completed application form and the paperwork I had received from the zoning desk and the second receipt from the cashier.
They give the drawings a number and enter us into the queue of other hopeful projects awaiting their fate. Then they hand me (yes, you guessed it) a THIRD receipt which I will have to bring back once the building permit is approved.
All we can do now is wait for the call.