Permitting made easy
Some Information That Can Be Useful
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS SUPPLIED AS A COURTESY ONLY
AND DOES NOT REPRESENT ‘LEGAL ADVICE’.
YOU ARE ADVISED TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE TOPICS SHOWN BELOW.
Everyone wants to know about Hawaii's permitting rules. Admittedly these are a bit complex. Many people will expound on the items in the exclusion list found in Chpt 18 of Revised Ordinances of Hawaii (Permitting) and some unwittingly face difficulties.
While some items found on this list may apply to your particular situation, there are other sections of the code (that will tend to nullify exclusions) found in the total permitting code where the Honolulu Planning and Permitting Department (HPPD) does rigorously enforce.
These additional sections describe some simple rules:
>for work over $1000 (materials and labor combined) then the work needs to be permitted.
>Also, if the work includes any plumber work over $1000 in a 12 month period on your property or any electrical work over $500 in a 12 month period then either work (materials and labor) must be permitted.
>Finally, any contractor performing work over $1000 (materials and labor) must secure an approved building permit PRIOR to starting any work. The Regulated Industries Control Office (RICO) requires all contractors to be 'good citizens' (my interpretation) abiding by the law.
You should beware of those who propose 'no need to get permit'. Take a moment to review the 'Permitting Basics' page and the benefits available to home owners who secure a building permit.
The Fire Department is very keen on Smoke Alarms as the early warning device for saving lives. So the plan reviewers will be checking what is shown and stated on the drawings about smoke alarms and if the smoke alarms are shown in the proper locations on the drawings. See the section below about smoke alarms for more information.
Note: as of August 2017 special new rules apply to properties if the work will alter the grounds in any way.
Three resources are listed that could be helpful. Each will take you to a State web address or a State supplied pdf so you can view and download if you wish.
Happenings you shouldn't miss in the weeks ahead.
Chtr 18 of ROH
Complete State HI Permit Code
Building Permit Plan Format Checklist
This is what I follow when making your plan set.
New 2020 Rules
This is the most recent changes to the Building Codes; Very Extensive Changes
This was passed and adopted this summer in 2020. The info in this Ordinance 20-7 reflects modifications and additions to the various codes that are now adopted into Chapter 16 Building Codes.
Excerpt From International Building Code Chpt 9: Smoke Alarms
Single Family Homes are 'R-3'.
Condo's, Townhouses are considered 'R-3'
and Highrise Condo's are typically 'R-2'
[F] 907.2.10.1.2 Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and I-1.
Single-or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be
installed and maintained in Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and
I-1, regardless of occupant load at all of the following
1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate
sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bed
2. In each room used for sleeping purposes.
3. In each story within a dwelling unit, including
basements but not including crawl spaces and
uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling
units with split levels and without an intervening
door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm
installed on the upper level shall suffice for the
adjacent lower level provided that the lower
level is less than one full story below the upper
[F] 907.2.10.3 Interconnection. Where more than one
smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual
dwelling unit in Group R-2, R-3 or R-4, or within an
individual dwelling unit or sleeping unit in Group R-1,
the smoke alarms shall be interconnected in such a man
ner that the activation of one alarm will activate all of the
alarms in the individual unit. The alarm shall be clearly
audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels
with all intervening doors closed.