Who should pull permit?General Contractor or home owner?

This might be a simple question to you guys - Who should be pulling permit(Grading, Building Permits) for a new build, owner or general contractor?

The only downside i have heard for contractor pulling permit is, if the contractor bails on the project he has to release the permit for the other contractor to use. Is that really an issue?

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Which city are we talking about?

Contra Costa County - Lafayette

Why have the contractor pull the permit? You can be the applicant and the contractor can be the gc of record. You are paying for the permit regardless why not retain more control?

If you are paying the contractor, use their time to do the permit. Unless you have free time to figure what forms to fill out and get it done right. I would use the contractor to the permit work. Owner has to pay the permit fees though.

If your contractor skips out on you, you have bigger issue than just the permit. Depending on the permit, permit can be hundred(s) of dollars. What you pay the contractor can be thousands or 10’s of thousands. If you are concerned about contractor bailing, then you better find the right contractor.


I have always pulled the permit in my name and named the GC when/ where the city asked for it.

In the near term, financially there is no difference.

If you get sued in the future (construction issues), your legal position may be stronger if your name is NOT on the permit. The less you appear to have been involved, the better.


Thank you for your responses

I have pulled permits before when i was the GC(pay myself with blood,sweat & tears) and i hired all the subs to do the work.

In this scenario, I want to stay a little away from the action as I have a GC for the new build and want to be liable & responsible in every way. Having his name on the permit would make him responsible if anything were to go wrong i am imagining.

I wanted to check if there are any other downsides to the GC pulling the permit.

the responsibility of pulling permits for a new build can fall on either the owner or the general contractor, but it is typically the general contractor who does so. While the issue of releasing the permit if the contractor bails is a valid concern, it is not a major issue and can easily be resolved. It’s always a good idea for the owner to be involved in the permit process and have a basic understanding of the requirements. Ultimately, it’s important to make sure all necessary permits are obtained and work is done according to code to avoid costly fines and delays.