First of all, welcome to Walton County if you are new to us! We are so happy you chose us for your home. The truth is, Walton County does have some unique requirements. Do not fear though, we are here to help you through. There are basically two steps.
Step 1 begins with a review by the Planning and Development Services Department. This review typically takes about 2 to 3 weeks and really continues until you receive your final permit from the Building Department or Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Prior to your final building permit, we will look at the foundation survey to ensure that your finish floor elevation is correct. We will also inspect to make sure that your final grading and any required stormwater management systems are installed according to your specific requirements. This review is done online through the Online Customer Portal. The key here is to make sure you build according to your approved plans! Deviations unfortunately can result in delay.
Step 2 is building permitting that is handled by the Building Department, this is your structural permitting. This is where things like foundation, framing, and plumbing/electrical are inspected per the Florida Building Code.
One way to look at this two step process is that Planning review is concerned with your site (site plan) including main building and accessory building location on the lot and overall building parameters like building height, foundation type, flood zone requirements, stormwater requirements, and finish floor. Building Department review is concerned with the structure(s) itself and whether or not it is up to par with the Florida Building Code requirements.
Insider Tip! Make sure you fully understand any unique requirements associated with the lot or land you purchase for your home. Some developments have special requirements that could even limit the size of home you can build or what type of foundation is required. We encourage talking to the Planner on Call when thinking of purchasing a lot or land to build on. Ask questions about flood zone, wetlands, specific development or subdivision related requirements, stormwater requirements, setbacks…anything! We are here for you and we want your building process to go smoothly.