How long is a building permit valid for?

Substantial progress on construction must commence within 180 days of the date of issuance or the permit will be voided by the building official.  An approved permit is valid for 180 days from issuance provided that substantial progress (an approved inspection) has been made.  The permit is then valid for an additional 180 days with the same criteria above being applied.

An extension of time for not more than 180 days may be granted by the Building Official upon receipt of a written request provided the request is received prior to the expiration of the permit under which work was being done.  

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1. Is a building permit difficult to obtain?
2. How long does it take to get a building permit?
3. How long is a building permit valid for?