Get permit now when planning for remodel?
Remodeling newbie here hoping for advice from more seasoned homeowners. I browsed the BPN site on home remodels but didn't see anything specifically on this question.
We have in mind several remodel projects for our house in Berkeley. The highest priority is to tear out an existing addition to our house and have a new addition built on the same footprint, but half a level higher than the current addition, to be level with the main floor of the house (the current addition is ground level, which is half a level below the living room/dining room/kitchen). For various reasons, we probably wouldn't want to do this work for at least 2 years, possibly 3-5 years. But I've heard the permitting process can take so long, that I wonder if we should start working now with an architect to draw up some plans. Is it possible to have a project permitted but hold off on the construction for some period of time? Or does it all need to happen in quick succession? How much can we expect to spend working with an architect just to have some plans created?
On a related note, does the architect handle the permit application process, or is all or some of that left to the contractor?
Anything else this total newbie should keep in mind as I begin this process? Many thanks!