Building department advice Berkeley

I am in a crappy situation. After I bought out my ex from our family home last year, he called and reported un-permitted work to the City of Berkeley ( work he had done). So for the past year i have been working on getting zoning permits , paying huge fines also. I finally have the zoning permits and now have 30 days to apply for building permits ( because it was a violation, i have a strict timeline). I know from speaking to the inspectors that several things are not to code and will need changing. My plan was to go to the building permit office and speak to someone, show them my drawing of what is there currently and I assume they will tell me what needs to change to be in compliance. Then get someone to do new drawings and design, and then submit them. I am wondering if there is any strategic reason to use an architecht or contractor to interface directly with the city or not? Are there some unspoken rules i dont know about, or old boys club vibe that is present such that using a professional would be more streamlined? thanks! 

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I don’t know Berkeley specifically, but I work for a county in permitting. It may be helpful to have your architect or contractor present at the meeting simply so nothing gets lost in translation. It will be easier for both the building official and your architect/contractor to discuss quickly and thoroughly, and they’ll walk away knowing exactly what you need to do. I don’t think there’s necessarily any strategic advantage, just a practical one.