November 27th, 2017

Plan reviews are important prior to submitting for a permit

Plan reviews are important prior to submitting for a permit

by Helen Callier

Talk with most contractors about building permits and the topic will soon shift to a nightmare story or two about the problems experienced in obtaining city building permits. You will hear about how they had to make several trips to speak with different plan reviewers and waited weeks for a final plan review. And, while most municipal permitting centers have good intentions, the truth is, the building permit process is confusing to thousands of contractors across the country. These things can cause delays in obtaining building permits and starting construction in a timely manner.

Here are five reasons why contractors are frustrated with the building permitting processes

  • Unable to quickly locate building permit information on the city website.
  • Building permit application is not on the city website for downloading, and it must be picked up in person at the municipal permitting center.
  • Must go downtown to the city planning department to obtain an actual status on progress on plan review and timing for obtaining building permit.
  • With the small number of city plan review staff, it can be hard to get a response over the phone.
  • Not clear who to speak with at the permitting center when it is a commercial or residential project.
  • To eliminate the stress and delays in obtaining a building permit, below are three helpful tips to assist contractors in obtaining city building permits fast.

    Tip #1 – Prepare: Make sure the architect or engineer has sealed all design documents and complied with appropriate jurisdiction’s building codes. Also, create files of all the required documents to be able to quickly respond to any request for information.

    Tip #2 – Plan: Review and outline your project’s pre-construction schedule, and note the key milestone date when the building permit is required to start the project in a timely manner.

    Tip #3 – Ask: Contact the building permit experts at your designated jurisdiction’s permitting department, and ask them questions on steps to follow. In many jurisdictions, you can schedule an appointment with the plan reviewer to address concerns about certain aspects of design meeting building codes. Do note that some city permitting departments have budget challenges and charge a fee when meeting with a plan reviewer. Make sure to ask if this is the case to avoid any unexpected fees.

    In addition, you can contact a permit expediter for an expert opinion. Permit expediters know the building permit processes, have established relationships with plan reviewers, inspectors and other key staff, and are solid resources to consult before you begin your trek of obtaining a city building permit. Using a permit expediter can save you time and money by completing required building permit applications and making sure all prerequisite documents are in place for submitting with plans.

    In Conclusion:

    If you are a contractor, you may be wrangling with the decision to take the DIY building permit approach, which can eat up your precious time and pull your focus away from construction. However, you can avoid the frustrations and cost delays by hiring a building permitting and code expert.

    The Permit Us Now team is here to answer your questions on building permits and codes. You can reach us online anytime at www.permitusnow.com or call 1-844-PERMIT-4. Safe building!

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