By Helen Callier
April 27th, 2020
Scratching your head attempting to figure out how to obtain your building permit when the Permitting Center is closed to walk-ins during epidemic. You are not alone. Our toll-free line has been ringing with questions from Architects to Contractors. Questions like the following:
- Can you tell me if the City of San Antonio is still conducting inspections?
- Are there any delays with the Electrical companies connecting power to finished buildings once we have CO?
- Is there any impact in the plan review time on commercial projects in the City of Austin?
- We were told the Baytown Health Inspectors are not conducting inspections, is this true?
And the questions go on and on with our team of Permitting experts sharing insights and the latest information as we are in steady contact with over 300 jurisdictions in Texas to serve our clients and be a resource for the construction industry.
In addition to responding to inquiries, we share that whether the construction market is hot, warm or cold, obtaining a building permit without delays is vital to start construction in a timely manner and is important when involving deferred submittals.
To assist in obtaining building permits, employing proven practical steps like the (12) listed below positions your design or construction firm to be successful in permitting.
- Start Early – Avoid last minute scramble in reviewing building codes, changes in permitting process and tossing the permit package together. Getting started early allows you to minimize risks in permitting, make necessary changes and insure have all required documents.
- Visit Jurisdiction’s Web Site – Check for latest changes in building codes, hours of operation and how submissions are being processed. This step alone can save you lots of time and money.
- Contact Jurisdiction – Permitting staff are available to answer questions on properly completing forms, approach in meeting building codes, and so much more. Call, email or schedule an appointment to meet with specific permitting staff.
- QA/QC Permit Package – Prior to submitting electronically or in person
- Engage a Permitting Expert
- Manage Uploads – Submit electronically and make sure placing in the correct folders to avoid being rejected.
- Pay Jurisdiction Fees – Certain fees are due upfront such as plan review fees, and best to pay water/wastewater fees early to minimize delays on backend of permitting.
- Monitor Progress
- Respond to RFI’s – Address all jurisdiction rejection comments in a timely manner.
- Ask Questions – If need assistance, reach out to the Plan Reviewer. Note: This may be a challenge when jurisdiction uses third-party plan reviewers.
- Say Thank you
- Purchase Building Permit and Start Construction
Yes, you can scream and shout at the Plan Reviewer. Yes, you can call your elected official to ask them to scream and shout to obtain your building permit. You can do this, but before you move in that direction, consider using the practical tips mentioned above as they are proven on residential including complex multi-family, commercial, industrial and other construction projects requiring a building permit.
And if your project is truly difficult, reach out to a Permit Expediter as they stay abreast of the latest changes in permitting, are knowledgeable of building codes and have established relationships to cut through the chase in any market conditions.
If you have any tips on obtaining building permits fast, I love to hear your story. Connect with me on Linkedin or call 1.844.PERMIT.4