By Helen Callier
February 20th, 2020
We receive lots of phone calls from desperate project owners and often some contractors wave at us or knock on the window of our wrapped trucks at a particular jurisdiction. Conversations vary on types of projects and the kinds of problems being experienced.
So, when a contractor approached me a few weeks ago in Austin if we help in pulling permits after a job has started, I asked him what kind of project and how much work had been completed to date. He quietly commented on the type of work being done and said that he was a small subcontractor that needed the work and did not want to get into trouble with the General Contractor.
Here’s what we do know. Most Contractors are ethical and professional in their work and in serving customers. Some Contractors get busy and honestly think they pulled the main building permit, but only have a demo permit. It happens and when this occurs, simply move forward right away in closing the gap in pulling the main building permit. Also, truth-be-told, a few Contractors use questionable practices, and some are pushed by Project Owners to do whatever it takes to get a building renovated or newly constructed even if this means poor quality materials and shoddy work.
That’s a nice story Helen about the subcontractor in Austin. What do I do now if I am in a pickle needing help now in obtaining a building permit and want to prevent the job from being shut down and possibly fined by the jurisdiction?
Below are 7 tips to obtain a construction permit if have started actual construction.
- Stop all work on project (new construction, major renovation, etc.) including informing subcontractors to cease all activities. And if you are a subcontractor, alert GC that you failed to pull a permit and are stopping work to correct problem immediately. As painful as this first tip sounds and is a hit to your pockets, it is the right thing to do to insure building in a safe manner and to avoid major violations (fines).
- Inform the Project Owner to let them know of failure to pull main building permit and relay your steps taking to obtain a construction permit ultimately addressing a building safety issue.
- Pull together all plans and prerequisite documents depending on the type of project.
- QAQC permit package to make sure meeting building codes including using jurisdiction checklist as a guide. Most jurisdictions have checklists on their web sites.
- If have questions on building codes, contact a permitting expert like PermitUsNow or the jurisdiction by phone, email or schedule an appointment to meet with a plan reviewer.
- Complete permit application and formerly submit to jurisdiction in person or using online system depending on the type of project and the jurisdiction.
- Track, monitor and respond immediately to any plan reviewer questions or rejections so can continue in permitting.
In addition, most of the large jurisdictions that we deal with across the state of Texas have a one-day or one-stop process for small projects if criteria are met. This means little downtime on your project while pulling a main permit for compliance and safety purposes.
More complex projects require longer review times so make sure to factor in that time when readjusting construction project schedule and impact on budget.
Since the beginning, it has been our goal and commitment to be a resource to assist Project Owners, Architects, and Contractors in obtaining permits fast so construction can start in a timely manner. We answer calls coming into our toll-free line, respond to emails from permitusnow.com and chat with Contractors when at permitting centers. We believe that we are all on the same team so-to-speak in the construction industry that builds, repairs and renovates in a way that is safe and that improves the quality of use for persons using structure. And if by chance, you’ve had a hiccup in obtaining a building permit, please re-read the 7 tips above or call us at 1.844.PERMIT.4