If you’re planning on constructing, renovating, repairing, or tearing down a building, you’re going to need a building permit. Rules for permits do change from state to state and even from city to city, so it’s important to know what your local jurisdiction has to say about the requirements. It’s not just commercial buildings that require permits though — residential buildings also require permits for any construction. Even smaller things like electrical or plumbing work, or changing your windows in some regards can call for building permits. If you’re not sure, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Getting in touch with the planning and building departments in your area and getting the information you need upfront can save you a lot of hassle in the long run and keep your project on track.
What’s the Purpose of Using a Permit?
Permits act as essentially a paper trail, to show what work is being specifically performed and to make sure that the necessary inspections have been done along the way. Any construction project needs to follow code to keep the workers and inhabitants safe — from preventing against structural failure, to safeguarding against the fire hazards that faulty electric or heating can pose, to other health risks. Some building codes also look at indoor air quality — important, since we spend almost 90% of our lives inside a building, says the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The permit also informs the local municipality that work is being done and if necessary, local officials can keep an eye on the work to make sure everything is being done correctly. Obtaining a permit shows that you’re going about the work in a responsible fashion and that you have the best interests for everyone’s safety in mind.
When Should I Seek Out a Permit Expeditor?
A permit expediter’s role is to consult with architects, engineers, or anyone who is trying to obtain a permit and help them get their permits. They have a good understanding of the business codes in the area and know what steps need to be taken in order to get approved quickly.
If you need a building permit quickly or can’t afford to have your contractor or other employees waiting around to get a confirmation, seeking out the services of a permit expeditor can be an excellent idea. They offer permit help and permit services and are efficient additions to a design team or contracting service. The role of an expediter has certainly changed in recent years as well — expediters today do far more than wait in lines and delivering application materials to the right municipal offices.
If you’re working on many projects in commercial areas, it might behoove you to seek out a permit expeditor as well. With so many projects, it will be hard — and perhaps a waste of time — for you to develop a relationship with the inspector and correct officials. Sending in an expediter will simply get the job done and checked off, with no serious disadvantage to you.
How Can a Permit Expeditor Help Me?
There are over 8,000 expediters today (compared to just 300-400 a few decades ago).What can these expediters assist you with? First and foremost: time. They can assist with filling out the necessary paperwork, reviewing, analyzing the municipal codes and zoning amendments, and submitting everything electronically. An expediter may also dig into the history of the property to see if there are current violations that haven’t been dealt with or current permits that could get in the way of completing the job.
On a larger scale, expediters may have a hand in dealing with permit approvals for various markets in the country. Expediters may also know people within the planning and building departments and know what specific items could hold up a project. They provide insightful advice, knowledge, and expertise to get your project through.
If you want to successfully run a building project — whether it’s commercial or residential — it’s worth talking to permit expediters, to see what they can offer you.