What do building departments look for in a permit application?

The building permit application process is long. Really long. That said, understanding what’s required in a building permit application can alleviate half the stress.

 

Building permits are needed when any additions are made to your home, business place or otherwise-owned property. Similarly, they’re needed when you’re building a new structure or are engaging renovations. Depending upon how extensive your renovations are, your building permit will cover several areas. At the end of the day, your building permit will need to prove safety, your project’s scope and adherence to industry standards. When applying for a building permit, you’ll need to supply the following:

 

Plans in Adherence to Building Codes

While every area is different, each carries laws and regulations in the form of building codes. When you’re filling out your building permit application, your area’s municipality will compare your project’s plans with these codes. Both state and town codes are referenced, so as to make sure your building project is acceptable on all levels. It’s important to check out your area’s building codes ahead of time, because your area may have specialized codes depending upon climate, neighboring establishments and general traffic.

 

An In-Depth Blueprint

Next, you’ll need to supply formal blueprints in your application. Typically, your architect or engineer will be needed to craft blueprints for in-depth projects. Regardless, proof of a project’s boundaries on paper must be given. While a blueprint hard copy is used to satisfy the above-mentioned building codes, it’s important to a project’s integrity, safety and continuity. If you’re about to begin a small project, you may only have to supply a small drawing. That said, you’ll likely have to provide the location’s site map to prove size capacity with relevance to surrounding details.

 

Special Permits

Special permits, too, are needed if you’re installing utilities, appliances or other large items. A lot of project owners, for this reason, expedite a lot of the building permit application process. Often, multiple permits must be obtained before an application can be accepted. While a small installation, such as a water heater, may warrant an immediate approval, large projects may require another in-depth permit application process. Look into your local laws, and determine which permits you’ll need before jumping into the building permit application process.

 

A Permit Fee

Unfortunately, building permits aren’t free. Once you’ve supplied your project’s needed documentation, you’ll need to submit the fee associated with your building permit. These fees vary quite a lot, and they can range from $50 to $1,000. You’ll probably have an estimate of your project’s fee far before you submit the application, however, giving you ample time to plan.

 

Additionally, any large additions built from a kit, like a shed, will require in-depth documentation from the kit’s manufacturer. In the event your permit is inspected, it’ll need to cover the dynamics of external providers at every angle. Again, it’s important to examine your area’s local laws and building regulations. Sometimes, large additions aren’t covered by a permit provider’s options.


While it can be simple to apply for a building permit, the inspection process, alone, can be lengthy. Providing specialized permits, too, requires a significant time investment. If possible, consider expediting your building permit to reduce the legwork. Our expert providers will ensure all standards are met while ensuring your project’s quality. Strike out the unnecessary processes, and talk to a member of our team today about our expediting services.

The Top Four Retail Building Trends That Require Special Permits

This year, real estate building has skyrocketed with innovative designs, new building codes and recession-stomping solutions. Understandably, specialized building plans require specialized permits. Retail isn’t necessarily bound by the overarching uniformity of commercialism, but it’s certainly benefited from industry creativity. From Nordstrom’s to small businesses, leading retail chains are outfitting new locations to benefit the consumer. In 2016, several retail building trends stick out among the rest:

 

Trend One: Class B Communities are Being Preferred

Class B communities, now, are primary options for renters. Because of rising rent and many developers’ focus on high-end developments, the industry has pushed retail space renters to settle down in Class B communities. While entering a Class B community, alone, can warrant a special building permit, many renters are expediting the process to get started quickly.

 

Class B communities offer many of the amenities Class A communities offer while being more affordable. In fact, some experts believe Millennials are leading the charge into cost-conscious retail renting and building. Older units are being obtained, fixed up and built upon due to high Class B vacancy rates.

 

Trend Two: “Cool” Roofs are Taking Over

Energy-saving alternatives, too, are here. While the “green” movement primarily exists in residential real estate, commercial entities are absolutely taking advantage of energy efficient alternatives. “Cool” roofs, or energy efficient rooftops constructed to create net-zero energy buildings, are being implemented at a fast rate. That said, such designs require special attention on the paperwork end. Commonly powered by LED lighting and incredibly sustainable, cool roofs have spearheaded the green living trends of 2016.

Trend Three: Ecommerce Gets Physical

It’s getting a physical location, at least. In 2016, ecommerce is almost too big. A lot of online retailers are signing special building permits to gain warehouse space, fill extra orders and fulfill high-volume demands online. Seemingly, the trend will only continue growing. As online buying gains traction, more warehouse space will be needed to facilitate company growth. Sure, a lot of online retailers will remain far, far away from brick-and-mortar status, but they’ll still need a place to power supply.

 

Because delivery times, now, are measured on a minute-and-hour basis, as opposed to a day-and-week basis, immediate supply has become a priority. Even physical retail outlets are expanding into warehouse building due to online needs. In upcoming years, having a spare facility to store goods will be much more than a trend.

Trend Four: Retail Health Centers are Coming to Town

That’s right: Health centers are being stationed in retail outlets. Today’s health providers are looking for convenient, cost-effective way to serve patients, and they’re converging their stations with retail outlets to circumnavigate commute, traffic and distance problems. While this trend is experienced primarily in college towns, it’ll likely expand to many areas in upcoming years.

 

What does this mean? It means retail outlets are using specialized building permits to facilitate the relationship. To increase patient satisfaction, space is needed. That said, healthcare accepts only well-designed, code-adhering building standards. In a lot of cases, upcoming retail clinics will be located near store end caps or even out-lots.


Today’s construction and building projects have expanded to meet the customer’s needs. For this reason, permit expediters are incredibly useful. As the retail world expands, and as options become increasingly available, expediting building permits will become inherently useful to the creation process. At every turn, your project deserves speed. Fortunately, our expert providers can access needed requirements, create custom solutions and overcome the burdens of long-form application. Take advantage of our options today, and streamline the building process to benefit your business, the customer and your future.

What are ADA Standards and do they require permits?

Every project-goer, contractor, engineer and architect should be well-versed in ADA standards. The ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, has created a protective structure around building codes to ensure the safety, accessibility and equality of disabled individuals.

 

As per the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation, any built environment must be accessible to disabled persons. The ADA Standard is applied on a nationwide basis, which ensures its impact in any applicable scenario. Both local and statewide codes must adhere to the ADA standard, and both newly built and altered facilities must ensure similar adherence.

 

What Buildings are Affected by ADA Standards?

Any building created for the country, state and local level government is subject to the ADA and must comply with ADA Standards throughout any alterations or new construction. Every type of public facility, here, is covered, including public housing, schools, hospitals, prisons and courthouses.

 

Federal facilities, however, are not covered by the ADA. They’re covered by an earlier law—the Architectural Barriers Act—which meets similar standards. That said, the ADA does touch upon any public area of accommodation and all commercial facilities. Stores, shops, bars, restaurants, rental establishments and sales establishments must all be accessible to disabled individuals.

 

Is Size a Consideration?

In general, no. Size isn’t a determining factor of ADA adherence, and business owners must be aware of their location’s responsibility to meet industry standards while being safe and accessible. For this reason, assembly areas, places of education, private museums and places of lodging must frequently adapt entire building sections to meet ADA standards.

 

Do ADA Standards Require a Permit?

Once a provider has located a business area, they’ll need to acquire a specialized permit to ensure the area’s safety for workers, team members and customers alike. ADA standards do require the possession of a specialized building permit when the creation, installation or removal of electrical, structural, HVAC or plumbing systems takes place.

 

In addition to this, a construction project’s mere commencement is a “triggering event” for applying ADA standards. Any and all project dynamics must immediately adhere to ADA standards before they begin, and proper permits must be acquired before a project is ever commenced. Sometimes, a zone’s last building permit, start of construction proof or design blueprint can be used to alleviate the permit acquisition process.

 

Future Permits

In addition to acquiring the needed permits to begin a project, a business may need future permits to meet ADA guidelines. To ensure a building’s total accessibility, business owners may be required to make improvements with renovation or further construction. Often, a building permit is needed. When it is, business owners must prove adherence to ADA guidelines.

 

If a building is renovated in the future, its new construction must also meet ADA standards. Business owners, frequently, must update a building’s entrances, entry routes, bathroom entryways and sign areas. If any of these areas are altered, advanced notice must be given.


In a lot of cases, a permit expediter is used to circumnavigate bulky paperwork. While ADA standards should always be acknowledged, ongoing specialized permit applications can be troublesome for many business owners. Regardless of your project, it’s important to enlist the help of a permit expediter throughout your construction and building projects. Several permits may only technically apply to your project, and expediting them can save a good deal of time. Additionally, an expedited permit may be saved for later information—ensuring your business’s total adherence to ADA standards at a moment’s notice.

What are the first steps to begin a construction project?

A construction project does not begin with breaking ground. Rather the most important parts of laying the groundwork to complete a successful construction project involves no physical labor at all, rather it's the planning portion that begins before digging or laying a single brick. Here's a rundown of how to keep track of before you get started.

Create a Checklist

Just like when the demands of life can feel overwhelming and making a to-do list can be invaluable in returning you to feeling in charge of what you need to get done, starting off by writing a checklist is a great way to stay on top of all of the details before you even begin and insures that nothing falls through the cracks only to pop back up at the most inconvenient time. Include absolutely everything that will need to be planned for before beginning construction and in the earliest stages, whether or not it is a task for you to complete, or one which you'll be delegating to someone else. And then take full satisfaction every time you get to check off an item as completed.

Create a Timeline

Of equal importance to figuring out what needs to get done in achieving success on your construction job, is figuring out when it will get done, especially in relation to everything else. So much of being able to complete a task depends on whether one or more other things have been completed, and getting the timing wrong could spell disaster. For example, if your rental equipment shows up before you've made arrangements for job site storage, not only have you made an error that will be costly and time consuming, but mistakes like these can add up to failure for a project. It is vital that you map out the timeline so that all the aspects of the job will come together as seamlessly as possible.

Budget for Delays

Even more likely than a project going over budget financially, is that things will take longer than expected. Whether it is delays of delivery, staffing shortages or terrible weather forcing a halt in work, there will be times when your project just won't be able to stay on schedule. Some things cannot be controlled, and it's important that you build some time into both your timeline and your financial budget to account for this. But there are also some parts of construction that are notorious for holding the job up, that handled properly, won't hold your project up. Having the correct permits, for example, is well known for being a cause of delay and headaches on construction sites. But rather than budget extra time towards this, start off by getting the permits as efficiently and smartly as possible to prevent delays down the road.

Make Sure Your Permits Are in Order

It can seem as though it doesn't make sense to put this towards the end of the list, as not having your correct permits in order can derail every aspect of your project that you've so carefully planned for. But the fact is, that a lot of the planning stage, from timelines to scope of work, need to be addressed before the correct permits can be filed. Whether your project is entirely new construction or a remodeling, what sort of fence you may be building, whether there is a lien on the property, what models of window and so much more will affect the permits that you'll be needing. More information about what permits you'll need to build in Miami is available here. One of the most useful professionals you can hire is a permit expediter. By choosing a professional who is expert at every aspect of Miami permitting and licensing laws, you'll be guaranteeing that you'll know exactly which permits you need for your project, and that you'll get them as quickly as possible. It also means that while you manage and prepare the earliest stages of your project, you'll know that the most capable person is taking care of all the legal aspects of permitting. Get in touch now for a free quote.

What are the steps needed to complete a building permit application?

Going through the building permit process can be challenging. There are a number of things you must know. Depending on what city or state you reside in, the qualifications and requirements change. If you are in the process of constructing a building or attempting to make any alterations to a structure in Florida, a building permit is required.

 

Why is a building permit required?

Local regulators require a building permit to ensure your structure is built according to code and meets the minimum standards set by the Florida Building Code. If you are not familiar with this process, things can quickly get confusing, as there are several types of building permits in Florida which are all contingent on the type of work being performed.

 

What are the types of building permits available?

When constructing a new structure, or performing renovations to an existing one, a general building permit is usually required. A permit must be in place prior to any work being done. If any additional work, such as electrical is required, an electrical permit must also be obtained. Every permit needed is based on the amount of work needed to complete the project. Other types of permits that may be needed include mechanical, plumbing, roofing, demolition and more.

Once you determine the type of permits needed, you must download the application from the website of the county where the work will be performed. The application requires the address of the property, and the parcel or folio number. Next, you will have to decide what type of permits you need, and also determine the type of permit request you need. There are a number of options, including a new permit, change of contractor, change of architect or engineer, permit extension, permit renewal, permit revision, change of use, private provider or city project.

The next step in the permitting process is determining the type of property that is being renovated or constructed. The options include commercial, multi-family residential, or residential. On the permit, you must state the total value of the work, and the square footage of the property that will be worked on. You must be detailed and state the dollar value of the component parts of the project, and the total value.

Make sure you have a detailed description of the work that is to be carried out, as well as the names of all responsible parties attached to the project. All the forms have to be signed by the owner of the project. Once this is done, you can go to the building department. Be prepared to pay any fees upfront, and submit the applications with two sets of plans for review. Once those fees are paid, you will be issued a processing number, which will be the number used for any future correspondence. The city will then conduct the plan review, which will take between thirty and sixty days. This may require revisions and resubmission. Once everything is approved, you pay the remaining fee and collect your permit.

This is a tedious process. Using a permitting company to get this done is easier and takes any guesswork out of the process. A permitting company is also familiar with individuals at the local government office that may be able to expedite your requests. By using this alternative, you will have all bases covered. For more information on using a permitting company, contact the team at The Permitter today.

What happens to my permit once it's submitted to Miami-Dade County?

If you have filed a permit application with the county, you may be wondering what happens next. The fact is that permit filing can be a difficult process to understand. Many people have heard of permits, but are completely blind when it comes to understanding them.

One purpose of a permit is to make sure that construction doesn’t damage your property. Let’s say you have a home and want to change the electrical system. You go to a sub-par contractor who can do it half-price without a permit. You do the work but find out a few weeks later that there are big problems with the job. A reputable contractor tells you that your sub-par worker wreaked havoc on your system and now you have to pay for total rewiring.

The cost to change your electrical system is now added to your initial cost to mess it up. This not only adds up, but it also can present a dangerous situation for you and your family. With a permit however, the plans would have been submitted and approved beforehand. You would have known the sub-par results and avoided them.

Another purpose of your permit is to protect you. Let’s say you're putting in an in-ground pool. That requires a lot of digging. You never know what is beneath the soil where your pool contractor is working. This is why a permit is critical. It can show your contractor exactly where he or she can, and cannot, dig.

Because the permit is so critical a document, it is carefully dealt with by the appropriate office. When you turn it in at the relevant municipal office, they want to ensure that it is going to follow a clear set of rules and regulations that benefit not only your purposes, but also the purposes of the community and city in which the work is to be done.

Once your permit expediter drops off your application, it is managed by a Certified Safety Code Officer, or Inspector. Their job is to make sure that all paperwork is in order and that it fits into the codes as instilled by the city, county or municipality. Speaking of paperwork—when you submit your permit application to your permit expediter, likely you also submitted supporting documentation. Things like plot plans, site plans, foundational plans, elevations, structural details, electrical and mechanical information may all be needed in some configuration.

Because of the amount of information submitted, it can take up to a few weeks for a permit to come back. The Safety Code Officer or Inspector will review information and make an on-site visit if needed. Sometimes this is needed to understand the details of the project. Or, sometimes the inspector needs to speak to the homeowner, business owner or contractor in person. This also can take time.

Once they scrutinize the information submitted and interview relevant parties if needed, then they make a decision. When that decision is made your permit is either approved, or denied. If it is approved, then you’ll get your permit back and oftentimes have to post it visibly throughout the duration of your project. If you are denied, you’ll likely understand why and can either scrap the project or rework the construction parameters.

When you submit your permit to the county, trust that they are doing their own due diligence. Whether you are submitting an application for a home remodel, or a large-scale hotel build, the inspector will work with you to make sure that your project is within code and always safe. It will take some time to get your permit back, but you can rest assured that your work follows all current legal requirements for a build.

How to deal with a denied permit?

Knowing the permitting process can be tricky. Partnering with a team that can get you through the process and help you obtain what you need in a timely manner is key. Here's why you need the team at The Permitter.
 

When working on construction projects, going through the permitting process can be hectic and confusing. If this is your first time attempting to go through this process and you have been denied, soliciting the help from an expert who understands the intricacies of the industry and what it takes to get approved is key. Here are a few reasons why you should use our services

  • Changes in the law

There are often changes on the local and national level that you may not be aware of. We keep up with those changes and regulations to make sure all permits submitted are adhering to those new codes.

  • Relationships

We have worked hard to establish relationships with those officials in the permitting section of your local government. This not only helps them get your permit in front of the right person, but it may actually speed up the process.

  • Documentation

There are a number of documents that may be required when attempting to get your permit. We know what you need, how to fill it out, and can let you know what is missing so you submit an entire package at one time. This helps alleviate the back and forth, and puts you in a better position to get it approved the first time.

  • One team

You won’t have to worry about getting your permits done at different times. We keep up with your permits, let you know when it is time to renew, and get it done. No more red tape, no more wondering whether or not your contractors have their license, and more.

  • Certifications and Inspections

We assist with fire and building certifications, and attend zone hearings to make sure you know what’s coming down the pipeline. It saves time and money while freeing your employees up to focus on the other details of your project. We conduct 40-year inspections, overtime inspections and any other inspections you need to ensure your process goes smoothly.

  • Research

Before you even get started, you need to conduct proper research on the property and building. We make sure you don’t go in blind and are aware of any restrictions or other items that may prohibit you from getting the permits you need. From site investigations to violation remediation, we are right there every step of the way.

You may have run into issues with expired permits or there may have been some permit violations prior to you obtaining the property. We are able to represent you and speak on your behalf to get the situation rectified as soon as possible. Having a knowledgeable team behind you every step of the way will get the job done expeditiously and on time. These are just a few reasons why you should consider working with a permitting company. Being proactive before you need our help is not only smart, but helps your bottom line. For more information on what we do and how we can assist, contact an associate at The Permitter today.

What Permits Will You Need to open a restaurant?

So you're opening a restaurant. It's exhilarating, and there's so much to do, from planning the menu, designing the build-out, coordinating with vendors and hiring staff. But what about the legal aspects? To open a restaurant in Miami you'll need to complete the proper paperwork and be approved through agencies run at the federal, state, county and city levels. Yes, that's right, in order to begin business you'll have to go through permitting and be approved on four different levels, some of which require multiple permits, and some which will require going through multiple agencies. Here's a rundown of what you'll need.

Federal:

Believe it or not, the simplest part of this procedure, will be on the federal level, and the requirements are the same that any business that employs people have. You will definitely need an EIN, which stands for an Employer Identification Number, and is often referred to as a Federal Tax ID.

State:

On the state level, the first thing that you're going to want to take care of is determining what kind of business you're going to own. Is it a sole proprietorship, a limited liability, a partnership or a corporation? You're also going to want your restaurant to have a name, and unless you're restaurant's name is exactly the same as the name of the ownership entity you're going to need what is referred to as a fictitious business name, which is filed with the state. This is referred to as your DBA, which stands for Doing Business As. In order for your name to be approved it's necessary that no one else has filed a claim to it, already uses it for business, nor does it infringe on somebody else's business by being too similar.

You will also have to register with the Florida Department of Revenue to register all of the tax-related activities you'll be engaging in once open. You will also have to make sure that you have the correct sort of worker's compensation insurance, depending on your size and number of employees. Finally, on the state level you'll need to get the proper licensing for the type of restaurant which you are opening. Whether you're restaurant is seated, mobile, catering, attached to a hotel, has outdoor space and serves alcohol will all be factors in determining the licenses that you'll need.

County and City:

If you're opening your restaurant in the cities of Miami or Hialeah, you're required to have county permitting in place prior to filing the necessary paperwork with the city. It's also here where the exact sort of permitting necessary and procedures become fully dependent on each individual business' circumstances. Here's a list of what you'll definitely have to make arrangements for.

  • Zoning: This is something you're going to need to keep track of prior to signing a lease on the building. Every area of Miami has its own zoning, with specific neighborhoods having different bylaws and methods for allowing exceptions. As far as possible, you'll want the zoning to allow for the type of business you plan to operate regarding things such as capacity and serving alcohol. You'll also want to make sure that you'll be able to fit the building with adequate water and wastewater hookups. For more information about Miami's water, contact the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. If the neighborhood which you plan to open your restaurant in has specific bylaws, you may need to negotiate with county and local boards for permissions specific to the business you'll be opening.

  • Environmental: There is a host of environmental regulations that you will need to meet as both a building and a business. Additionally, if you are planning major construction, you can save on time by investing in a green building program.

Building: You will have to ensure that your building meets a host of requirements regarding fire, safety and capacity. This requires scheduling a series of inspections with the relevant agencies about the county and city levels, and for many, can require return visits as inspectors need to make sure necessary alterations are made. Although architects and contractors will try to design and build so as to meet code, they often miss details and then need to correct the errors, which unfortunately can become extremely expensive.

Opening a restaurant is a major investment, and it can seem as though it's not possible to plan for every possible outcome. But in hiring an expediter, you'll have someone on your time who is tracking every aspect of the legal process of getting your business up and running. Get in touch with Permitter for a free permit analysis, and to find out how our expert services can save you time and money and make your restaurant opening a success.

How Much Does it Cost to get a Building Permit?

How Much Does it Cost to get a Building Permit?

Filing for a business permit in Miami-Dade County entails a complex process of getting a Notice of Commencement, separate permits for virtually every type of improvement being done on your property, and work must start within 90 days. 

Why do I Need to Hire a Permit Expediter for Construction and Development Projects?

Getting a permit can be fairly straightforward when it comes to simple projects. However, much more comes into play when it comes to obtaining permits for larger development and construction projects. With this being said, we're going to cover why you should hire a permit expediter for your large scale development and construction projects.

What Is A Permit Expediter?

A permit expediter is the individual who facilitates city staff and helps them understand the dynamics of the construction by explaining:

  • How the staff interprets their local zoning and building codes.

  • How the architects can work on the development/construction project.

Certain situations require the permit expediter to work on behalf of the owner's architect. When this happens, the permit expediter represents the cost savings (for the owner) and lowers the architect's overhead costs. To put this into perspective, instead of hiring an expensive Code Consultant or Land Use Planner, a permit expediter can be hired to augment a permanent staff and the costs can be given to the client (as opposed to the overhead).

As for hiring a permit expediter, they generally charge by the project or by the hour. They used to be known as "paper-pushers" before the housing market took a nosedive, but today they're known as multi-disciplined professionals who do much more than paperwork. Many permit expediters have real estate development certifications and understand how to interpret building and zoning codes. Today, they're usually hired by owners, architects, and engineers to assist with complex problems regarding zoning codes, attaining more square footage within a parcel, and how to get documents accepted for the first time. Having documents accepted the first time is a major perk, as having requests rejected and having to re-submit them ultimately halts production/projected goals.

In certain aspects, permit expediters are much like lawyers: they have a computer like memory of the city's codes, they can negotiate for you with high-end officials, and can bill by the hour or by the project. To get the most out of a permit expediter for your project, hire them early so they can assist the architect and resolve any possible design issues that could delay the project.

Why Do I Need A Permit Expediter?

If you plan on carrying out a large scale project, you should absolutely consider hiring a permit expediter to save a few headaches during production. As permit expediters generally work with numerous projects located in numerous cities, it means that they can provide an "inside scope" when it comes to rationalizing the cost of the project and provide a ballpark price for the construction. In addition to this perk, permit expediters have familiarity with the area and local businesses which lead to construction and building permits being obtained in a very timely manner.

Why do I Need to Hire a Permit Expediter for Construction and Development Projects?

Considering the information above, hiring a permit expediter is necessary to carry out a large scale development or construction project with little to no issues. Since they utilize every moment of their time on a project, it will ultimately lead to less headaches (and less stress) when tackling a large scale project.

 

Building Permit Expediters Help Get the Permits Your Project Needs

Building Permit Expediters Help Get the Permits Your Project Needs

Building permit expediters help take the confusion out of getting the required permits you need to keep your residential and commercial construction projects on track and completed on time. We stay on top of your permit application from start to finish to get your permits approved faster and with a lot less hassle.