Survey Says: Here Are the Top Three Building Permitting Questions Most Often Asked


By Helen Callier, Contributing Writer

In a construction market that is red hot or one that seems to be cooling, architects, contractors, and project owners are all focused on obtaining building permits fast, starting construction in a timely manner and obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy to open doors for business.  At this point, the project owner begins to serve their customers plus start producing a return on their investment.  And while open for business is the end goal, during the design phase, many questions arise regarding the applicable building codes and the best option to use in order to comply with the appropriate jurisdiction’s building codes.

Keeping up with the latest building codes is sometimes a challenge for architects and designers, which is a reason that our Permit Us Now building permit experts are asked the following three questions:

1) Which building codes are applicable for a new ground up design or for a structure to be renovated?

2) How much will the building permit cost?

3) Are there any other separate fees applied?

If you are an architect or general contractor or you know any that are struggling with determining the latest building codes, then the five tips below offer a general plan to follow.

Five Tips to Handle the Building Codes Challenge

  • Identify the actual jurisdiction that the building is located in.
  • Visit the jurisdiction’s web site and review building permitting process and building codes for compliance.
  • If the building is food-related, make sure to verify if the particular jurisdiction farms out any plan their review needs to other jurisdictions such as health reviews.
  • If you have any doubts about information on the jurisdiction’s web site, call the local jurisdiction permitting center to ask for clarification.
  • Reach out to building permit experts who have experience with the jurisdiction.

How much will the building permit cost?  Are there other fees applied?

These are two other questions that we hear often, and while we know the importance of managing project costs, the three basic tenets below are important to note.

  • Regulations and building permit costs will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • Change is inevitable. Permit costs and add-on fees change.
  • Some city permitting web sites have a calculator for estimating the cost of a building permit, however, this will not include any add-on fees that some jurisdictions charge.

For example, the City of Austin Permitting Center charges fees if you want to meet with a plan reviewer to ask questions or obtain pre-reviews.  And for some cities, more costs may be incurred if required to go to another jurisdiction for projects needing a health review.

The bottom line is that it is best that architects, contractors, or project owners wanting to know full estimated costs of obtaining a building permit call the city’s permitting center.

We are excited about the construction market in U.S., and we are committed to helping architects, contractors, and project owners obtain building permits fast.  The Permit Us Now team is here to answer your building permitting questions, as we are covering major cities in Texas and their surrounding areas, staying up-to-date with changes in building codes.  We are here so you can eliminate any building permitting frustrations.

Helen Callier, CEO of Permit Us Now, is the one-stop building permit expediting firm that helps architects, engineers, contractors, and project owners save half the time and money in obtaining building permits in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and North Texas.  Connect with @PermitUsNow on Twitter and Facebook.





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