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Navigating the permit process in Florida can be daunting, as the time and effort required to obtain permits may often lead to delays and frustration. With the right approach and knowledge, though, it’s possible to streamline the permit pulling process and expedite approvals. 

From understanding the requirements to leveraging technology and building solid relationships with permitting authorities, here are a few permit expediting tips to navigate the process confidently and efficiently. 

Why Permit Pulling Is Important

In Florida’s construction industry, building permits show compliance with regulations to safeguard both property and people. These permits guarantee construction plans, materials, and specifications have undergone thorough review by licensed professionals and meet the most current Florida Building Code requirements and other applicable codes and ordinances. 

Aside from safety for people using the building and protecting the property, other reasons why building permits are essential include:

  • Protecting property investment value 
  • Saving money by ensuring property insurers cover damages caused by authorized work and inspections. 
  • A must-have during the selling process  
  • Enabling safety inspections 
  • Reducing potential hazards from unsafe practices 

Projects completed without necessary permits can impact insurance rates and coverage, such as increasing premiums or denying coverage. Florida law requires building permits for construction projects, and non-compliance can result in penalties, fines, or even the removal of unauthorized improvements.

Overview of Florida’s Permitting Process

Although the permitting process varies based on the county you work in, there are general guidelines on permit pulling. When getting your permit, you will most likely be following the steps outlined below:

  1. Determine if your project requires a permit
  2. Identify the zoning regulations in your specific city or county
  3. Create plans for your project
  4. Complete your permit application
  5. Submit your application
  6. The building department(s) review your plan
  7. Unless corrections are needed, you’ll receive your permit after approval
  8. You start your construction project
  9. Inspections completed throughout the project for compliance
  10. There will be a final Inspection
  11. If you pass the final inspection, you’ll receive a Certificate of Occupancy

Depending on the location and the type of project you’re working on, this process can become more complex, especially if you need approval from multiple departments or your application contains mistakes.

Agencies Involved in Florida’s Permitting Process

For most projects, you must submit your application to the city or county’s building department. However, you may need approval from agencies such as Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection in some cases. 

Working with permit expediters can help you determine which specific local government departments you need permits from for your project. 

Florida construction

Permitting Expeditor Tips For Florida

Permit pulling can take a long time and become a headache in any construction project since there is so much to manage. If you want to know how to make the permit process faster, here are a few tips you can use:

  • Hire Your General Contractor and Subcontractors: Before submitting for permit review, make sure you have a General Contractor and any necessary Subcontractors with verified licenses to comply with state regulations. 
  • Do Your Research: With the high volume of projects in Florida, permit staff may take more time to address all of your questions thoroughly. Also, the permit staff may only be able to answer some of your questions. For example, the permit staff will likely have limited information on outside agency approvals. Researching and understanding your project’s permit requirements and procedures will help you fully understand what you need for your application.   
  • Look Into Early Start Options: Many cities and counties in Florida offer early start permits for certain types of work, such as preliminary construction activities leading up to the first inspection. Learn about your options and take advantage of them where applicable to get a head start.
  • Understand Deferred Plans: Certain plans, such as racking and fixtures or fire sprinkler and fire alarm plans, may be deferred during the permit review process. Typically, plans that may vary during the actual construction are most likely to be deferred. Still, it’s best to fully understand which of your plans (if any) will be deferred. 
  • Contacting the Right People: There may be opportunities to engage with people involved in permit approval. Identify the appropriate contacts in the permitting authority and establish relationships with them, as they may provide valuable insights and assistance. 

Implementing these strategies can expedite Florida’s permit process, minimize delays, and ensure a smoother project approval and completion path.

How To Make The Permit Process Even Faster 

Even when using the tips above, sometimes something will happen to slow down the permit pulling process. You might also be overwhelmed with other projects or deadlines, which makes obtaining the proper permits for your project even more stressful. 

If you need help finding more ways to speed up the permitting process in Florida, you should:

  • Utilize Expedited Plan Reviews (submit plans for review outside the city’s regular business hours for a fee) 
  • Check that the information in your permit application is accurate
  • Explore expedited permitting services provided by the local government
  • Work with a professional expeditor

Working with a professional expeditor such as Suncoast Permits is the ideal solution. We’ll work with you to ensure all your documentation is accurate and submit your plan to the proper agencies. You also won’t have to worry about training yourself on new software or whether everything you submitted in your application is correct.

What Is A Permit Expediter? 

Permit expediters navigate the paperwork for permit pulling on construction or renovation projects. At Suncoast Permits, we streamline the entire permit acquisition process, drawing on our expertise to research, prepare, and file all necessary applications while following regulatory ordinances. 

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Expedited Permit Review Process

When expediting the permit pulling process using an expeditor like Suncoast Permits, we follow a simple three-step process to ensure your application is accurate and you’ll receive your permit quickly. 

Our three-step process includes:

  1. Contact us, and we’ll reach out to discuss your needs.
  2. Send over your project plan, current permits, and timeline so we can work together to get what you need.
  3. After evaluating your scope of work and timeline, we’ll get your permits submitted and approved ASAP.

If you have questions about permit expediting or want to get started, contact Suncoast Permits today.

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