When you’re getting ready to start construction on a new home or begin work on a large remodeling project, among the most significant hurdles that can delay your project is the need to obtain a building permit in order to start.
Obtaining a building permit can be costly and is oftentimes a lengthy and time-consuming process. A building permit expediter is someone who can help you get a building permit in a much shorter time-frame than usual. When you hire a building permit expediter to assist you with the process, they understand all of the building codes in your area, which allows them to effectively advise you on how to have your project approved quickly in order to avoid delaying construction.
Delaying the construction of a luxury home can cost you both time and money, which is why it’s important to do all you can to shorten the building permit process. Here at Crest Real Estate, we have the expertise that can help commercial developers, contractors, and homeowners expedite the building permit process. If you have a strict development schedule that you need to meet, we can help you avoid any costly delays.
This article goes into detail about the role of building permit expediters in luxury real estate construction.
What is a Building Permit and When Do You Need One?
A building permit is an approval that you can obtain from a local government agency that provides you with the ability to go forward with a remodeling or construction project on your property.
The reason that nearly all construction and remodeling projects require a building permit is because these permits will make sure that the project in question is complying with all of the local standards for zoning, land use, and construction. When a home or commercial building is up to code, the individuals inside should be safe. You can read more about building permits and how to obtain one in our recent article about these permits.
It’s highly recommended that you obtain the assistance of a building permit expediter because of how long the process can take without one. If you’re constructing a residential home, it can take around two weeks or longer for you to receive a building permit once you’ve sent in your application. When it comes to commercial buildings, the process can take upwards of one month, which is time that you likely don’t want to waste waiting for a permit that you’re confident you’ll receive. If there are any issues with your application or the documentation that you’ve provided, it’s possible for the building permit process to take even longer.
The various types of projects that require building permits include:
- Larger renovations and room conversions
- The addition or removal of walls
- Demolishing a section of your home
- Adding piping in a home
- Adding a new roof to a home
- Constructing an entire home
If you don’t have one of these permits at the beginning of your project, it’s likely that your project will be shut down and any work that you’ve done demolished. During the luxury real estate construction process in Los Angeles, a building permit would be needed before you begin any work on the project.
Once you have a building permit, you will also need to obtain regular inspections to make sure that the construction you’ve done is adhering to local building codes. The process of obtaining a building permit can be a lengthy one since you’ll be required to draw the project and provide the local planning department in Los Angeles with your complete development plans.
What Does a Building Permit Expediter Do?
A building permit expediter is someone who has the experience and knowledge that’s needed to speed up the building permit process.
During the construction process, an expediter will advise you on how to best keep your construction project on schedule and within the set budget. The process involved with obtaining a building permit can be difficult in certain areas, which is why it’s usually better if an expediter is assisting you along the way.
A building permit expediter is usually tasked with going to City Hall alongside their clients to see members of the planning department so that discussions can be held about the building permit and any revisions that might need to be made. Expediters typically have a significant amount of planning experience as well, which can be useful at any variance hearing or architectural/zoning reviews. Expediters are commonly hired by architects who want to avoid hiring land-use planners. While land-use planners are permanent staff members under an architect, the costs for an expediter can be passed on to the client instead.
Building permit expediters usually work on dozens if not hundreds of different projects, which gives them a unique perspective into practically all aspects of real estate development and remodeling. When you have a building permit expediter by your side who has a good relationship with various local officials, your building permit should be processed much quicker than the standard waiting time, which is the main benefit of hiring an expediter.
Without an expediter, any issues that you run into could take a very long time to resolve. While the standard approval time for a building permit is 2-4 weeks, it’s possible for these permits to take months to process, which is a problem that’s wholly avoided when seeking help from an expediter.
The Importance of a Building Permit Expediter
There are many benefits that come with hiring a building permit expediter because of the numerous tasks they are able to perform during the development process. For one, a reputable expediter will offer local expertise that you can benefit from. When an expediter understands all of the ins and outs of the local building permit process, you can be confident that they will be able to expedite the process for you. These individuals should also be aware of all of the local codes that could apply to your project. When you’re looking to hire an expediter, make sure that they’ve handled projects that are similar to yours.
A permit expediter will also be able to review your set of development plans before they are sent to the local planning group. They will make sure that every detail within the plan is correct, which includes everything from the fee amounts that you’re required to provide to the signatures that need to be placed on the documents to make them official. Any mistakes that they catch can save you ample amounts of time and money, which is just one reason why it’s important to obtain the services of a building permit expediter.
If you aren’t familiar with the building codes in the city where the project is set to take place, a building permit expediter can be highly valuable. Their immense understanding of building codes and their great relationships with city officials are two primary reasons why you should heavily consider a building permit expediter. They can help you determine the most effective strategy for gaining approval for your project, which should substantially cut down the waiting time for approval.
How Much Do Building Permit Expediters Cost?
The cost of hiring a building permit expediter varies significantly depending on the specific expediter and where they work. The majority of expediters will charge a flat fee by the hour or will charge by the project. If an expediter charges by the project, this means that more complex projects will come with higher costs. However, this option might be preferable to you if your development project is somewhat smaller in scope.
You can expect the hourly cost to be anywhere from $75 to several hundred dollars. Because of how beneficial the services of a building permit expediter can be, it’s recommended that you don’t automatically go for the low-cost option.
If you want the job to be performed well, you should choose an expediter who has extensive experience with the kind of construction project you’re developing.
Hiring a Building Permit Expediter
Hiring a building permit expediter can make the building permit process much more straightforward, which is why it’s important that you hire the right one.
Some of the primary factors that you should consider when hiring a building permit expediter include:
- Make sure that they have experience with projects like yours
- Make sure that they’ve completed numerous projects in the city where your project is set to take place
- Check online for reviews pertaining to your expediters of choice
- Make sure that they have ample planning experience
- They should have at least one certification in real estate development
- Ask if they charge by the hour or by project before you hire one
Consider working with real estate experts to create permit acquisition packages that meet your needs. If you’re set to construct a luxury home in Los Angeles, expediters can assist you in obtaining any building permit that could apply to your project, which could include special permits for the planning, plumbing, or even the electrical aspects of the property.
Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate
With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities.