One of the youngest, fastest-growing, and most diverse cities, Houston, Texas has grown to hold key global industries including energy, life science, manufacturing, logistics, and aerospace. If you are interested in developing in this international city, there are a few key considerations and resources you should be aware of. Better understand the process behind the city of Houston permits and inspections with Scout Services — and ensure your next commercial construction project is a success.

Depending on the construction project, multiple trades may be involved such as electrical, plumbing, and mechanical and managing these permits is a challenge for architects, engineers, and project managers alike. Projects are then reviewed by Houston reviewers and inspectors to ensure full building compliance — and some municipalities are stricter than others.

Even if incorrect information is added by accident, any inaccuracy can ruin your application. With the help of a permit expediter, the details of your project will be carefully reviewed, keeping you on time and under budget. If you are not sure about the fine print details, learn more about the regional knowledge a local Houston permit guide like Scout Services can bring to your application.

An Overview of Houston’s Commercial Permitting Process

There are two main components of obtaining a Houston permit. The first involves the plans for your renovation or build. In this part, you’ll need to apply for the permit, have your plans reviewed and approved, and purchase the actual permit. The second part comes in during construction when everything gets inspected.

State and local regulations are largely quantitative, so your numbers and paperwork all need to line up. By starting your permitting process early, you can leave room for unexpected factors as you try to get approved across multiple departments. Generally, the best way to obtain updated information, and avoid using outdated information, is to call or visit Houston’s permitting department.

City of Houston Permits and Inspections — Process Overview

    1. The first step in the Houston permitting process is to activate your account via the online iPermits portal. A new permitting system – HouPermits – aimed at streamlining and enhancing their permitting services, is expected to launch soon. Your application may be submitted online or in person at the Houston Permitting Center. For an overview of the process, visit the Commercial User Guide.
    2. Complete the permit application via the online portal. Upload all required documents in support of the building permit application including address verification, the commercial construction plan, and declaration. If address verification is required, the Finalize Application button will not be visible until approval is granted. You will be verified via email, and then can proceed.
    3. Twenty-five percent of the permit fee is due upon submitting your application. Once the plan review deposit has been paid, an invitation will be sent to upload plans into ProjectDox®. Be sure to upload the fully completed commercial application for plan review as well as the prerequisite checklist. DOC, DOCX, and PDF files are accepted for reports, Vector PDF and JPEG files are accepted for drawings. Be sure to invite users to the project via the Invite tab for submittal.
    4. Once you are pre-screened, your site plan will be reviewed. Houston organizes plan reviews based on the type and complexity of the project. At this stage, you will be responsible for the remaining balance due prior to starting construction. If your commercial building plan requires corrections, it will need to be re-submitted. Otherwise, following inspections, you will be ready to receive approval.

Avoid Costly Permit Mistakes With an Expert Team

Permitting issues arise often, especially in stricter municipalities, or areas where you might not have any previous experience. At Scout Services, our team specializes in working with architects, builders, engineers, and contractors to ensure city of Houston permits and inspections are compliant. If you’re trying to manage every aspect of a project at once, permitting problems can take you away from other key planning tasks, throwing your project off schedule.

Managing multi-site rollouts? Avoid mistakes as you expand nationally to avoid costly delays with our database of over 7,000 municipalities and their requirements. Explore the areas we serve and reach out to our team to learn more.

Experience the Benefits of Expediting Your Permits in Houston

If you haven’t outsourced city of Houston permits and inspections in the past, this may be the time to start. Companies across industries are accelerating commercial construction projects like upgraded digital menu boards for quick-serve restaurants, national retail rollouts, better racking systems in warehouses, interior restaurant upgrades, and more to compete.

Get city of Houston permits and inspections approved faster — with less hassle by reaching out to our permit expediting team today.