Austin, Texas has developed a reputation for quirky creativity and innovation. “Keep Austin Weird” is a favored saying among long-time locals. With the relocation of Tesla headquarters from California to Austin, the city has also become a prime location for corporate headquarters and other supporting facilities.

And it’s not just the EV automotive industry that thinks so. Austin also hosts some major players in the advanced manufacturing, clean technology, life sciences, and data management industries.

With the increasing population growth and rising levels of tourism, Austin is fertile ground for new construction projects and renovations. When it comes to navigating Austin building permits, the specifics and nuances can be difficult to keep track of. Here is what you need to know.

The 5-Step Process For Acquiring Austin Building Permits

Step 1: Preparation

The first step in getting the necessary Austin building permits for commercial projects is to complete the prep work. In Austin, this may involve scheduling an optional Preliminary Plan Review meeting with the city’s Expedited Plan Review Team. This meeting allows for the discussion of any potential issues related to design and construction and provides the opportunity for city officials to identify areas that need to be addressed early on. While this meeting can be beneficial, it does not guarantee permit application approval.

Next, you’ll want to prepare all required documentation and check to see if your project qualifies for Austin’s Quick Turnaround or 7-Day Small Remodel review and include these checklists in your application.

Step 2: Apply

Before submitting your permit application, you’ll need to have a Site Plan in place. While this is usually required in advance, you can apply for a concurrent review on the city’s official website.

With that in place, you’ll need to create an Austin Build + Connect account where you’ll be able to upload all required documentation and drawings and submit your application for approval.

Step 3: Reviews and Corrections

Once your application is accurately submitted, your review process will start. If everything looks good, you’ll receive a notification of approval. If there are issues, the city will email you a Master Comment Report, which will include any issues that need to be addressed before application approval.

Making corrections based on the Master Comment Report may involve in-person meetings with the assigned reviewer, in which case you’ll need to schedule a Commercial Plan Review Consultation. After making corrections, you’ll have to update your application with a Commercial Building Permit Web Form and resubmit your entire application. This step may require several repetitions and is, predictably, one of the areas where the permitting process slows down significantly.

Step 4: Permit Issuance and Inspections

Once everything checks out, you’ll receive notification of application approval and then your permits will be issued. However, Austin requires digital activation of your permits through their website for them to go fully into effect.

From here it’s time to schedule a pre-construction meeting with Building Inspections, after which you can begin construction and schedule the appropriate inspections at the correct times.

Step 5: Revisions

The final step in the acquisition process of Austin building permits involves making revisions. Should the need to make changes arise, you’ll need to submit revisions to the approved application with the Commercial Plan Review Revision form.

Breeze Through the Austin Building Permits Process Faster with a Permit Expediter

If the above process sounds highly involved and complex, that interpretation would be correct. This is why applying for and getting approval on all necessary permits is often such an arduous and time-consuming process for project managers and others involved in commercial construction projects.

At Scout Services, we offer full permitting services for commercial projects across the nation. Our locally trained Field Scouts and national database allow us to stay on top of local regulations to help streamline the permitting application process for a wide variety of commercial projects, including remodels, new-builds, and rollouts.

Do you have a commercial project coming up in Austin, Texas?

Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help.

*Disclaimer: While we aim to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, the local regulations and standards that govern the permitting process are constantly evolving. Reach out to us about your next project and we’ll connect you with one of our permitting experts in your area.