Navigating the intricacies of commercial building permits is one of those administrative tasks that most architects dread. It’s time-consuming and complicated. Requirements vary by project and location. And something as small as a missed signature can set a project back by weeks. However, obtaining permits is a necessary part of effective project management for architects, particularly for large-scale commercial ventures.
Fortunately, architects can streamline the permitting process by partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable permit expediter. But where exactly do permit expediters fit into an architect’s workflow? Let’s find out!
The Role of Permit Expediters in the Architect’s Workflow
In basic terms, permit expediters are the liaisons between architects, government agencies, and any other stakeholders that might be involved in the permitting process. Their primary purpose is to expedite the permits and mitigate roadblocks or bureaucratic delays that might come up.
With their expertise and local knowledge, permit expediters can help streamline the commercial permitting process by:
- Conducting thorough permit research and due diligence
- Preparing accurate and complete permit applications
- Facilitating plan reviews
- Coordinating with government officials
- And monitoring permit review timelines
Permitting expediters can be local or national. While there are benefits to both, it’s much easier to build long-term, ongoing relationships with national permitting experts. This is particularly useful when businesses are looking to expand or renovate in multiple regions.
With that basic understanding, let’s get into the details of what permit expediters can do to support efficient project management for architects.
How Do Permit Expediters Contribute to Efficient Project Management for Architects?
Expediters Streamline Permit Acquisition by Avoiding Errors
When it comes to obtaining commercial building permits, one of the biggest challenges architects face is the sheer time commitment. Gathering and submitting the required paperwork, checking it for accuracy, and complying with every nuance of local regulations is a heavy lift. One minor error or overlooked piece of information can cause significant delays and expense.
Permit expediters are invaluable allies in avoiding these kinds of oversights. With in-depth knowledge of local building codes, regulations, and permitting process requirements, permit expediters are uniquely equipped to deal with bureaucratic complexities and avoid common pitfalls that architects often encounter.
Beyond that, permit expediters are professionals dedicated to solving problems same-day. One way they accomplish this is by closely tracking and managing construction documentation and change orders.
Manage Construction Documentation and Change Orders
If there is an error in the submitted application materials, local officials are not obligated to inform you. This is a problem because a single missing element can result in your application being stuck in review for weeks before you think to check on it, only to find that you need to resubmit.
That’s why permit expediters are fastidious about tracking permit application statuses and addressing any issues immediately.
Beyond errors and discrepancies in paperwork, however, change orders during construction may also require time-consuming revisions and new approvals. Permit expediters can assist in making the necessary paperwork changes in a way that minimizes delays.
Navigate Building Codes and Regulations to Ensure Compliance
Building codes and regulations are not static; they are prone to frequent changes, revisions, and additions. For architects, staying up to date with these evolving guidelines to ensure project drawings are in compliance can be a daunting task.
Again, this is where permit expediters are indispensable. By keeping their finger on the pulse of regulation updates and revisions, permit expediters can provide timely and accurate guidance. This saves architects from the burden of constantly monitoring and interpreting complex regulatory changes, allowing them to focus on their core strengths in design and project management.
Support in Coordinating with Stakeholders and Setting Expectations
Communication among stakeholders and team members is essential in every stage of a commercial project. Miscommunication or lack of coordination can result in errors and costly delays, particularly when they result from unrealistic expectations.
While it often falls to architects to facilitate this communication, permit expediters can provide invaluable support by setting realistic expectations early on in the commercial project lifecycle. When architects have a clear understanding of the permitting process and the estimated timelines involved, it becomes much easier to coordinate with stakeholders, schedule out GCs, and keep the project on track.
More Effective Budget Management
With better coordination and more realistic timeline expectations, permit expediters also play a vital role in project budget management. A big part of project management for architects involves managing costs and avoiding unexpected expenses.
Permit expediters contribute to these endeavors by expediting approvals and inspections, and avoiding penalties and setbacks due to non-compliance. Without this safety net in place, architects run into the possibility of construction delays. While the cost of delay can vary drastically depending on the scope of the project, a single day of unplanned downtime can amount to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in additional costs.
Scout Services Simplifies Project Management for Architects
Scout Services is a leading provider of permit expediting services in municipalities across the U.S.* With our locally trained Field Scouts and state-of-the-art national database, we simplify the permitting process for commercial projects across a wide range of industries.
We work with architects, general contractors, project managers, engineers, and business owners to ensure full compliance, remove obstacles, and set realistic expectations for a smoother, easier permitting process.
Are you an architect with a project coming up?
Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help support you.
*Including Alaska and Hawaii. However, please note that Scout Services does NOT operate in the New York metro area.