State Inspection & Permitting Guide For Contractors
Building inspections and permitting processes can vary across states in the U.S.
However, we have identified common steps and principles that contractors should follow. Here's an introductory guide applicable across most states:
1. Research Local Regulations:
- Every state and municipality has its own building codes and permitting requirements. Start by understanding the specific regulations and processes in the area where the project is located. Our team has already built a pipeline into most munis for permitting documentation which make this task so much easier for your in our platform.
2. Determine Permit Requirements:
- Identify if your project requires a permit. Joint projects needing permits include structural changes, significant renovations, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work.
- Some minor repairs and cosmetic updates may not require permits, but it's always best to check.
3. Prepare and Submit Permit Applications:
- Gather necessary documents, including detailed project plans, blueprints, or site surveys.
- Submit the permit application and any required documentation to the local building department. This can often be done online. Inspected is now the U.S.'s leading third-party private inspection, allowing providers to make this easier and faster.
4. Pay Permit Fees:
- Permitting usually involves fees based on the project's scope. Ensure all necessary fees are paid to avoid delays. Remember, your local jurisdiction must reduce your permit fee if you work with a private provider like Inspected for Plans Review or Building Inspection Services as part of evolving legislation that emerged during and after the pandemic.
5. Schedule Inspections:
- Most construction projects require multiple inspections at different stages. Schedule these inspections in advance to ensure the project stays on track. While traditionally, contractors may be tempted to use spreadsheets, Google Drive or other ad hoc systems, this leads to complexity and mistakes over time since it's not REAL-time. Inspected flips the script, giving you operational software to handle the entire inspection and permitting process.
- Common inspection types include foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, and final inspections.
6. Pass Inspections:
- Ensure the work complies with local building codes to pass inspections. If issues are found, make the necessary corrections and schedule a re-inspection. Using our software, this process and timeline is accelerated dramatically.
7. Manage Final Paperwork:
- Once the final inspection is passed, you'll receive approval or a certificate of occupancy, depending on the project type. Inspected has a Pass/Failure feature that simplifies this for you.
- Keep all documentation, including permits and inspection reports, for your records. Handling this in spreadsheets is a nightmare; Inspected handles it quickly and easily inside our document workflow engine.
8. Address Any Complaints or Violations:
- If there are complaints or you're cited for violations, address them promptly with the local building authority. You can track compliance with a click of a button inside Inspected.
9. Stay Informed:
- Building codes and regulations can change. Stay informed about updates in the areas where you work. We do this by keeping your documents and processes in an ever-ready compliant state with local authorities.
10. Utilize Professional Help:
- Consider hiring an architect, engineer, or licensed contractor for complex projects to ensure compliance with all regulations. We have a team of internal inspectors and engineers to help contractors and firms do this quickly and painlessly.
Following these steps can help contractors like you navigate the permitting and inspection process more effectively, ensuring their projects meet local standards and are completed successfully.