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  • Writer's pictureKristen Shields

Best Practices in Permitting & Codes

I recently attended an event led by a panel from the building and codes department of a large metropolitan area, and some of the information shared aligned with my and my contractors' experiences in the permitting and planning processes. We felt it prudent to share this food for thought with you as insight to newer contractors and reminders for the veterans. 

Historically, it seems codes departments are overworked, understaffed, and underpaid for the most part. There are more projects than people, and with that, sometimes paperwork is processed slower than may be ideal.  

For example, Metro Nashville has about 250 plans in their queue at any given time. Metro decides internally whether to utilize third-party reviewers approved and under its umbrella or review by the department's core team. Smaller counties with less development would not have such a large operation, but the principles remain the same.

Avoid unnecessary back and forth with codes officials and have your ducks in a row on the front end, even if that means waiting a little longer to have certain details of your prospective project solidified before submitting a request to codes. Eliminating the back and forth helps you and them. The volume of requests in this day and age is sizable, and it's in your best interest to make it as easy and seamless for them to evaluate and approve your requests. 

For general contractors and developers in particular on larger or more complicated projects, consider having a pre-application meeting. If you're curious if a particular use exists for a property, such as multi-family or a zoning designation, this can often be answered on the front end. When in doubt, simply reach out to codes and ask. Email, call, or simply walk in, if able. Maybe even bring a pound cake with you next time for the staff. These little things can go a long way, and you better believe they know the buttoned up contractors from the rest. 

Now you know. Pass it on. All For Contractors is All For You! 

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