Permitting - how long? Your experiences please/

pbx2_gwJuly 30, 2012

We are closed on the loan & now are in the permitting phase.

How long does that usually take?

Would like to hear your experiences so that we can manage our novice expectations.

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With respect, this question is meaningless unless you specify your location.

Contact your local authority to find out the time range in your area.

FWIW, my permits have taken from one-three months in the same municipality, all dependent on how busy they are. Remember, you're dealing with a government monopoly and your demand has no effect on their supply.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:39AM
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1 hour. Dallas. TX.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Ours is an 8 week wait.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 11:58AM
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4+ months. Includes planning/engineering review, public hearings, plan check, etc. Love California :-P

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 12:04PM
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We are in California as well.
They told me average time was 4 weeks. Its been 5 weeks and still no backcheck or anything yet...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Here it can vary from months to hours depending on available staff, the season, the need for historic/zoning review, the need for fire department review, the involvement of an architect/engineer, etc.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Thanks every1.

Interesting to hear all your experiences.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 4:13PM
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My builder actually said he will have his construction manager camp out @ the county offices so they can answer questions as they happen.

We are scheduled for Mid August digging which is ~2 weeks after our submission.

Another thing that might work to our advantage is that our house is primarily based on the house build next lot over.
Just expanded & tweaked some. So we might be able to just referenced those permits as precedence - code changes notwithstanding.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 4:51PM
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We used the same engineer that did our site plan to facilitate our permit with City (ATL). Paid extra $600 or so, which was worth every penny. Because it requires at least 3-4 separate trips walking it downtown, answering questions, he was familiar with our project having done the site plan. we hired him independently but he was familiar with our architect and builder. We heard horror stories about 2-3 month timeframes. But he told us 4-5 weeks and that is what it ended up taking. just depends alot on your local municipality as others said.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Boulder, Colorado: Supposedly 4-6 weeks is the average, but ours took 6-8 weeks. Our architect reviewed the plans with the planning office before he submitted them, changed a bunch of things they told him to change, and it still took 6-8 weeks and they STILL sent the plans back to him for one more round of changes. Apparently this is quite common for Boulder.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:30PM
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wow... you all have some impressive turnaround times.

I have been told to expect 2-4 MONTHS!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Laura: your municipality must share values with mine. These "one hour over the counter" cities are like a different planet compared to what we're going through. We submit about 2 months ago and I'd say we have another 2 months at least, since we've not yet put up story poles.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I assumed all areas were this painful until I saw the above numbers! We are starting a design review exception where we have to pay $750 to have the county not review our designs (in that they could influence our design decisions). Everything over a certain elevation has to go through a design review, however only the back 15 ft of our lot fall into that space (no where near where we are putting the house). $750 for someone to drive out and confirm that! Seriously?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:48PM
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We are in Massachusetts. Ours took 4 weeks. I thought that was average?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:57PM
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Greenville, SC- Less than an hour, and only $480. They don't review plans; you fill out your paperwork, and they log it and collect your money.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:42PM
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flgargoyle! That is amazing, and slightly scary! :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Spoke to our builder again to get a bit of clarification.
Still clear as mud LOL!

But apparently, the initial phase in our plans, there is an opportunity whereby the county will allow a clearing permit to get things started while concurrently - our builder & county do a Q&A of our fully submitted construction plans.

& within this phase, there are pockets where our engineer is allowed to assume specific responsibilities & attest to certain features which will allow further building even if the county has not fully 'stamped-off'.

But in real time, it is 2 weeks from submission to full sign-off.

This is why, I had asked the original question in the OP. Just to see if it made sense vs. what is normally done elsewhere.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Such long times are typical of large counties with small building departments. Cities are sometimes faster unless the population is very large. The determining factor is usually the ratio of projects to plan reviewers. Your drawings will be sitting somewhere for all but a few hours of the review period.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:20PM
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We are in Maryland, and it took upwards of 7 months from submission to sign-off, though the process was complicated by building next to an historic property. It also took 3-4 months before submission to prepare all of the required engineering documents. The longest year of my life!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:31PM
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It is a little scary how easy our local process is. I'm in Greenville County, the most densely populated county in SC. I'm also in an un-zoned area, but I don't know how much difference that makes. You are responsible for meeting code, however, so if the house is poorly designed, it won't pass inspection. At least if your area reviews your plans, they might discover an expensive boo-boo before it happens.

I do have to submit as-built drawings after the fact, but they aren't reviewed, but simply kept on file. They can be pencil sketches, so long as they are dimensioned.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 6:16AM
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