Half the battle with getting commercial building permits approved is ensuring your plans are drafted according to the local jurisdiction; in this article I will help you draft your plans like a commercial building permit expediter.

I can’t give you the exact trick for city because each city likes plans to be put together in a different way. But, here is a starting place for your plans.

  • Table of Contents: Make sure your table of contents matches your…erm contents. No joke this has become a common enough problem that I feel need to highlight them here.
  • Stapled Correctly: Different cities desire the plans to be separated out by trade, while others require them to be bundled together into one package. Additionally, multiple copies of plans are normally required for review. The most common reason plans will be separated our multiple copies required is so that separate departmental reviews can be conducted simultaneously.
  • Building Plans: Ensure your structural calculations fall within the code ranges as well as demonstrated in the drawings. ADA should be addressed in every aspect of your plans and specifically spelled out on your building plans. A curve ball will be demonstrating heights and elevations in the specified way the plan reviewer likes best. Another aspect with respect to building plans that a commercial building permit expediter should make mention of are racking permits. If shelves and racking go beyond an acceptable threshold or hold an excessive weight an racking permit will be required.
  • Mechanical Plans: Air conditioners, heaters, and even insulation will be reviewed on mechanical plans. As a commercial building permit expediter I want to make mention of restaurant permits. If you are building a kitchen for a food establishment then you will need to have an overhead exhaust that has already been approved by the city.
  • Electrical Plans: Load calculations, fixtures, and mounting information needs to be spelled out as well as literally drawn out. If you’re hoping to get an electrical permit approved in California ensure that applicable Title 24 codes are given their day on your plans. If you want more specific information on Title 24 give me and my team a call.
  • Plumbing Plans: Ensure materials are approved as well as points of connections established. States like California require demonstrating that water use is efficient and conserved appropriately. Make sure your plans drafter understands the local code interpretation as well as applicable laws.
  • Fire Review: Fire sprinkler systems, whether in a retail or restaurant, require a separate check and can be time-consuming. My usual recommendation is to see if a temporary build permit while the fire department review is taking place. However, some jurisdictions prohibit such permits and you will need to wait for the fire review to be completed.
  • Applications: This doesn’t really directly correlate to drafting plans however, if you’re thinking like a commercial building permit expediter then you’ll understand the applications are just as important as the plans being submitted. Calculations, correct landlord information, and even contact information can hold up the permit approval process. Everything needs to match up perfectly. 

            There you have it, now you can draft your plans like a commercial building permit expediter. If you don’t feel that this information was specific enough or doesn’t answer the questions you may have I encourage you to give me a call at Permit Advisors Inc. Me and my team can provide you with a consultation to make your life easier as well as coordinate with your architect.