There are plenty of firms in New York that tout expertise in permit expediting services. With so many options out there, how do you choose the right one? A lot of decision-makers select a Permit Expediter with the lowest price and end up with the lowest quality service. Inexperienced Permit Expediters could cost you more money over time with delays caused by a lack of follow-up and overall understanding of the project. Permit Expediters should have the following traits to manage your project appropriately in New York: regional expertise, trade knowledge, and reliable communication tactics.
It’s not a secret that New York is a tricky state to obtain permits in. There are nuances to every jurisdiction from different review processes to department sign-off requirements. You should consider working with an expediter that has managed the process before and knows what steps to take. Having expertise in the region means knowing the applied code interpretations, plan set requirements, and the right contact to speak with during plan checks.
Code Interpretations: Let’s start with a few examples of codes interpretations that a Permit Expediter in New York should know:
- ADA Requirements: Projects must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) construction and design standards. These detailed standards work to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against in commercial facilities open to the public such as restaurants and movie theatres. The ADA Design Standards dictate path of travel requirements, turning radius requirements for bathrooms, etc.
- Fire Requirements: In the state of New York, construction projects must comply to the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. This provides information on which way doors can swing (in vs. out), how wide do the doors need to be, etc.
- Roof Loads for Snow: The ground snow load is used for structural design and incorporates information on the way the roof pitch is designed, the pounds per square foot, etc.
Plan Set Requirements: Jurisdictions vary in the way they want their plan sets organized during the submittal process. Having conducted due diligence, your Permit Expediter should be able to advise on the required documents and formats. The information they should provide includes:
- Number of required plan sets
- How the plan sets should be distributed (i.e. in one concise package or several packages separated by trade)
- Delivery method (i.e. mailed, hand delivery, digitally)
City Contacts: You want to hire an expediter that knows the different plan reviewers and departments involved in a specific jurisdiction. With experience in a region, an expediter will likely already have contacts in place so that they can set up pre-submittal meetings and negotiate over-the-counter reviews.
To put it simply, a Permit Expediter should have knowledge of the permitting trade. While this may sound obvious, you’d be surprised how many Permit Expediters don’t know how to speak the language of the different departments within the city. Having trade knowledge means understanding the various terms that go into the permitting process. After all, Permit Expediters need to be able to communicate effectively to Plan Reviewers about a project’s scope of work, department sign-offs, and the client’s needs.
We can’t stress enough how important communication is when you are dealing with permits. Let’s break it down to the basics:
- Clients need frequent updates
- Plan reviewers need responses quickly
- A lack of communication will cause permit delays
It’s important to find a Permit Expediter that provides regular updates to clients and Plan Reviewers. They should be reliable and tell you what to expect up-front. Will they provide you with weekly updates? Will they assign a dedicated Project Manager to your project?
As we covered, you want to hire a New York Permit Expediter with regional expertise, trade knowledge, and dedicated communication tactics. To make sure you are selecting the right team, be sure to ask the following questions: “Have you worked in this jurisdiction before?”, “How long have you been in the field?”, “Do you have contacts already established at the jurisdiction?”, “How often do you provide updates on permit status?” We recommend selecting a Permit Expediter that can answer these questions confidently and in-depth. If you are still not satisfied, ask them for references!
Why Choose Permit Advisors
Permit Advisors, Inc. is a nationwide permit expediting, entitlement, and consulting firm based out of Beverly HIlls, CA. We have established relationships with municipalities nation-wide and implement time as well as cost saving strategies to efficiently complete projects. We provide a project management team to ensure every aspect of the project is given specific attention while maintaining open communication between the jurisdiction, consultants, and our clients. We serve retailers, architects, landlords, tenant coordinators, contractors and franchisees nationwide in the hotel, retail, restaurant, mixed-use, multifamily, entertainment, grocery, and logistical plant development industries. Contact us today for a consultation.