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Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?

 
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:03 AM   #21
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


Where are you located? Is a permit expediter even a necessity? Why would I pay you rather than submit my own permit? Why would I use you rather than my architect that did the plans? Just a couple questions to ask yourself.

Get to know the local cities and counties extremely well in the area in which you are going to work. They all will require something different...some have review/submittal fees and some don't. Are you going to specialize in commercial it residential? Fees and number of sets will vary between the two.

Go online and look at the local AHJ websites and learn. This is not an overnight learning process. The ladies I've met who do this have years experience and a great rapport with the building departments.

And yes it does help if you are an attractive woman.

Goof luck.

Last edited by ziemer; 06-13-2011 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:35 PM   #22
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


Best of luck in your endeavors.

you may want to advertise or somehow market your services to the ethnic communities.

Some years back, I was sitting at the license and inspection office in Philly and I kept hearing the same Asian surname being called out. I did not think much of it at the time aside from an anglo looking woman having an Asian surname. Then I hear a Hispanic surname and I see the same woman approach the desk.

It finally clicked that this women was an expediter and from the looks of it, had a pretty big client base.

Some months pass and I see her again. I get there about 30 minutes before they even open up the office and gradually more people are arriving. She arrives almost as it opens, and wouldn't you know... they attend to her first.

I met one of her clients. It was a Hispanic couple that I knew was in the process of opening up a restaurant and they just got fed up not knowing the whole permitting process. They hired her for roughly 3K and had her do all the paperwork and deal with all the offices (health department, L&I, etc) To that Hispanic couple, it was money well spent and since then have opened up another deli, but this time they knew the process, but still decided to use the expediter, I guess out of gratitude.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:32 AM   #23
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


Quote:
Originally Posted by KEPC View Post
To that Hispanic couple, it was money well spent and since then have opened up another deli, but this time they knew the process, but still decided to use the expediter, I guess out of gratitude.
Sounds to me like they knew the value of their own time and saw an even better value in the expediters service.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:31 AM   #24
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


1) get a manila envelope.

2) put currency in it

3) oh, sorry! thought you were somone else!!! You're not in South Florida are you??

maybe start on the building department websites???? The information is out there and not hard to figure out. They have these things called "instructions". Sure, asking others that already know how to do it is one way to find things out, but it's not as if it's a particularly difficult procedure, so you probably won't get a lot of sympathy here unless you're going to be doing this as a contractor instead of just a permit runner.

A professor of mine got pi$$ed someone in his class kept asking trivial questions that he should have been able to figure out on his own. One day his response was "I don't know the answer to your question. RTFM!"
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:29 PM   #25
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


If you want some advice you probably won't want to take, I'd say to forget about all your ideas you presented in this thread and the other one.

Number 1, when you have a business, you're suppposed to have prior experience doing the actual service you are planning on charging others for, or at the very least the ability to hire somebody with that experience. Researching what you're supposed to know and actually having experience doing it all are two very different things.

All the others stuff about estimating for DIYers and all the rest you posted. I'd run from that too. You sound desperate to try to figure out a way to be paid to do something in the construction field, but so far everyone of your ideas is either impractical or at best don't sound like they will net you enough to make a living. Unfortunately you got a degree in a field that has been economically decimated harder then any other field. This field hasn't seen this much of a down turn since the great depression.

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Old 07-26-2011, 05:58 PM   #26
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


Mr. Finley...



...has spoken.



And he has a really good point. Consider his advice.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #27
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


I think the biggest point, besides the fact that you don't know what your doing, was said above. If you think you can just call ho's and they will pay you a couple grand to walk down to the city hall and take care of paperwork, you definitely haven't been paying attention to the industry lately. If it is hard to get a ho to pay a few hundred extra dollars for RRP work, they definitely won't pay you for paperwork.

It is usually a selling point for a contractor to tell the ho that they will take care of the permits for them. This of course is added into the cost of the job, but you don't advertise that. I would not want to be the contractor on a job I didn't pull the permits on personally, or at least had a big hand in helping the ho prepare the paperwork. When I go into the planning department, it is all about how you approach the job, and how you direct the discussion. It is a lot more than just handing them paperwork.

If you are female, Hispanic, Asian or another ethnicity, you will have a good shot at it like the above example. Other than that, you better have a back up plan.

Good luck though.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:54 PM   #28
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


I don't see a big need for a business like this...I have been wrong before though.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:01 PM   #29
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Re: Can Someone Give Me An In-depth Explanation Of The Permitting Process?


If you're still considering doing the permit runner thing, I will ask you to consider this perspective as well:

As contractors, it benefits us to establish positive working relationships with the AHJs we work in. There is something to be said for me personally going down to the building department and touching base with my favorite chief inspectors and building officials whenever I need to handle something with my permits. This kind of networking is invaluable to a contractor, and is not something I would ever consider farming out to a runner. There are cities here that other guys say are the worst ever blah blah blah. I thrive in these cities because I decided to figure out how to work with them instead of whining and going to war over some comment on plan review. You can't buy those channels of communication through a permit runner.

So as you are contemplating your business model, ask yourself why guys like me would want to pay extra money for the service you intend to offer.

VinylHangar is also right. I mean, you'd basically be selling to the owner/builder market, which in every city down here, requires the owner/builder to go to the building department in person. If they have to do that anyway, why should they pay you?

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