Phased Permitting Strategies

Justin Manalo

Posted by Justin Manalo

Phased Permitting Strategies – Here to Stay if we Have Anything to Say About it

Are you planning a construction project and dreading the inevitable paperwork? Obtaining building permits and approvals can be a tedious and convoluted process. A basic understanding of what it entails, some research, and enlisting the help of an experienced permit expeditor can help you determine how to reduce stress and navigate the permit expediting process efficiently and cost-effectively.

Most jurisdictions require separate permits for demolition, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing activities as well as a general building permit. The entire permit process, from start to finish, can take several weeks or even months. Add to that complex multi-stage projects, where there are multi-floor tenants, work within separate areas of a floor, and projects that qualify for early-start demo permits, increase the costs and potential for delays in permit expediting, filings, and issuance.

It is advisable to have a solid understanding of all the permit requirements well in advance to avoid delays in project completion. From years of experience with complex projects, juggling schedules, and comprehensive permitting department "know-how", the professionals at Burnham Nationwide can be an invaluable partner when it comes to getting your project completed in the most expeditious and professional manner possible.

A Phased Permitting Strategy

Creative thinking and a systematic, holistic approach to the overall property and project and the related permitting and zoning process can help you avoid duplication of efforts in work, time, and money. Implementing a phased permitting strategy is an innovative solution that can reap untold rewards for the bottom line, and most importantly, your peace of mind.

2 Fundamental Reasons for Phased Permitting:

  1. Existing businesses want to minimize the impact on their current operations, so breaking out different scopes of work under separate permits allows the business flow to continue while the scope of each permit is being completed.
  2. Often times certain elements of a project require fewer approvals and quicker completion times, and getting these started as soon as possible would enable construction to begin and proceed while longer lead approval permits can be obtained.

At Burnham Nationwide, we like to think of it as playing the long game.

To get started, we'll look at a project's entirety: scope, timeframe, construction teams, required services, compliances and contingencies, and overall budgets, for example.

Once we have a comprehensive understanding of all that is required, a phased plan of attack is created. How do we get from A to B? Can C, D, and E take place simultaneously to save time? Can we jump to F if there are delays in any of the previous steps? Can we knock out M, N, O, and P before any other work begins? A simplified analogy, but hopefully, you get the picture.

Real World Application

Almost all municipalities require inspections for certain phases of construction, which typically occur in a linear progression, coinciding with major milestones. With a phased permitting review strategy, work can be reordered and completed in designated phases to take advantage of project deadlines, dynamic worksite conditions and other mitigating factors, allowing construction to run continuously without interruptions or lag time while plans are finalized.

We recently had the opportunity to assist a client with a multi-level warehouse renovation project. To ensure the job stayed on schedule and within budget, we devised a phased strategy that allowed work to begin on the second floor while more complex permit applications, requiring a longer approval process for the first-floor renovations, were filed. We also needed to ensure that the egress from the second floor to the lobby of the first-floor building was in compliance. Some "fancy footwork" and expert planning all came together to make it happen. And that's where extensive experience with the phased permit expediting strategy proved invaluable.

This is just one example of how partnering with the professionals at Burnham Nationwide can make the permit expediting process proceed smoothly, reduce costs, and provide clients, and you, with peace of mind knowing the job will be done right, on time, and within budget.

Could your next project benefit from a phased strategy approach? Contact us today, and we can discuss the options. We look forward to being of service.

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