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What Happens When Your Permitting Process Gets Delayed?

Delays are going to happen – in life and…in your renovation. We would love to guarantee they won’t, but we never want to set unreasonable expectations. That said, doing everything possible to avoid delays in the permitting process is what we do every day.

What Causes Delays in the Permitting Process?

We’ll cut right to the chase: the most common reason for delays within the permitting process is either missing/incomplete paperwork, or waiting on clarifications/adjustments. Working with a design team that is well-versed in your municipality’s permit requirements is the best way to avoid these issues. 

The hard reality is that the permitting process involves multiple third-party organizations – from the city to engineers and survey reviewers, to plans runners. Lots of people. All of these people are working hard, day in and day out, to get your project where it needs to be in order to be ready for a safe building process. 

With all these players involved, delays can be a guarantee rather than an exception. That’s why at Debowsky Design Group, we work hard to serve as our client’s advocate during the permitting process to ensure speedy turn-arounds when revisions or additional actions are needed. 

Addressing Delays

Even if everything is done correctly sometimes there are unavoidable delays. Your home might be in a historic district, and while your plans boast dotted I’s and crossed t’s – the committee to approve plans only meets once a month and there are 30 applications in front of you…and they only look at five applications per meeting. That’s the kind of math that get make even Einstein queasy.  

When this happens, our job as architects is all about adaptation. Knowing the building codes and applicable laws (which are everchanging) allows us to make adjustments on the fly to keep certain aspects of your project on track without having to go to the back of the line. 

It’s great when we can get all permits approved at the same time, but the most important part is keeping the permitted portions moving in order to complete the work before any permit expires. It is also wise to plan a bit of a cushion into your project timeline as a precaution. This will save you some stress and anxiety as inevitably, certain delays creep up. 

Depending on the scope of the work and the location of your property, using a dedicated permit runner can be a good option. Their job is to proactively coordinate with all the parties involved – the city, the county, the zoning board, the architect, and engineers, and – of course you – to make sure everything is moving forward and problems are addressed before they slow down any other aspect of your project. 

If you have questions or are ready to discuss getting your renovation started let us know. We’ll be here.