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What is a Plans Runner and Why Do You Need One?

When you’re taking on a home renovation or redesign there are a lot of moving parts. The bigger the project the more details there are to be managed to keep things moving smoothly. Having a plans runner – or a permit runner – is a great way to make sure all those details are being handled in a timely manner.

What is a Plans Runner?

The short answer is that a plans runner is the person whose job it is to keep track of every aspect of the process of a building project. They handle all the details so that your contractor, crews, and designers can do their jobs more efficiently. 

They’re professionals – usually with degrees in related fields or with a wealth of experience in the industry. Most importantly, they know the process inside and out. You could say they’re subject matter experts. 

Keeping Your Project on Schedule

Plans runners can serve as your advocate during the permitting process of your renovation. They are able to expedite processes and keep your project on schedule by reviewing your submittal package and facilitate communications and changes needed from all parties involved in the permitting and planning process. 

We always recommend working with a qualified plans runner for your project, especially if time is a concern. Plans runners have been estimated to help reduce up to 40% of the permitting cycle timeline (depending on myriad factors, of course).

When your project requires a number of different permits, it becomes even more valuable to have someone managing all the moving parts of each permit on your behalf. Multiple permits can mean more than one deadline. Missing one of those can delay an entire project.

Every individual permit goes through 5 stages during the course of a project. Every stage has several steps. Including physically filing the paperwork and tracking progress. If your general contractor is responsible for this either they have to be off site themselves or to pull someone else off task to handle it. But time isn’t the only consideration. Knowing the processes well means it’s much easier to stay on top of it. 

Hiring a plans runner as part of your team is a good investment – even just for the peace of mind it can provide you throughout the permitting stage of your renovation. The cost usually pays for itself in avoiding paying any fees or penalties on missed permit deadlines. 

If you have questions or are ready to start the process of your design project give us a call!