Permitting your project

By Carter Shackelford, C.P.B.D.

We have all heard the saying “Time is Money”, and yet too few of us ever put an actual dollar value on our own time. For architects and designers, time is best spent “on the boards” creating the homes and buildings of their clients. Builders need to be on their jobsites, verifying workmanship, checking material stocks, and keeping their job on schedule. And of course, homeowners have their own full time jobs and families to attend to.

And yet, all of these participants in the building process at one point or another will have to deal with the City, County, or municipality that they’re building in for permits, inspections, clearances, variances, and all of the minutiae that will be required before and after their construction project begins.

This is why many homeowners and builders are turning to Permitting and Construction Management Services that specialize in reducing the time, expense, and aggravation of satisfying the City and keeping your project moving forward.

Permitting Services: Saving you and your Clients valuable time

Different projects require different numbers of plan sets to be submitted, some require the stamp of a registered architect, certified designer or licensed engineer, and supporting documents like surveys and topography maps are increasingly becoming mandatory for even the smallest of projects. And with the relatively new McMansion Ordinance (formally known as Subchapter F: Residential Design and Compatibility Standards) now wreaking havoc on designers, builders, developers and homeowners alike, the time has come for everyone in the design /build industry to look to companies that can handle this vital step in the process for them.

Americans use CPA’s or tax prep firms every year to prepare their taxes because they’ve found that hiring a professional who deals with the IRS on a day-to-day basis saves them time and money (and stress). If you are a homeowner or builder, do you really have time to take off of work and fill out pages of complicated forms, then wait a couple hours in line at the City, only to learn that you are missing something and will have to come back another day and start all over again?

In most cases, the answer is no. But despite this fact, people do it everyday and take themselves away from the part of their jobs where they can help themselves or their companies make the most money. Hiring a permit service specialist can eliminate this negative impact on your “Time is Money” equation and streamline your path to permitting and building your project.

Construction Expediting & Management Services: Getting you back on schedule

Quality Construction Expediting and Management is the most vital and yet, most commonly overlooked component of a successful building process. Having someone on your team that knows and understands the complexities of construction scheduling, as well as the players, the politics, and the hierarchy down at the City can speed up approvals and get you out of jams that could otherwise shut down a job.

On one job I recently conducted Expediting and Management Services for, there were plans that needed to be reviewed by a Watershed Protection official and an Austin Water Utility official, then corrected by a civil engineer, then reproduced at a print shop, then redelivered to Watershed Protection and Austin Water Utility. I got word that the plans were approved, drove downtown to pick up the plans, and dropped them off at another location for City of Austin approval. After that, the engineer needed to be reminded to go down to the City and make his approved formal changes to the Master “red stamped” Plans. Then, the inspector was notified that he could come back out and sign-off on the once troublesome portion of the job, and we got everything back on schedule.

The contractor already had his hands full with other elements of that job, plus the three other projects he was concurrently building, and by leaving this to me, he admitted that we saved him weeks of time and incalculable amounts of money. Plus, by freeing his time and mind of this issue, he was able to focus on the things he could continue to do to keep things moving forward.

Custom Design Services can provide you with BOTH of these services

Construction is a budget and time sensitive business. Builders and homeowners alike know that nothing eats up your budget like delays, do-overs, and excessive overhead costs. For homeowners, a good construction manager can be your liaison between you and the contractor (keeping you from entering into all-to-common disputes and arguments) and be your eyes and ears on the jobsite. Similarly, if your construction company cannot afford to hire another full time construction supervisor, but feel like you are being stretched too thin to do it all yourself, consider using our Construction Management & Expediting services as you need them to help get over those sticky spots during the job and keep things moving forward on schedule and on (or under!) budget.

We would love to talk with you more about how we can help if you are a homeowner with a current or future project, or a builder who needs to delegate some of these tedious tasks. Come by the Austin Green Living Expo, visit our new office or just give us a call!