Obtaining a permit for Foundation Repair work has it's struggles with a few of the cities that we perform work in. The main reason being, the cities just aren't educated in the process of repairing a home's foundation. Just like any of us that now know about foundation repair, most of us probably didn't even know it was a thing! But, just like we all have experienced going through this process, the more we are able to educate them the easier the process can be.....Most of the times!
Now this was all before the Covid-19 pandemic hit....At the beginning, just like we were all adjusting and changing and learning what we needed to do as a community, so were the city departments. Some of the cities shut down completely for a few weeks and others started to have employees working from home. Now that we are a few months into this pandemic, most of the cities have adapted pretty similar guidelines.
Here are the main guidelines and adjustments that we are seeing with the cities when it comes to acquiring a permit for a foundation repair project.
- Employees working remotely - Just like most of other positions throughout the USA and world for that matter that can be completed from home are being completed from home. The city's staff has been no different. Now this doesn't mean all of the city employees are working from home, just a few of the ones that can, are.
- Submittal Review Timelines - Most of the cities have had to extend the timeline of the review process of the foundation repair plans and documents. The biggest reason for this is because employees are working remotely, they don't have immediate access to the documents right away. Another reason is that some cities are requiring all submittal documents to "sterilize" for 72 hours before they can access them and review them. This is for each submittal and we typically see at minimum 2 submittals for our foundation repair work.
- Contactless Submittals - Some of the cities have dropped the hard copy submittals all together and have gone to all digital. This actually works very well and can save on time to submit documents, revise documents, and communication. Most of the cities that have adapted this approach have actually cut down on some of the time that was previously allotted for the permitting process.
In all, the cities have adapted pretty well with ensuring us to acquire permits for the foundation repair projects that we do. The timeline for all cities varies and has always varied depending on the size of the city and the workload that is being put on the city's building department. Smaller cities such as Corona, we have been able to get permits recently within 2 weeks and that is with 2 submittals and the 72 hours wait period! Other larger cities such as Los Angeles, the permit timeline can take up to a year. Most of the time we can obtain a permit within 6-9 months, but have had a few permits take longer.
Bottom line, you can still obtain a permit. Yes, the process is different than what it used to be, be the end results are the same.
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