Any new construction project, whether it’s a quick remodel or a new build, will need a plan to get it off the ground. Budgets, timelines, materials, and blueprints will all be parts of the plan, as will working with the local government. No matter how big or small the project is, you’ll most likely need some sort of permit at the very least.

Cutting through the red tape isn’t always as easy or straightforward as you might think. There can be some back and forth involved, and if you’re not careful to dot your i’s and cross your t’s the project can come to an abrupt stop.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to local government and construction is, the bigger the project, the more the government will be involved. If you’re just remodeling a few offices or adding a new break room, you’ll probably just need a few permits to make sure everything is up to code. On the other hand, if you’re building something from scratch on a new lot, it won’t be that simple.

Anytime you’re building a new lot, there are several questions the local government will want answered before they give you the green light.

  • How will this affect the adjacent and adjoining properties?
  • Is the lot zoned for your intended use?
  • Does the project need a variance or conditional use permit for the desired location?
  • What are the height requirements?
  • Are fire suppression systems needed?
  • Does the city need to do a traffic study?

The best way to work with local governments on construction projects is to plan ahead and be as transparent as possible. Getting approved for permits and scheduling inspections can take some time, so an experienced contractor will plan ahead and budget for these delays in the timeline.

Trying to pull one over or slip a code violation by the inspectors is never a good idea. The inspectors will eventually catch it, and it could end up costing the project more time and materials to remedy the situation. Being transparent and honest is always in your best interest.

At Cowen Construction, we have more than 100 years of experience working with, and at times even for, local governments. We have long-standing relationships with the various local government bodies involved in new construction projects.