Construction planning tools

Construction Project Approval Process

Why You Should Begin Planning Now for Your Commercial Construction Project

Spring and summer are often a busy time for the construction industry.  This is the time that you don’t have to worry about construction delays due to weather or extra costs associated with winter conditions.  If you’re considering constructing a new building or renovating an existing site in the spring, start planning now.  Whether you’re building new or renovating, now is the perfect time to start planning your construction project.  If you wait until spring to begin the process, there is a good chance your project won’t start until the end of summer.

The approval process for commercial construction projects takes time.  It’s not as simple as filling out an application and waiting for the stamped approval.  That may have worked 25-30 years ago, but today the process is more involved and it can take 3-6 months or more before your project is shovel ready.  Your local jurisdiction most likely will require approvals from several departments, such as zoning, planning and building departments.  Your project might go through several reviews before receiving final approvals.

Select your project team early on in the planning phase.  This way your team can begin working together to get your project through all the required approvals.

Here are the pre-construction steps that you will need to complete:

Step 1

Project Drawings – Secure a professional right away to begin working on the design and concept of your project.  Allow several weeks to complete drawings.  Ensure that your drawings are sealed by a license professional prior to submitting them to your local jurisdiction for review.

Step 2

Site Plan Approval – This process varies by jurisdiction and can take several months.  It can go through several rounds of reviews prior to final approval. Click here for more information on site plan approval process.

Step 3

Zoning Compliance – Your project will need zoning approval from the regulating jurisdiction. The jurisdiction will review your project to ensure it meets the required zoning regulation.  You may be required to apply for a variance if it is not in compliance or plan revisions may be necessary to meet the standard.

Step 4

Building Permit – Once you received zoning compliance and site plan approval, you’re ready to apply for a permit.  It can take 2-4 weeks to receive your building permit.  Depending on your local jurisdiction, you may be able to follow the approval process and access your permit through their website.  Click here for more information on obtaining building permits. 

Step 5

Financing – If needed, begin securing financing right away.  You can begin this process simultaneously with the approval processes listed above, however, this is the final step before you’ll be able to bbreak ground.  Click here for more information on financing your project.

Whether you’re hoping to build in the spring, summer, fall or winter, you should start the planning process of your construction project 6-9 months prior to the time you would like for it to begin.  Each County, City and/or Township have different requirements and review times.  It is best to contact your local jurisdiction to determine the approximate time it will take to receive approval.  Always allow more time than what is recommended.  The approval process can seem like a daunting task, selecting an experienced team of professionals can help guide you through the process effectively.

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