City Inspections: Navigating the Red Tape

Most people will never venture to the local building department. That’s probably a good thing. At Elite we take on this task very differently. As an example, we have personally sat down with both Plano and Frisco city building officials to review their processes and requirements against our internal processes to ensure we fully understand the needs of each side. By doing this we develop personal and professional relationships with the City officials. This relationship provides the City and our customers the assurance that we follow all codes, conduct our projects professionally and take personal responsibility to ensure your project is designed, constructed and warrantied in a professional manner.

Plan Check. Before a set of blueprints or kitchen or bathroom plans can be used, the building department must review the drawings to insure compliance with our building codes. Elite’s Construction Manager, our Sales & Designer team and outside Architects if required  review the plans for structural design and loads, plumbing, heating, electrical layouts and specifications, and other details in the drawings. We also make sure the plans reflect any new codes. We double check the number of smoke alarms and adequate emergency exits (called “egress”) that may have changed since the house was initially built. If everything is in order, the drawings are approved for construction and submission to the city.

Prior to plan check, we review the drawings and make any adjustments to speed the plan check process. We may contact subcontractors or building materials suppliers for their input before submitting the plans. Such refinements and attention to detail help avoid “red-lining,” or a return of the plans unapproved and marked by the plan checker (in red pen) for necessary changes … thus delaying the remodeling process.

Permitting. A building permit — a required document in most municipalities for almost any construction project — is the document that a building inspector will review and refer to when he or she visits the job site as the project progresses toward completion. The building department will only issue a permit for an approved set of blueprints or plans, and the inspector will rely on the permit and plans on the job site to compare what’s drawn (and approved) to what’s actually being built. It is imperative, then, to submit a complete and comprehensive set of plans for approval and permitting … and then follow those plans to the letter to avoid confusion, questions, and potentially costly compliance issues that can stop the job cold until they are resolved.

Inspections. Inspections at key points of a project’s construction are necessary to make sure the approved plans are being built as drawn. Professional remodeling contractors have a talent for managing their own work crews as well as the many subcontractors and suppliers hired to do the work and keep the project on schedule. A tight schedule, in turn, reliably and accurately pinpoints those key milestones. This allows a timely call to the inspector, with plenty of time to schedule his or her visit and, once on site, review the job progress and approve it to continue.

Other inspections. Increasingly, all types of remodeling projects are focused on green initiatives and energy conservation. Working with the City Inspectors, we can ensure areas of the home that we are remodeling can be brought up to code for insulation, electricial, HVAC, and plumbing areas in a manageable manner.

Warm regards,
John Todd
John Todd
Elite Remodeling
Showroom & Design Center

2930 Preston Road, Suite 980
Frisco, Texas, 75252
(972) 334-9800 – phone
(972) 334-9890 – fax

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