Construction Permits in the City of Miami: What You Need to Know

crane-above-construction-sitesYou’re ready to build in Miami: you chose your general contractor, your custom materials, you have your estimated budget ready to go and have your plans all drawn out. There’s only one logistical hurdle left to go, and it’s one that is especially complicated and detail-oriented: obtaining your construction permits.

So how can you ensure your permit application process goes smoothly by completing it correctly the first time around?

panoramic-view-of-the-port-of-miamiThe first thing you need to know is that the Building Department is the entity that enforces codes and regulations governing the construction, alteration, and maintenance of buildings within the City of Miami. The Department offers the opportunity to apply for a building permit online via the iBuildMiami portal, but you will have to go to the City office to pay the appropriate fees.

The preparation for completing the application process does require documentation coordination between the architects, the engineers and, of course, the construction team. If the permit is deemed incomplete, it will delay the processing procedure because it will have to be resubmitted, and this could impact the outcome of your project.

Because of our experience navigating the ‘Permit Run,’ and knowing what it takes to get your project shovel-ready, we thought we’d share a few of the basics:

  • Including a folio number from property tax statement, online or from the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s office
  • Attaching proof of ownership (warranty deed, closing statement or tax receipt) and including contractor and general building information
  • Signing the Instructions to Permit Application
  • Submitting two sets of plans to include (as applicable) site/plot plan, floor plan with location of plumbing and electrical fixtures, mechanical plans elevations, electrical service panel, cross sections of structural walls with details of materials and fasteners, roof framing plan, and energy calculation. The plans will also need a survey less than 180 days old, the project’s wind load requirements, a life safety plan, as well as a fire alarm and fire sprinklers (if applicable)
  • Submitting your permit application and plans at the Permit Counter to obtain a processing number.
  • Paying an up-front permit fee at the Permit Records Section
  • Additionally, the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and the Florida Department of Health stamps of approval may be required
  • License and Insurance up-to-date at the permit granting institution
  • Acquiring a permit allows you to have various Plans Reviewers, each is an expert in their field, to give advice and approve each phase of your project.
  • Building permits are issued in the name of the person(s) performing the work. Only licensed contractors or owners/builders may obtain a permit.
  • The authorized permit holder or his/her designee should make the inspection request after the permit is approved.

After processing is complete and all reviews have been signed off, the permit fee itself must be paid, and the permit card will be issued.

Getting a permit in Miami is no simple feat! As anyone who has built in the City of Miami knows all-too-well, just having the documents in order isn’t enough. There are key points in the plans that the City flags and stops the permit process in your tracks. Your best bet to having a seamless permitting process is to have a general contractor on board that will see the problem before the process begins so you can get it right the first time.

Want to make sure your project gets approved by the city? Contact us; we’d be more than happy to offer you a free consultation on your plans.

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