Construction Law

Everything You Need to Know About Permitting Issues at Construction Sites featured image

Everything You Need to Know About Permitting Issues at Construction Sites

In the construction business, getting permits is an essential part of any work that is done. There are certain construction projects that companies are legally required to get permits for before beginning any work. A construction company that cannot effectively manage its permits will not be able to do much work in the construction industry since it risks major fines and losing its license for repeated violations or regulations. In this editorial, a Denver construction litigation lawyer discusses everything you need to know about permitting issues at construction sites.

Related: An Overview of Building Permits

No Permit and Insurance Coverage

Construction companies carry insurance to cover any potential issues that they have during construction projects. If work is done without getting the appropriate permit, the insurance company may not cover any of the work that is done. Permits are designed to make sure that there is oversight of construction projects and that contractors doing the work are able to do it safely and according to regulations. Insurance companies rely on this review process and can refuse to offer coverage if contractors failed to take the appropriate steps before doing work.

Not having insurance coverage is one of the biggest liabilities that construction companies face. The potential liability for damages is enough to shut down most construction companies after a single accident. To make sure that your company is covered by insurance, make sure that you obtain the proper permits for any work that you plan to do.

Not Up to Code

When applying for a permit, most permitting authorities required construction companies to submit a proposal for the work that they are planning to do. This step is designed to let the agency review the work that is going to be done to make sure that it is up to code.

Building codes make sure that construction work will meet a reasonable degree of safety. Any company performing work that has not been permitted is essentially skipping the step that makes sure the work they plan to do is safe.

Doing work without a permit means that there is a higher chance that it will not be up to code. This creates problems for construction companies, subcontractors, and property owners. If work is inspected and the inspector finds out that there is not a permit for that work, everyone involved may face fines or other legal issues.

Related: Cutting Through the Red Tape of Project Permitting

Ignorance is Not a Defense

Construction companies are responsible for knowing what work they do needs to be permitted and what work does not. Ignorance is not a defense under the law. This means that not knowing that specific types of work needed to be permitted will not absolve you of liability.

Companies have tried the ignorance defense before with poor results. The government's stance on this is that if you are doing the work, then your company is responsible for knowing the details of that work, including if it needs to have a permit.

It Doesn’t Need to Be Complicated

Getting a permit does not need to be complicated. Most municipalities make acquiring permits for construction projects easy. You just have to follow the processes that they created. Most construction companies have project managers or an administrator whose primary job is to get permits for different projects.

Where most construction companies run into trouble is waiting too long before submitting the paperwork for the permits. For a permit to be valid, it needs to be acquired before the work begins. Some construction companies experience problems because they set a date to start construction but do not acquire the permit before then. To resolve this problem, submit paperwork for the permit as soon as possible and avoid setting dates for work until you have acquired the permit. This way, you will not have to worry about the permit arriving on time.

Different Types of Permits

There are different types of permits needed for construction projects. Which type of permit you’ll need depends on the type of construction you are doing and the location of your construction project. Every municipality has permit regulations that may differ from other areas. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have all of the right permits for your project.

You can usually get construction permits from the development office or the agency that regulates construction in the area. You can also ask that agency or a Denver construction lawyer about what permits you need for your project.The different types of permits focus on the different types of construction and differences in safety regulations. For example, a building permit gives you permission to start construction on a new facility. The regulating agency conducts a series of reviews to make sure that everything is fair for your project. This includes reviewing the building plans, the construction site, and any relevant documentation regarding safety and security measures for the project.

Once construction is finished, you’ll have to file for several permits before the finished building can go into use. These include an occupancy permit to ensure that the building meets safety and security standards. To get the permits, the building has to be inspected for safety systems and other precautionary measures. Dealing with permits can be a bit confusing if you are not familiar with legal processes. However, you can always have a Denver contractor lawyer help you with the permitting process. If you have any questions about permits for construction projects, contact one of our Denver construction lawyers from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.

If you would like to speak with a construction litigation attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.