May 19, 2024


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Understand Your Local Building Code Before You Build

Before any construction project can begin, there is one factor that every builder has to be familiar with: local building codes. The city of Minneapolis issues permits for construction in order to ensure that all work is done in compliance with national and international standards, so that buildings where you work, live and play are safe.

Many commercial developers rely on the expertise and knowledge of a licensed commercial contractor to assist in making sure that any building will be in compliance with Minneapolis building codes. Typically, a developer’s focus is on preparing the site for construction by installing road access, ensuring proper drainage, and surveying. Whereas, the commercial contractor performs the construction and is therefore closely involved with ensuring code compliance.

Some Facts about the Permitting Process in Minneapolis

1. Licensed contractors are required by law for certain types of permit work. It is unlawful to knowingly enter into a contract with an unlicensed contractor in these situations. Please check with the Minneapolis Licenses and Consumer Services Division at (612) 673-2080 for information regarding the specific situation.

2. You may be able to schedule an appointment for a commercial plan review with a commercial plan reviewer if your project meets certain requirements. Check with Minneapolis Development Review at (612) 673-5839. If your commercial project is not yet to the point where you’re ready to apply for a permit, you may also be able to schedule a preliminary commercial plan review.

3. Each type of permit has unique licensing requirements. Many projects require more than one permit. Your commercial contractor should be able to help you determine what permits you need.

4. Minneapolis requires that when using a contractor for commercial construction, the contractor gets the permit on the developer’s behalf.

5. Sometimes a site plan, a zoning site review, and/or an inspections plan review are required before a permit can be issued.

6. Each type of permit has its own fee and is based on the value of the work being performed.

7. You usually have one year from the date when the permit was issued to complete alterations, repairs, or exterior remodeling. If you don’t complete the work on time, you can be assessed a financial penalty. Extensions to permits can be granted according to the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances.

Remember, permitting is only one aspect of making sure your commercial construction project is code-compliant. The inspection process is equally important. Your licensed Minneapolis commercial contractor should make sure that the project is completely ready before scheduling the inspection. The first inspection is covered by your permit fee, but there may be a need for additional inspections depending on the project, so an additional fee may apply.

Because every project and every municipality are different, being familiar with the necessary steps to bring your commercial building into code compliance is absolutely vital. Always work with a licensed and experienced Minneapolis commercial contractor to save you money and headaches in the long run.