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Cost Guide | Hiring a Building Permit Expediter

Last Updated: December 28, 2023

If you're ready to get a building project off the ground, whether it be a new home, a remodeling, an addition, or any other work that requires a permit, you're probably well aware of the bureaucratic headache that awaits you.

One way to lessen the pain of applying for and securing a building permit is to use a building permit service, sometimes referred to as a building permit expediter.

How Much Does a Building Permit Service Cost? #

Hiring a permit expeditor service to obtain building permits costs $200 to $1,000 on average depending on the project scope. Here's a typical price breakdown:

Permit Expediting Fees

  • Minor residential project: $200 - $400 e.g. electrical/plumbing permits
  • Major addition/remodel: $500 - $1,000 e.g. large home expansions
  • Commercial project: $800 - $5,000+ e.g. office, retail builds

Permit Filing Costs

  • Residential: $100 - $500 per permit
  • Commercial: $300 - $1,000+ per permit

Other Charges

  • Rush processing fee: $100 - $500
  • Revisions/resubmittals: $50 - $200 each
  • Meetings/hearings: $75 - $150 per hour

So for a major home remodel needing 5 permits, hiring an expediter may cost $2,000 - $4,000+ in total. Their expertise saves homeowners/contractors time and ensures permit approval.

Building Permit Service Cost

Real-World Building Permit Service Costs #

  • "I hired a permit expediter to obtain all the necessary permits for my major 2-story home addition. With filing fees it was $1,850 total." - Janet D., Ohio

  • "When I converted my garage into a video studio, the permit service handled all the research, applications, plan reviews and approvals for $750." - Mark F., Illinois

  • "For my food truck business, a permit pro took care of obtaining my commercial vehicle permits, licensing, and health department certificates for $1,300." - Jessica N., Indiana

  • "I used an expediter when opening my small retail store. They compiled all paperwork, attended hearings, coordinated inspections, and secured my business permits for $2,500." - Robert T., Maine

  • "To install a pool and pool house addition, I hired an expeditor to get my zoning variance approved and acquire all building permits. It cost $3,900 including fees." - Sarah K., Oregon

What to Expect From Building Permit Services #

One New York City expediter notes that she spends an average of two hours each day waiting in line. "I know what forms you need, and if you don't have them you're going to the back of the line and another week will go by," she says.

You certainly have better things to do with your time than be jerked around by administrative nitpicking.

And while each building permit service differs slightly in what it offers, you can generally expect an expediter to do the following:

  • Make inquiries to government agencies and determine what is required for a project.
  • Submit necessary documents to agencies for review.
  • Regularly perform status checks until plans are approved or corrections are specified.
  • Make corrections if needed and submit them to client/architect for approval, and then resubmit to each appropriate agency.
  • Perform follow-ups as needed until plans are approved and provide client with status reports.
  • Gather all paperwork for the final sign-off, which is the end of the approval process.

Is a Building Permit Service Worth It? #

Hiring a permit expediter service has several benefits that can make it well worth the cost for major construction projects:

  • Saves Time - Permit pros handle the entire application and approval process that can take homeowners/contractors weeks or months.

  • Expertise Navigating Process - Expediters know specific permit agency requirements, city codes and the intricacies of the review and approval procedure.

  • Faster Approval - Their working relationships with agency staff and knowledge of building codes often allows faster turnaround.

  • Avoid Rejection Headaches - They ensure all i's are dotted and t's crossed on permits to prevent application rejections or delays.

  • Meeting Attendance - Expediters can represent you at permit hearings and meetings to explain proposals and gain timely approvals.

For most major residential renovations or commercial builds, the time and stress savings are well worth permit service fees. Just be sure to use an established agency with licensed contractors on staff.

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