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Posts tagged: Product Approval

Manufacturers and Contractors Beware!

Permt_Source_Welcome_ to_South_FloridaWe constantly get calls from manufacturers and out-of-state building contractors interested in expanding into the South Florida area to sell building products and materials, or in the case of contractors, wanting to offer construction services. The conversation always involves the question of what the building permitting process is like in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. The simple answer is that it can be very complex depending on what you want to have permitted.

Over the past ten years we have had at at least a dozen Clients, the majority being building contractors, that set-up offices in the area without doing their due diligence on the viability of  their contracting business, and the impact that the building permit process would have on the success of their business. They have all since closed their doors. Some purchased the rights to sell a construction product in the State not realizing that the product had State of Florida product approval, but was not approved for use in the high velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ) area of South Florida.

I highly recommend that manufacturers of building products, and building contractors do their home work on the permitting process in Florida, and especially the South Florida area. Review the Florida Building Code and become familiar with those sections referring the the high velocity hurricane zone. I would also recommend that you become familiar with the local Codes and Ordinances of the Counties and Cities you want to target for sales. They can be very different. Even some experienced and seasoned local contractors refuse to do work in some Cities and Counties because of the tedious, time consuming and aggravating  process of getting a building permit issued.

Feel free to call us if you have questions about the building permitting process in South Florida. Specifically, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. We may not have all the answers, put we can point you in the right direction.

Hurricane Protection Permitting

Hurricane_Wind_Load_ChartThe hurricane seasons over the past couple of years have been pretty quite here in South Florida and another season is slowly approaching. Will this be the year that we get hit? Nobody knows but it is best to be prepared. If your home doesn’t have any form of hurricane protection, you might want to consider making the investment. Now is a good time. Prices are low and it is a very competitive market. Please visit our Helpful Links page for a list of contractors.

If you are a “do it yourself” type of person, you may need a little help with the permitting, and Permit Source, Inc. offers home owner’s assistant in preparing your permit package to submit to the building department. We make sure that you have all the proper Product Approvals/Notice of Acceptances, and that the forms, tables and charts are completed properly. If your building department requires elevations and detailed floor plans we can perform a site survey and prepare the required drawings. No mater what you are planning to do; hurricane panels, hurricane shutters or impact windows, when can assist you.

Product Approval vs. Notice of Acceptance

Notice_of_Acceptance_NOA_Product_Approval-

Many contractors, as well as, homeowners, think that these two documents are interchangeable. They are not! Permit Source has had Clients, and the key word here is had, that looked at South Florida as a cash cow based on using the Product Approval document issued by the State of Florida. Basically, they did not do their homework.

The State issued Product Approval indicates that a product is approved for use as a construction material within the State of Florida. But! That approval does not mean that it can be used in a high velocity hurricane zone. There may be an exclusion in that approval that indicates that it is not approved for use in those areas. Those areas just happen to be Miami-Dade, Broward and parts of Palm Beach County.

The Miami-Dade issued Notice of Acceptance, or N.O.A., is specific to the high velocity hurricane zones. You can use and submit the State of Florida Product Approvals but you need to be extra careful that you make sure the product is approved for use in a high velocity hurricane zone. For anyone out side of those areas you can go to Florida Building Code On Line and download the State issued Product Approvals.

For anyone lucky enough to be in the high velocity hurricane zone you can go to Miami-Dade Product Control to download the N.O.A.’s you need. When I say lucky, I am not being facetious! These code requirements will prevent the catastrophic damage that was seen during hurricane Andrew and Katrina.

All these links, as well as, additional resources are available on the Permit Source website and you are free to comment and ask questions on our blog.