How Long Does It Take?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, so when prospective clients come to me with hopes of starting construction in only a matter of 2 or 3 months, I always feel a bit of pain.

For those of you who don’t work in or around architecture, engineering, or construction, it seems like designing a small addition, or a remodeling project shouldn’t take that long, and then you should be able to start construction, right?

With a deep sigh and a pained expression, I have to tell you that in the San Francisco Bay Area, project schedules for even small projects can take 6 to 9 months to design, document and get a permit. In San Francisco, small projects are currently averaging 8 months to get a permit.

With architects, engineers, and contractors all working madly in a very hot market, it takes a while to get onto each of our calendars. It takes a bit longer for projects to go through design and documentation, it takes longer to get a permit.

Most small and simple projects right now are taking between 9 and 12 months from start of design to issuing a permit for construction. 18 months from start to finish is not unusual. If your project is larger or complex, it can take quite a bit longer.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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