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Rising Material Prices and Shortages During Busy Season: 4 Ways E-Permitting Helps Local Governments Encourage Homeowners to Build

June 17, 2021

As the busy season begins, local governments are expecting more homeowners to start building – decks, DIY renovations, putting in a pool – you name it, more projects happen in the summer.  

More projects mean more permits.  

So, how do rising material prices and shortages factor into summer’s busy building season?

They make construction potentially less appealing for homeowners –maybe they will want to delay projects to next summer when lumber prices have hopefully decreased (though projections estimate a return to normal in 2023) or consider adding a new painting to their home instead of a deck to cope with boredom during COVID-19 restrictions or check off a weekend warrior project.  

What can local governments do to encourage reluctant homeowners to build?  

Give them one less barrier by making the permit experience as smooth, easy, and simple as possible.

How? Show them you value their time, money, convenience, and safety.

Let’s go through four ways e-permitting helps local governments encourage homeowners to build during a busy season with rising material prices and shortages.

1. Get Permits Issued Quickly for Faster Builds  

2. Cut Travel and Printing Costs  

3. Make Processes Easier Online Than Paper-Based Alternatives  

4. Provide a Safer Way to Do Permits

1. Get Permits Issued Quickly for Faster Builds

The amount of time permit issuance takes can be a deterrent for homeowners and applicants looking to build, especially for builders with options, when permit issuance can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years.  

When a builder is faced with the option to build somewhere with slow or fast permit issuance, the choice is a no-brainer, so encourage homeowners and builders to build in your area with simple and online permitting processes.  

E-permitting speeds up permit issuance since all permit information, from storage to communication, is in one digital place. No more lost files in a filing cabinet or trying to reach a contractor on the phone to ask a question – all information is easy to find.

Online permitting processes are a huge advantage for local governments, homeowners, applicants, and builders because permits are issued 80% faster with Cloudpermit than paper-based systems.  

Faster permit issuance also helps local governments communicate to its community that their time is valued.

2. Cut Travel and Printing Costs

E-permitting cuts printing and travel costs for homeowners and applicants since they can do everything they need to do from the comfort of their own home. They do not need to go to the office to submit a permit application or update a drawing since everything can be done from their laptop, phone, or other digital devices.  

No travel to the office means money does not need to be spent on gas or transportation going back and forth to the government office.  

It also eliminates printing costs since everything is done online.  

Cutting travel and printing costs also saves another valuable currency as a result – time.

3. Make Processes Easier Online Than Paper-Based Alternatives

Let’s face it, paper-based permit processes can be very confusing for homeowners and applicants.  

From thinking their incomplete permit application is complete, being unable to find a time when an inspector can perform an inspection, or information becoming lost in translation between multiple phone calls and people, applying for a permit can be complicated.  

E-permitting prevents the problems and headaches paper brings.  

Cloudpermit ensures an applicant’s application is complete before they can submit it, and if they miss a section, it shows them where something is missing.  

It also gives applicants an easy way to request inspections online. They can pick the time frame and day that works best for them, so no more going back and forth to find a time that makes sense with their schedule.  

Information does not get lost with Cloudpermit – it is all online in one place.  

What happens if a staff member goes on summer vacation, but they were the only person who knew the latest changes to the plan? That is only a problem with paper-based or on-premises systems, but not with Cloudpermit since department staff can access the needed information online.  

Simply put, online permitting processes are easier and more convenient than paper-based processes.

4. Provide a Safer Way to Do Permits

The ongoing pandemic intensified the digital push over the past several years as citizens demanded, and needed, a way to live their lives from their own four walls.  

In the construction sector, this meant local governments were forced to find alternative ways to keep permits going in and out of the office. The answer for many, and still is, fillable PDFs, physical drop boxes with quarantine periods, and an endless stream of emails clogging everyone's inbox.  

The answer for the best-prepared governments is e-permitting. When homeowners and applicants want to limit their exposure or restrictions prevent them from visiting the office, they can do everything from home.  

There is a safe option for them to apply for a permit, request an inspection, communicate, pay, and receive their issued permit, and it all happens with e-permitting, online.

By showing homeowners and applicants that as a local government, you care about their time, money, convenience, and safety, you will be sure to have a lucrative busy season, no matter what material shortages and high costs we currently face.

To speak with one of our team members, book a demo.

We’d love to talk with you about how we value your time, money, convenience, and safety, so you can communicate the same to your community.