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Why Florida Construction Business Owners Turn Towards Private Providers During Hurricane Season

Updated: Jun 12


Why contractors use private providers during hurricanes

Why Florida Construction Business Owners Turn Towards Private Providers During Hurricane Season


Florida's hurricane season presents unique challenges to the construction industry. From June to November, construction projects are vulnerable to delays due to severe weather conditions. In this period, timely completion of projects becomes paramount, making efficient and rapid inspection and permitting processes more critical than ever. This is where private providers like Freedom Code Compliance come into play, offering a reliable alternative to traditional government-run services. This blog delves into why Florida construction business owners increasingly rely on private providers during hurricane season.


The Urgency of Hurricane Season


When a hurricane hits, building departments are overwhelmed with permit submissions and inspection requests. Contractors and homeowners need urgency from the building department to make sure that they can limit losses due to hurricane damage. Florida Contractors and homeowners, therefore, look towards solutions that can streamline the necessary processes to respond to hurricanes while minimizing interference from the building department.


Private Providers: Speed and Efficiency


Private Providers in Florida are licensed entities that perform roles such as plan reviews and virtual inspections, which are traditionally handled by local government building departments. Implementing FL 553.791, the state law that governs the use of Private Providers, has empowered contractors by offering an alternative that expedites the construction process, which is crucial during the unpredictable hurricane season.


Key Advantages During Hurricane Season


  1. Rapid Permit Issuance: The law mandates that when a Private Provider performs plan review, and if a local building department does not act on a permit application within 20 business days, the permit must be issued on the 21st day. This provision ensures that projects are not held up by bureaucratic delays, which is particularly valuable after a Hurricane has caused an influx of work in a given market.

  2. Efficient Plan Reviews: By shifting the responsibility of plan reviews from the building department to Private Providers, the permit application process bypasses lengthy municipal reviews. This means projects can move forward without waiting for local government processing, which can be delayed during emergencies or staff shortages caused by a hurricane. Municipalities still perform Zoning, Fire, and Public Works (health department) reviews on all permits, but they are required to adhere to strict timelines when a Private Provider has performed Building, Mechanical, Electrical and Ol.

  3. Virtual InspectionsFreedom Code Compliance specializes in performing inspections virtually and is one of a small number of Private Providers in Florida that has software systems and processes for doing so. This allows for contractors to receive inspection results in minutes rather than days. When a Private Provider is added to a permit to perform inspections, the building department is prohibited from performing inspections that should be performed by the private provider. The municipality can only perform reviews and inspections related to zoning, fire, and public works.

  4. Timely Project Closure: State law requires that after a final inspection and submission of a Certificate of Compliance by a Private Provider, the building department must close the permit and issue a Certificate of Completion or Certificate of Occupancy within 2 days for residential permits or 10 days for commercial permits. This swift closure allows for contractors to be paid faster, real estate transactions to be processed, and insurance to be issued to homeowners. Contractors can save significantly by receiving thorough and rapid final inspection approvals from a private provider.


Flexibility and Control


The flexibility offered by Private Providers is a significant factor in their favor. Virtual inspections and the ability to submit documentation online reduce the need for in-person visits, which can be difficult to coordinate during inclement weather. This flexibility gives contractors better control over project timelines, reducing the risk of hurricane-related delays.


Navigating Legal and Practical Challenges


While the advantages are clear, contractors must be adept in navigating these legalities. It is crucial to ensure that the chosen Private Provider is fully compliant with state regulations and capable of handling the increased demands during hurricane season. That is why Freedom Code Compliance is your trusted Private Provider. To maintain smooth operations and compliance, contractors should stay informed about any updates to FL 553.791 and related statutes. But don't worry; we will do this for you!


Conclusion


Integrating Private Providers under FL 553.791 represents a significant evolution in Florida’s construction industry, especially during hurricane season. These providers offer faster and more flexible processes that are essential when operating in the chaotic conditions that hurricanes bring. For Florida construction business owners, understanding and utilizing the services of reputable Private Providers like Freedom Code Compliance is not just about improving efficiency; it's a strategic decision to protect their investments and ensure the safety and timely completion of their projects against nature’s uncertainties.



 


Citations:


Florida Senate Website on Private Providers & FL 553.791:


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