What is the Process of Remodeling Your Home in Cooper City, Florida?

Are you thinking of remodeling your home in Cooper City, Florida? Read on to learn all about the process of house remodeling so you can make a plan.

Building codes have been around since 1758 B.C.

The first building code to ever exist came from King Hammurabi of Babylon. The Hammurabi code was put in place to help encourage builders to create safe structures. The Hammurabi code states that if a builder’s house falls down and kills the residents, the architect too must also be “slain”.

Today, building codes have the same purpose of promoting safety. Even though you own your home, you still have to follow Florida’s building codes. As a result, certain home construction projects will require you to get permission.

This article will help you understand how to apply for a permit and what to do if they reject you. We’ll also explain who you need approval from and the best ways to get it.

Read on to learn about the approval process for your house remodeling project.

When Do I Need a Permit?

Before you seek out a permit, make sure you can afford all of the work you need to be done. Write down a renovation budget to determine what upgrades you’re currently able to afford.

Keep in mind that every community will have different permit rules. Just because your last house didn’t require a permit for certain renovations, doesn’t mean this house will be the same.

In most cases, you can go online to explore your community’s specific permit and inspection requirements. Here are a few home renovation projects that usually require a permit:

  • Taking out the main wall
  • Making new openings for doors/windows
  • Installing a fireplace
  • Installing a new AC or furnace
  • Tall fences
  • New home additions
  • Large demolition projects
  • Installing new electrical wiring
  • Expanding your house
  • Changing your roofline
  • Deck building
  • Major plumbing projects

If the renovations on your house will change its structure, you probably need a permit. If you don’t want to search online, you can call the permit office directly. When you call the office, let them know you want to speak with an inspector.

Many people are afraid to call a permit office because they don’t want to get in trouble. It can help to remember that safety is the number one goal of the permit office.

Take your time asking any questions you have about the permit requirements. The inspectors will be happy to hear you care about doing things properly. Knowing when (or if) you need a permit will save you time and money.

Next, we’ll discuss who will be reviewing your permit request.

Check with Your Neighborhood Association

Depending on where you live in Cooper City Florida, you might need your neighborhood to approve your plans. You’ll want approval from your neighborhood before you submit your permit application.

If you own an apartment home or condo, you’ll have to submit your construction plans to the apartment board. Condominium and apartment board members will want to know every detail of your remodeling project. They will take into account the permits you need, the noise you’ll be creating and the safety of your plans.

Residential homeowners usually need their homeowners’ association to approve renovation plans. Homeowners associations or HOA’s will be happy to approve projects that increase the value of the neighborhood. If your renovations are safe and make your house look better, chances are the HOA will give their stamp of approval.

Having your neighborhood approve your plans is an important first step. Once you have the green light from your neighborhood you can start the process of acquiring your permits.

Next, we’ll discuss who will be reviewing your permit requests.

Who Approves House Remodeling Permits

Once you know the permits you’ll need, you need to request approval.

Keep in mind that every permit or building code guideline originates from the International Building Code (IBC). The purpose of the IBC is to protect your health and safety by creating requirements for home renovation projects.

The Building Department in Cooper City, Florida is responsible for reviewing every permit request. To promote well-being and safety, the permits you submit must follow Florida’s specific building code requirements.

Before your permit receives approval it’ll have to go through the processing requirements.

Let’s move on to discuss what you should do if your permit request doesn’t receive approval.

Acceptions and Rejections Timeline

The Florida Building Code requires cities to review permit requests in a timely manner. The Building Department in Cooper City has to process permits within 30 days after you submit your application.

If your permit application doesn’t pass approval, the Building Department will contact you directly. They will let you know in detail why your application didn’t pass and what corrections you need to make.

If you receive a rejection, you will be able to reapply once you correct every issue. Once again the building department has a maximum of 30 days to review your second application.

If the Building Department approves your application, they will notify you immediately. Upon approval of your plans, the permit becomes ready for issuance. Being ready for issuance means construction can begin on your home.

Now that you know more about the permit process you can begin your application. When you receive approval, you’ll need to find quality contractors to perform the work.

Now we can explain what you should look for when hiring contractors.

Hire Expert Contractors

Finding the right contractor is about more than getting the lowest price. Excellent contractors will operate with integrity and flexibility.

You need a team of experts who can carefully listen to your construction plans and then make them a reality.

Rapid Construction is ready to help with your house remodeling project.
We offer years of experience, excellent customer service and an extensive track record of success.

With our team of hands-on inspectors, you can feel confident about every aspect of your home renovations. We can handle any type of home rehabilitation project you need. Take a moment to look at our gallery to see a few of our past projects.

Are you ready to turn your house into the home of your dreams? If you would like a free quote or have further questions, use our contact page to get in touch.

What is a Build Out? Everything You Need to Know about Commercial Retail Build Outs

What is a Build Out? Everything You Need to Know

What is a build out? If you don’t know anything about retail construction, the build-out process can be difficult. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Your online business has grown and you think now is the time to consider a physical retail space. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) having a brick and mortar location can actually increase your online traffic.

The best way to venture in the physical retail space is to look for a space that is perfect for a build out. What is a build out? Can’t you simply buy a space and move in? Not quite.

We’ve put together a guide to help you get started with your first commercial retail build-out project. We will explain the process timing and some important topics you need to consider.

What is a Build Out?

A lot of commercial real estate buildings begin as a large empty space with not much more than four walls and windows and doors. The space then gets finished to meet a particular business’s needs.

This process of finishing the building is referred to as a “build out” in the commercial real estate development industry.

Tenant and Landlord Negotiations

Before you can begin any build out, you need to have the approval of the landlord or owner of the building. You will need to agree on what improvements will get done to the building.

You need to decide who will pay for the changes. Then which party will take charge of the work getting done. Finally, you will need to know what you are allowed or required to remove on the day you decide to vacate the space.

Before you begin anything, you need to have these details worked out and included in your lease. These agreements need to be in writing so there is no confusion later on.

Landlord Takes Control

If you agree to have the landlord take control of the build out, it makes the process turn-key for you. They will manage the architectural plans and contractors. You will save time and money not having to manage the project yourself.

The downside is that you also may not have any say in the materials or timing. This puts you at the mercy of the landlord.

Tenant Takes Control

Taking over the build out yourself gives you complete control. When you handle the build out you get a say in design, scheduling, and materials used.

Zoning and Permitting

You and landlord now agree on what is going to get done, who is in charge, and who’s paying. Construction can’t start just yet though.

Before any work starts, zoning and permitting approvals need to be obtained. Zoning is how we make sure that certain types of businesses are located in the right areas.

This is why you see property zoned for industrial, commercial, or residential. No one wants to buy a home and end up with a factory next to them.

Permitting approval ensures that future building plans conform to building codes. The codes make sure that structural and safety standards get achieved.

Hire a Professional

You cannot move forward with your project without these approvals. The best thing you can do is hire a professional contractor who has familiarity with the county and city offices.

The permitting process can take months, and that’s knowing the people and the system. Having an experienced contractor will help your project go through the process smoothly. They can inform you of the local regulations because they work with them on a daily basis.

Under Built

Commercial construction can get costly quick and it can get tempting to cut corners on materials. Remember that lower quality materials won’t last and send a message about the quality of your brand.

If you are doing a retail build out, this could undermine the shopping experience for your customers. Your customers may not specifically notice and think about the cheap materials, but they will get an overall impression of the quality.

If you find that the cost of the entire build out is too much consider dividing the project into phases. This lets you ease up on the bottom line without sacrificing quality.

Over Built

It can get tempting to try and achieve all of your dreams in your build out. You need to create an honest list of items you need vsindustry want.

Remember that major changes like structural, plumbing, and flooring will bump up the budget fast. These changes may not be worth it if your lease is only a few years.

The longer your lease is in a space, the more likely you will want to make expensive major changes. Compare the financial investment of the change to the influence that change has on your business.

Hiring a professional contractor can help you create a design suitable for your use and time in the space. This can help you save money by providing suggestions from their experience.


The architect will create plans for you to approve and discuss with the landlord. Once you and the landlord approve, the architect will create the construction documents for permitting.

This process can take two to three months. This is assuming there aren’t many changes to the plans and everyone readily agrees.


The permitting phase can vary greatly depending on your plans and the municipality. A good starting point is four to six weeks.


This phase begins as soon as the contractor obtains permitting approval from the local government entity. The time construction takes depends entirely on the size of your project.

If you have a basic small office build out it can take as little as two to three months. If you have a detailed 15,000 square foot retail build out it can take six months or more to complete.

Finishing and Fixtures

Once the major construction completes, the finishes and fixtures are next. This phase involves installing fans, lighting, or faucets. It can also include installing your retail furniture like shelving or cashier’s area.

This phase typically takes two to three weeks. However, it can take longer if you decide to do a walk through and request additional changes.

Your Commercial Build Out Plan Elements

The build out plan involves more than just where you want to place desks or display shelving. It also includes the technical parts of your space like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.


If you have no experience in building design work, it is well worth it to hire an architect. This will take up about 20% of your budget.

However, it will save you more than that in mistakes and time later on. An architect will give you a design that works and complies with code.

An architect firm will know how to combine both your desired customer experience with building requirements such as ADA requirements.

They will help you utilize existing electrical and plumbing to help save money on the construction phase. Why move the bathroom if you can design the space to work with where it is currently located?


The best way to keep the budget down is to use the existing electrical wiring. This isn’t always possible though.

Maybe the wiring is old and needs replacing. Maybe your business has additional power supply needs such as a hair salon or dog groomer.

Let’s assume you can use the existing wiring, you may need to add on to it. This happens if you want custom “on brand” lighting to highlight your products.

Keep in mind that making major changes to the electrical requires additional permitting. This will add time and cost to your project.


Is there a bathroom in the space? Do you need a bathroom? Can the bathroom stay where it is located?

Before you decide to move the bathroom, see if you can give it a fresh coat of paint and work the rest of your design around it. This will save you a ton on your budget.

If there is no bathroom, how will this affect your business? If it is a retail location, you may not have the option of choosing to not have a bathroom.

With no bathroom, your customers will leave if they require one. Your employees will also have to close the store so they can leave to use one elsewhere.

Another thing to consider is if your buildout is happening in a larger building. When this happens, you may not have a choice of where the bathroom is located.

This happens because the plumbing is already in place for the surrounding retail spaces. Your build out will need to tie into the existing system.

Ceilings and Floors

What you do with the ceiling and floors should be all cosmetic. Hopefully, you negotiated for the landlord to be the one responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the main building elements, including the ceiling and flooring.

Your budget should include the finishing you plan to do on the floor. This could involve varnishing the existing concrete, carpeting, or tiling.


The best way to avoid HVAC costs is to have the landlord take responsibility for this system. You could also agree to pay for it, and then request free or discounted rent in exchange.

The thought process here is that the HVAC system is a major part of the existing building. The landlord would need to maintain it anyway. It is not a specific change to suit your business.

This expense can be relatively small requiring just the upgrade of an AC unit. Or it could be quite expensive requiring replacement of the entire duct work.


A typical retail space will use about 20% of your budget for the display fixtures. The cost of your display is factored by the quality, materials, and space you are going to outfit.

Using a common wood will be a cheaper option than a rarer wood like Brazilian teak. A simple square or rectangle space will be cheaper than a space with lots of corners and bends.

It will take more time and materials to custom build your display fixtures to fit around the unique shapes of the space. This is where a professional can help save you money.

They can make sure your space has a creative design to work with the shape. This will reduce the amount of effort needed to create the fixtures.


When you get to the painting stage it means you are almost done with the project! When it comes to painting, flat will be cheaper than going with a semi-gloss. The darker the color you choose, the more coats it will take to make it look even and good.

Start Your Build Out Process

By now you should have a good idea about what is a build out. The best thing you can do is enlist the help of a professional to set a budget. Once you have a number, you can start to look for spaces that suit your needs.

Look for retail spaces that are already zoned for your particular use. This will narrow down your search.

Once you find a potential space, discuss with the landlord any potential changes you wish to make. You’ll want to negotiate with the landlord to help save you money by having the landlord take responsibility for at least a portion of the changes.

If you intend to make major construction and structural changes then your best option is to hire an architect. They will guide you through the design process so your build out complies with the local codes.

After you have a design everyone agrees on, it’s time for permitting. The permits are your contractor’s ticket to start work.

After the construction, the final touches will get done. Then the only thing left is for you to move your business in and open your doors for business.

We’ve made the process sound rather quick but remember that it can take several months for completion. You will also want to pad your budget and schedule for any unforeseen problems.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed about? That’s ok, let us guide you through the process.