Author Archives: permitxpress

Restaurant Permit in Hungtington Beach, CA (Case Study)

Our permit company wants to help you and your restaurant succeed!  Through the years while dealing with various city, we understand the permitting process and able to obtain permits for our clients in a timely manner.  Here is a case study based on our findings in the City of Huntington Beach; In order for the restaurant to serve alcohol, the City will require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) which can take 4 or 5 months to complete.  The project must go through a hearing process once the City has notified the nearby residents and occupants in the vicinity.   This review process could be lengthy where the City will provide a discretionary review whether it makes sense to grant the business an approval for alcohol sale especially for the benefits of the community.  The Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) will then require a CUP approval from the City before allowing serving of alcohol.   However, we would suggest first getting a permit to open the restaurant while working on the alcohol license concurrently.  Usually that would be the preferred option other restaurants have pursued in our experience.  This way, it saves the owners time and enabled them to get the business up and running in 30 to 60 days once the construction plans are submitted to the City.  The expedited process is called Plan Review without alcohol use.   Though as sometimes it may seem that the parking won’t be an issue but the City want to see proof that an adequate parking will be provided for the proposed use.  A parking analysis will need to done for the entire building showing all tenants and square footage for each space as well identification of their uses.  That way, the City will be able to determine if in fact adding a restaurant would not have an issue with parking.  Per the City’s code, it indicated as following;

Eating and Drinking Establishments

with less than 12 seats:  1 per 200 sq. ft.
with more than 12 seats:   1 per 60 sq. ft. or 1 per 100 sq. ft. when on a site with 3 or more uses

Secondly, as part of opening up a new restaurant, all food facilities must go through a plan check & review with Orange County Environmental Health independent from the City in order to ensure the establishment will be constructed according to the Health design guidelines for food safety and risk free for all employees and guests.  This process runs simultaneously when City provides its review although at some occasions the City would require an approval from Health department before signing off the plans.  While permitting the restaurant, it is advisable to have a menu in place because that is something Health department will want to see as part of the requirements.   Our permit expediter had consult with multiple departments;

Planning Department
Building Division
Health Department
Alcohol Beverage Control

Our permit company has some useful information about the permitting process and design requirements set forth by the agency.  Now that we have gathered all the information you need to begin the review process,  the next step to design the space to your liking and prepare construction documents for submission.

Need help with getting permits for your restaurant? Please fill out the form below or call our permit office (855) 785-5737.


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Hiring a Permit Expediter?

Here are what we do day in and day out to help our counterpart conquer the world of bureaucracy;

We, the Permit Expediters, are someone who decreases the amount of time and effort required to complete a task at hand. When the assignment is to obtain a building permit in any given City there is much difficulty associated with this as it is a long and complicated process. Expediters are regularly utilized by building and construction companies in Orange County and Los Angeles due to this reason and have been deemed invaluable by most professionals in the industry. There is a great amount of red tape associated with the permitting process that it is barely worth the time of a construction company or business owners to attempt to acquire one on their own, therefore many have resorted to partnering with us to improve their turnaround time on projects while keeping costs as low as possible.

The foremost benefit of working with a permit expediter is that we understand exactly how to obtain a permit for each specific situation. These applications can vary greatly across jurisdictions and are tailored for each zoning requirement.  No Cities are the same. If there is anything wrong or incomplete with the application the entire process will have to be started again from scratch which is a huge waste of time and resources. Experienced expeditors will know precisely what to fill out and have their staff review the entire application before submitting this to the planning department or building & safety department for approvals. Most companies have found that only frustrations and wasted time and money will result if they pursue the permits on their own as that is not their priority. The process is constantly evolving and local expediters make it their responsibility to stay on top of zoning and building code changes to avoid any missteps in the progression.

The amount of time required to have a permit approved on your own can seriously set back projects and cause deadlines to not be met. The expediting services have all of the right connections and can get a permit approved faster than anyone who has to follow each and every step made available to the public. The firms will even track the progress of the permit and deliver it to the job site when it is complete eliminating any waste of time. The largest setback experienced by contractors and our past business owners is when there are simple mistakes in the application and they have to take a few steps back wasting days on average. Businesses can’t afford this time so getting it right the first time has proven invaluable in the pursuit of building permits.

You can schedule a meeting with a permit specialist and learn about why using an expediter for obtaining building and construction permits from a reputable resource with years of experience as a go-to person when it comes to getting a permit approved through the city is an invaluable person in your team.  We have been helping our clients obtain permits for years and have established the reputation as a leader in the industry.

Leasing Space

Looking for a Space for Lease in Orange County / Los Angeles

Whether you are starting a new business or looking to expand the existing one,  you will need to look for the right location and adequate space that will suit your needs. One of the biggest expenses in your budget is your rent, so it is important to shop around for the best space for leasing and do your due diligence beforehand.  Once you sign the lease and settle into a space, it won’t be so easy to relocate. 

Here are a few points to consider before leasing a space:

  • Decide how much space you need.  Start small if possible more spaces usually mean more money out of your pocket.
  • Look in the right area- Find a space in the strong demographic area is always a plus.  A lease space that is convenient for your employees, customers and suppliers.  Check out other tenants in the building or strip mall to ensure no competition.  Learn your market.  It is important for the tenant to be educated.  Go out and see a lot of space
  • Also think about the physical aspect of the space you are leasing.  If your business requires a building permit for modifications to the existing space –  for example, adding a new kitchen, bar, altering structural elements, remodeling floor plan, or replacing the HVAC unit – make sure that you or the landlord will be able to make the necessary changes.
  • Adequate parking – It is important to notice if parking can be an issue not only for your business but also the City.  The business must meet certain number of parking before the City can approve the permit.
  • Lease terms – When leasing space as a start up, aim for two year leases, or three year as absolute maximum. Read the lease carefully for any restrictions and negotiate items that may be unfit to your business plan.

Need help with a permit for your lease space?  Call us today (714) 815-4455.



10 Tips Make Sure Your Contractor Measures Up

  1. Hire only state-licensed contractors.
  2. Check a contractor’s license number online at or by calling 800-321-2752.
  3. Get at least three bids.
  4. Get at least three references from each bidder and review past work in person.
  5. Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely understand the term.
  6. Confirm the contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance policy for employees and ask about liability insurance to cover any property damage.
  7. Never pay more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less.  Don’t pay in cash.
  8. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work.
  9. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including all payments.
  10. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with a job.

The above essential tips are not limited to a contractor and can be applied to anyone you are planning to hire for your project; real estate agent, architect, designer, etc..  It is a great way to safeguard your project from any disputes and problems ahead.  So do your homework before hiring!  If you have any questions regarding a permit, please contact our permit runner at 1-855-785-5737.

Owner/Builders Permits

Owner/Builders Take Note!

A Word of Caution from the Contractor State License Board

Anyone who talks you into being your own general contractor, or “owner/builder,” may be doing you no favor.

“Owner/builder” describes a situation in which the homeowner becomes the general contractor.  As an owner/builder, you (not the person you hire) assume responsibility for the overall job.

Your responsibilities may include such things as state and federal taxes, worker’s compensation insurance, and other legal liabilities.  You may be required to hire various subcontractors for your project, scheduling their work and supervising the job.  If a worker is injured while working on your property, you could be asked pay for injuries and rehabilitation through your homeowner’s insurance policy.

By Signing a building permit application as an owner/builder. You assume full responsibility for all phases of your project and its integrity.

Hiring an unlicensed “consultant” to manage the project does not save you money in the long run.  By hiring a licensed experienced contractor for your project to hire licensed knowledgeable tradespersons, the contractor becomes responsible for all phases of contraction.  In the end, you can rest assured that the job will be done correctly and in the timely manner.

Unless you are very experienced in construction,  it is best to leave these matters to your licensed contractor.







Top 10 Building-Code Violations

Most projects undergo some revisions after the building permit has been issued.  To prevent building-code violations, make sure that the building department approves all as-built changes.  Safety first!

Here is the top ten building-code violations found in projects throughout Orange County & Los Angeles

  1. Failure to follow the approved plans
  2. Inadequate soil preparation
  3. Inadequate or poorly installed reinforcing steel in mansory walls
  4. Improper stud-wall framing methods
  5. Inadequate shear walls
  6. Inadequate floor-framing or roof-framing methods
  7. Inadequate connections
  8. Excessive cutting and notching of wood structural members
  9. Improper stair or guardrail construction
  10. Fire blocking missing

Need help with Building Permit?  Speak to our permit expediter today  (714) 815-4455 or email INFO@PERMITXPRESS.COM

HVAC Permits

PermitXpress is working to bring you the most up-to-date building code regulation and to help the business owners and contractors understand the law when installing the mechanical units on the building.

Here is the message from the California Energy Commission & Contractors State License Board;

Replacing or Installing a heating, ventilation, or air-conditioning system?  Make sure you follow these 3 steps:

  1. Get a Building permit.  California Law requires a building permit for this type of work.  The contractors State License Board may impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 per citation and/or revoke your license if you do not get a permit.  You may also be subject to fines from your local building department.
  2. Test the duct system and verify refrigerant charge.  In most existing homes, you must ensure that duct leakage is less than 15% and verify refrigerant charge.
  3. Have your work independently verified.  Before work begins you must give your customer the choice of requiring a HERS rater verify duct sealing and refrigerant charge, or have the system included in a random sample for verification.

Why? Following these steps will save your customers money, make their homes more comfortable, and help the environment.   Have questions? Need help with getting a permit for your HAVC installation? Please contact our permit service department at (714) 815-4455 or fill out the form below.