We submitted the building permit proposal to the city in late November. Depending on the city, building permit fees can vary by a wide range. For example, my office is right at the border of Santa Clara and San Jose. Had I set up shop right across the street, I would have had to pay twice as much for the permit.
Most cities’ permit fee schedules are available online. For Santa Clara, I had to pay a little over $1,300 for the plan review fee, which ends up being about 1% of the construction cost. The permit itself will cost about as much. I think there may also be an inspection fee for $80/hr, but the City of Santa Clara website doesn’t describe that policy too clearly.
Most of the city’s plan reviewers responded in a week. Only the electrical plan took longer because the guy was on vacation. The construction plan did require a few revisions, which took another week or so to be approved. The permit will be ready for pick up early next week.
While the permit was pending my general contractor began demolition and installation of basic metal frames last week. Apparently, you can do as much as you can before the inspection, as long as you don’t close up the walls, leaving all the wiring, piping, etc. between the walls visible.
It’s pretty amazing how much progress has been made over a week. All the metal frames are up and half of the cabling and piping are in place. At this pace, I think there is a realistic chance that my tenant improvements will be complete by early February!