In any commercial construction project, several procedures must be completed prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy. In order to conduct a final building inspection, owners, architects, contractors, and other project officials must be on the same page regarding finishes, service systems, and implementing equipment. Below is a list of procedures that must be completed before a facility receives a certificate of occupancy.
Local & State Inspections
Prior to applying for a certificate of occupancy, all project plans and special conditions must be in accordance with local city commission ordinances. All revisions and revised drawings that may have come about throughout the construction process must be submitted and approved by the project’s local government prior to conducting a final building inspection. Letters from the project’s contractor or engineer stating that the paving and drainage was installed per plans and specifications issued by the city may also be required to apply for a certificate of occupancy. Lastly, the project’s owner must submit signed and sealed letters to their local government as proof that their threshold inspector and special inspectors graded their project with “satisfactory completion”. Throughout the approval process, violations of code enforcement or code compliance may delay the issuance of a certificate.
Local Fire Marshal’s offices are required to test and approve of all life-safety systems in a facility. Fire safety inspections also assess the location of fire extinguishers, exit routes, and the correct labeling of fireproof doors. Final fire inspections are required for all retail locations in Florida and must be signed off by local fire officials prior to applying for a certificate of occupancy.
Read: The Importance Of Construction Safety For Restaurant Owners
Engineering Inspections & Sign-Off
Business owners must provide their local city building officials with several signed and sealed letters from their project engineer stating that service systems are safe and functioning according to the city’s ordinances. Examples include engineer sign-off for water supply systems to ensure they have passed pressure and bacteriological tests and engineers certifying that facilities with stairs pass a pressurization test. A project will fail to move forward unless city officials are provided with proof that all project service systems have been assessed and approved by their respective engineer.
Work Site Clean Up & Signage
Construction projects of any sorts can create a work site that disrupts the surrounding community, if not managed and maintained correctly. Once a project is in its final stages, owners must ensure that the exterior of their building is in compliance with citywide codes. Simple, yet integral, tasks that must be completed at this time include: affixing building and suite numbers to the building’s exterior, guaranteeing all handicap requirements are completed, and ensuring all outdoor landscaping is finished per plans and city codes. At this time, all damage, such as cracks in public sidewalks, caused by construction must be fixed. Lastly, all construction work trailers, materials, and signs must be removed from the work site and its surrounding areas.
The final steps that must occur before a owner applies for a certificate of occupancy include ensuring all sub‐contractor permits are finalized and that the overall project was completed according to the approved plans and specifications submitted to local and state building officials. Lastly, owners must pay all outstanding fees for certificates, permits, and other construction related balances. Once the following tasks are completed and approved by city officials, the owner of a building, office, or store construction project should apply for an occupational license.
If you’re renovating a commercial space, but are concerned about the procedures that must completed prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy, reach out to us today. We would be more than happy to help guide you through the process!