By Corey Philip // Aug 15, 2023

It’s not every day that you have to deal with getting a screen enclosure or carport built.  Permits, engineering, siteplans, notice of commencement; for many the process seems confusing and nebulous.  While it is more to the process of getting a screen enclosure than simply setting one up, we’ve got it covered with experience spanning thousands of projects!  Permitted projects usually take anywhere from 8-12 weeks and require much a good bit behind the scenes work.  8-12 weeks is our general timeline for project administration (siteplan, drafting, engineering, and permitting).  Chances are you may have heard a much shorter timeline, like 3-4 weeks, from a another companies’ sales guy, but the unfortunate reality is many of them grossly round down (lie) the timeline just to get your deposit.  After that the excuse is usually “that was 3-4 weeks after permit”.  If you are ever promised anything less than 8-12 weeks, ask them to put it in writing (suddenly the timeline quickly gets realistic).

We won’t get your hopes up with a shorter, impossible timeline just to make a sale, but we will  tell you what we do to make the project go as smooth as possible and get your permit approved as quick as possible (usually always faster than the people who lie about the timeline)

Preface: before continuing on, you should read: Why It Takes So Long To Get A Permit

Lets Break It Down!

At Gulf Coast Aluminum we make things easy for the homeowner by first assigning you a dedicated project manager.  He/she will be your primary contact.  That means a few awesome things:

  • No projects getting lost in the ‘shuffle’.
  • Someone specifically responsible for getting your project approved.
  • None of the ‘buck passing’ when on the status of your permit.
  • Most importantly, you don’t have to do much.

Over the next several weeks your project manager will ensure that everything runs smoothly until your project is approved.  The first steps are procuring a site plan and engineering, in some cases you may also need a certified survey.  Since the engineering will need to match the site plan to the ‘T’ in most places, the siteplan is done first.  This usually involves a 3rd party surveying company, and punctual surveyors are hard to come-by.  We work with the 2 most reputable surveyors that we have found over thousands of projects, but surveyors are in hot demand, and can take up to 1 month.  While that’s happening your structure is pre-drafted.  Once the siteplan is complete, the siteplan and draft go on to engineering for review and approval.  Like surveyors, we only work with the best, but they can get bogged down as well and take a month or longer.  Once all of these are completed the permit can be applied for.

When it comes time to apply for your permit, we don’t just go down and fill out paper.   All the paperwork is done on a computer in our office to ensure all details are crystal clear and legible (no crappy handwriting).  Then, using our experience, we organize the papers (usually in a folder) in the particular way that we have come to know each building department is receptive to (to clarify organization method varies according to building department preference).  The easy to ready paper work, and specifically organized approach usually gets our permits some priority.

Things don’t stop once your permit is applied.  Over the years and projects, we’ve built up an internal contact list consisting of over 50+ names, personal emails, and phone numbers, of authority individuals within all of our local building departments.  We follow up with them persistently until our permits are issued.

Behind the scenes of all of this a state of the are project management program.  It tracks all of our projects through a 38 step approval process and notifies managers daily of events and tasks, and when something seems like it could go faster.

Corey Philip

About the author

Corey began working on screen enclosures as a teenager in 2004 after hurricane Charley devastated his home town of Punta Gorda. 7 years later, after holding positions from foreman, to sales, to project manager, while attending college at Florida Gulf Coast University, Corey and childhood friend Thomas Davis founded Gulf Coast Aluminum in 2011. With a focus on delivering an unparrelled level of service, the company has grown by leaps and bounds under their leadership. Today you’ll find Corey answering the phones In his free time Corey likes training for triathlons, running the trails at Ding Darling park on Sanibel Island, and of course, working on growing Gulf Coast Aluminum.