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Posted November 13, 2017 | 7:57 AM

10 Questions Every First-Time Flipper Will Ask

Learn how to pull a permit, request an inspection, and everything in between

Whether you've just purchased your first investment property or are looking to spruce up your current space, pulling the necessary permits can be overwhelming for renovation rookies. Fortunately for residents and commercial developers in unincorporated Hillsborough County, it doesn't have to be.

Here's 10 questions every first-time flipper will have, answered:

  1. Does my project require a permit?
    Most likely. Work that does not require a permit  is typically cosmetic like painting, tile, shelving, cabinet work, wall papering, fencing, and more.

  2. What do I do if I already started construction, but don't have the necessary permits?
    If your project is still under construction, stop the work immediately and follow these steps to obtaining a Residential After-the-Fact Permit (ATF)  for uncompleted projects. If you don't stop the work immediately, it will be more costly to resolve the problem and you may be issued a citation of up to $500 per violation.

  3. Where do I start?
    Getting started with new construction, a renovation, or even upgrades and installations is just a click away on in our permits and records section. Our easy-to-navigate website houses all of the applications and forms for the various permits your project may require. Residents and developers can also find construction codes and ordinances, access permitting tools, request inspections, and more all from the main page.

  4. What permits are available to pull online?
    The Permit Manager system, which is only available to properly-licensed contractors, can handle some basic permitting needs, to include pulling basic permits, obtaining inspection results, checking plan review status, and checking on the status of your permit.

  5. I'm not a contractor. Where should I go for permits?
    Hillsborough County has two permitting office locations: the County Center Downtown Office, located on the 19th floor of County Center in Tampa, and the South County Office in Ruskin. You can only get residential and non-ATF permits at the Ruskin office.

  6. How do I check the status of my permit? 
    Checking the status of a permit is simple. Customers can search for permit information online by project number, street name, and subdivision.

  7. Is there a way to expedite the permitting process?
    Eligible targeted industry projects located on designated Competitive Sites may qualify for the expedited permitting process, which reduces the review timeline by two to six weeks. Find out if your project is eligible to qualify for an expedited permitting process.

  8. How do I select a contractor?
    The County's Code Compliance & Contractor Licensing Section, Building and Construction Services, recommends that residents who need a contractor request written bids for their project and interview at least three contractors. Protect yourself and your investment by making sure your contractor is licensed and properly insured. Find tips on selecting a contractor in Hillsborough County.

  9. Where do I go to schedule an inspection?
    When you get a permit from the Building & Construction Office, you are required to have one or more inspections. Unless you are a properly-licensed contractor who is registered with our Permitting Manager system, you can request an inspection using our Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).

  10. What can I do if I am the victim of construction fraud?
    If you believe you are the victim of construction fraud or have observed unlicensed construction activity, you can report the suspected violations.

Didn't find your question on this list? Submit your permit, zoning, contractor licensing, or other building and construction-related questions using our customer service portal.