FAQs About Building Permits

FAQs About Building Permits

We as a society have become crazy-thirsty for knowledge. Meanwhile, information has become a bottomless pool. We have so much data to gather and we must sort that data to filter irrelevant information out. 

Then what?

Then you use that information to bid, price, evaluate materials, inventory… You do what you need to put that data to good use. The goal is to turn a profit and/or grow your business. If you’re involved with any aspect of local commerce, building permits contain information you can use.

Building Permits Analytics

If you apply the necessary analytics to local information, your business can do more than survive; you can become a flagship in your industry.
Using Data

Construction Monitor provides the most up-to-date statistics taken from building permit applications in your region. You can access historical data that can tell you which trends were successful and which competitors to watch. You can put that information to work.

If you’re new to evaluating building permits, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Q: Do I have to use a computer to access my information? Can I use my phone?
A: To help prevent misuse of the data, each device used to login will need to be verified the first time it is used.

Q: How do I receive weekly information?
A: You can choose a .pdf or a .csv format. The CSV can be imported into spreadsheets and other business management applications. There are 3 non-published weeks: July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas weeks.

Q: How can I organize my searches after I’ve found them?
A: You can print your information, make notes, and save to your hard drive. You can save each building permit data as its own page (single-page layout), which is great for meetings. You can generate labels for target marketing using fields like “builder,” “designer,” or “owner.”

Q: I’m only interested in multifamily complexes. Can I sort the information for that?
A: There’s a Permit Description field. Think of all the words you can use to search and enter them in the Permit Description field separated by commas:

Apartment, high-rise, tower, condo, townhouse, co-op, tenement

Construction Monitor: Your Information Resource

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We want to answer your questions by offering relevant information. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Which Industries Can Benefit From Construction Data?

construction data

Construction data can tell you a lot about what’s happening and where—in new construction as well as renovations. For companies with related products as well as the contractors who get the job done, data derived from building permits provides a valuable perspective on the current status quo of construction and other associated work performed in a specific geographical area. It also provides a heads-up to upcoming trends on the horizon. Because the accuracy of construction data in building permits is enforced by local regulations and confirmed by inspection, it’s an authoritative source for reliable information.

Industries that can benefit from organized access to building permit data include:

General Construction

All new construction draws permits, but certain renovations and re-builds also must meet this requirement. Any work that demolishes a load-bearing wall in a house, for example, will be reported in a building permit.  Likewise, any new addition to a house that expands or otherwise alters its existing envelope will be reported. Garage conversions are another typical permitted project.


Major permitted work includes installing new wiring or adding additional circuits to an existing system.

Doors And Windows

Exterior doors as well as replacement windows that require any alterations to the existing opening draw a permit.  


Projects that include upgrading to a new furnace or central air conditioner, as well as installing ductwork, will be found in permit data.


Permits record information on major plumbing work, including pipes, fixtures, sewer lines, water heaters, water softeners, etc. Many DIY plumbing projects are also included in the permit requirement of most counties—often to the surprise of the homeowner.


Permit requirements vary by locale. In general, roofing material replacement—not including simple patching— requires a permit. Replacement or repair of the underlying structure of the roof, or any work that alters the roofline, almost always gets a permit.

Chimney and Fireplace

Because of obvious safety issues, a permit is required for any alterations or other work on these structures. Exception: chimney cleaning.  

Learn more about Construction Monitor and solutions to identify and target opportunities. Contact us today.

Can Construction Data Help Your Swimming Pool Business?

If you search the Internet, you can find the information you need quickly. For example, there’s a report that details historic trends of the United States swimming pool industry through 2018. It’s obviously a very good report and it’s only slightly more than $750.

For one data report through 2018.

Remember 5-year plans? They were viable when time moved more slowly. Today, construction data and analytics need to move at lightning speed. You need to be able to make real-time decisions based on real-time construction information.

Here’s some statistical information, and it’s free: The economic growth we saw in 2019 spilled over into the swimming pool and spa industry. Through mid-2019, 60% of the top fifty pool-builders reported an increase in profits. Predicted growth in 2020 is less – 0.4% – and up again 1.5% for 2021.

This overall information is good to know. But before you begin your in-the-ground swimming pool marketing campaign in Duluth, Minnesota, you need more construction data.

U.S. Swimming Pool Businesses Need Local Construction Data

What’s going on in your country matters, but we know you need what’s going on in your:

  • State
  • County
  • City
  • Communities

It’s important to understand 2018 swimming pool industry trends – these are valuable analytics not to be ignored.

But the fact is, your peers in Los Angeles County have totally different analytics for 2018 and what’s going on there today has little to do with Duluth, Minnesota.

In L.A., if you own a tiny bungalow, you might have a pool. In Duluth, the demographics are different. The neighborhoods are different. The pricing structures are different if only because the dirt is different.

No one is digging in-ground pools in Duluth, Minnesota in February. In Duluth, you need construction data about new home and new community starts to get you ready for March/April 2020. 

Information is Your Lifeline

Fast access to construction data can keep you afloat. If you apply the necessary analytics to local information, your business can do more than survive; you can become a flagship in your area industry. As a Construction Monitor partner in information, you can quickly access municipal data.

When your swimming pool company is considering an expansion in Denver, Colorado, access licensed contractor databases and quickly learn which builders you want to woo and measure your competition.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about relevant, timely construction data for your swimming pool business.

Raising Garage Door Industry Revenues with Construction Data

garage door industry

Garage doors are like the keys to treasure chests. Inside a garage is a transportation system that keeps your customers working, kids going to school and music lessons or a tailgate-party machine. Garage doors can protect that classic car which only sees daylight occasionally. Or it could help protect the clutter everyone wants to hide.

It’s a garage door.

Using construction data, garage door manufacturers and sales/service and installation professionals keep an eye on their territories in the United States. If you’re competing with other garage door companies, you should too.

Construction Data Can Open Doors

The global Garage Door Opener market is valued at 1152.6 million US$ in 2020…expected to reach 1307.8 million US$ by the end of 2026, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 1.8%. kake.com

In 2019, garage doors and garage door openers saw an encouraging global industry “upswing.” (Yes, the puns are bad, but the news is great.) Trends, developments, revenue, and demand increased. What’s even better, the forecast through 2026 is looking very good.

This data is what construction industry professionals use to make business decisions. For example, the number of housing starts in your region for years 2014-2019 is historical information that can help you make strategic marketing decisions.

Based on economic predictors, what should you expect for the years 2020-2025? Is it even possible to predict that far ahead?

Construction data can show the number of remodeling building permits applied for in your city or county. It can also reveal what companies are getting the most work. These are industry partners with who you want to be aligned with in the future.

Geographic and Demographic-Specific Construction Data

It’s important to monitor global industry trends. You would be remiss if you didn’t study U.S. construction industry trends. But what’s most important is what’s going on where you live, where you work, and where your target market lives and works. You need comprehensive and local information.

We’ve got what you need to increase business and raise revenues and we encourage you to take advantage. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about your construction industry niche.

Building Permits and Your Client’s Buying Cycle

building permits and the buying cycle

It doesn’t matter whether you are a construction industry company marketing to B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-client). Applications for building permits can reveal a lot of information that can impact your bottom line.

As with everything else, construction data is a tool. You need to develop ways to use that information to your business advantage.

Use Building Permits and Construction Data to Grow Business

Your customers go through 5 buying cycle stages:

  1. Awareness – Your potential customer is beginning to develop an action plan and files for building permits.
  2. Consideration – This is where you proactively seek to add your product and service solutions to the customer’s action plan. This is actually the most important buying cycle. 
  3. Intent – Your customer is reviewing pricing options and making decisions. Whether right or wrong, those decisions are driven by emotions, money, time, and logic.
  4. Purchase – It’s decision-making time for your customer. Did you make the cut?
  5. Repurchase/renewal – This buying cycle is contingent upon what you sell and/or service.

Building Permits: More Than Meets the Eyes

Building permits can tell you how much new construction and renovation is going on where. But dig deeper… –Using Building Permits

Again, it doesn’t matter what your connection is within the construction industry. One food truck company monitors construction sites and makes frequent lunchtime appearances at worksites. With regular analysis, building permits data can reveal prior and current trends in your geographic area of interest. You can use this information to your advantage.

Use It or Lose It

If you’re not using business permits data, someone is, and they’re likely a competitor for your business.

Construction information technology (IT) is driving our industry’s sales and services and fewer of us are sitting around, waiting to be called. Some of the most respected and long-established companies are discovering that customer response to their proactive marketing results in additional quotes and projects.

Discover how building permits data and trends can increase your profits in 2020. Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor to request free tutorials and more information.

Smarter Marketing Using Building Permits


There are a lot of ways to get a feel for your prospects’ interests, but few are as accurate as reviewing building permit data. When you have detailed information on the projects going on within your target market, you can create marketing that’s truly in tune with your prospects’ needs.

Understand Your Prospects’ Goals

While talking with your prospects and suppliers can give you a general idea of what interests your target market, building permits show you exactly how they’re spending their money. You’ll find out what types of projects are most popular and how much more popular certain projects are than others.

If you sell countertops and find your area has a similar amount of kitchen and bathroom remodels in the works, you’ll know to create marketing that’s relevant to both. If bathroom remodels are coming in a distant second, though, you might decide to focus your marketing on the advantages your countertops have in the kitchen, such as their ability to resist food stains and heat damage.

Get a Feel for Their Budget

Building permit data lets you see how much your target prospects are spending on their projects. That information can guide you on which products and services to promote as well as how to position your company. If you’re a general contractor specializing in single-family homes and the data says your area’s home builders have high budgets, you might grab their attention by promoting the luxury features your company can build.

On the other hand, if budgets tend to be modest, you’ll probably have better luck with marketing that focuses on the cost-effectiveness and durability of the homes you build.  

If you sell swimming pools, fireplaces or other features best suited to upscale homes, building permit data can help you find high-end building hot spots. This lets you target your marketing toward those affluent neighborhoods where a large number of homeowners are making upgrades.

To learn more about using building permit data to perfect your marketing, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Using Construction Data to Improve SEO

construction data

If you speak with an old-timer in the construction industry, it might sound as if things were easier before the internet. Everyone knew everyone else, and local jobs were bid by the same area companies every time.

It worked. You didn’t need a website or a blog to get work and find customers. Today, you need as much industry-specific information as possible and you need SEO.

What Is SEO?

Search engine optimization is ensuring your company appears when potential customers enter text into Google’s search box. You want to appear on the first page of their search.

If an architect has plumbing design questions, the search engine query might be: “Plumbing contractor Tomball Texas.” If that’s your market, your company should appear in the architect’s search “window.”

Blogs help because they are a great venue for embedding keywords, linking to your company, and highlighting what you do into the content. This increases the number of website visitors.

How to Use Construction Data for SEO

Your first step toward SEO is to get the information you need for your target demographic. Building permits reports can tell you what areas of a city/county/state are growing, which are declining, and where remodeling construction is trending.

Even if you’re the Big Kahuna in your construction-industry subsector, smart businesses keep an ever-watchful eye on trends. This can reinforce your marketing strategy or signal it’s time to move in another direction. What’s important is you need knowledge and you need to use it for profit.

Example: Building permits for warehouse construction are increasing in a nearby county. What does this mean for your company?

  • If you’re a management company, this means businesses may need inventory management services.
  • If you’re a moving company, this means some businesses may require heavy-lifters and transportation services for large inventories.

Cleaning companies, building materials companies, plumbing, roofing, solar energy solutions companies, if your business is a for-profit, building permits can provide marketing direction.

Construction Monitor Has the Data

Time moves faster today; no doubt about it. Don’t waste it. Contact Construction Monitor for timely construction industry information.

Who Can Benefit from Building Permit Data?

building permit data

Every company – online or physically landlocked, small business or mega-corporation, service or sales – can benefit from building permit data. Can you think of any organization that would not need information that is one of the data sets used on a national level to review and predict economic trends?

At the national level, the New Housing Permits Data series
is one of the 11 data sets comprising the Composite Index
of Leading Economic Indicators.

New housing starts and remodeling information actually benefit businesses more on a local level than nationally. This is especially true when used as economic predictors; marketing campaigns can be developed using business permits data.

Examples: How to Use the Information

On a macro level, permits can reveal broad trends like economic growth, gentrification, adoption of solar technology, and more.ICC

Building permits are usually needed for:

  • Building additions
  • Electrical systems
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems
  • New building construction
  • Plumbing systems
  • Renovations
  • Residential work

Here are ways companies use building permit data to drive marketing strategies:

  • Garage conversions to living space
    • Apartment-sized furniture space
    • At-home elder-care services
    • Carports
    • Interior design
    • Plumbing services

…and more

  • New homes
    • Contractor bidding
    • Home furnishings
    • Landscaping
    • Property management
    • Recycling/waste management services
    • Urgent care facilities

…and more

  • Swimming pools/spas
    • Deck sales/construction
    • Filtration system upgrades
    • Patio furniture
    • Pool chemicals/maintenance services

…and more

Prepare for 2020…and Operate with a Sense of Urgency

Construction Monitor provides building permit information when you need it: weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. You or a designated member of your organization can begin analyzing and applying that knowledge quickly.

This year, lead generations can make the difference between getting by and getting better. You are about seven times likelier (than your competitors) to have a meaningful conversation with a company decision-maker if you respond faster.

The largest distributor of construction industry data can help you build your business in 2020. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Using Building Permits in Creating Your Marketing Schedule

Building Permits

The building industry encompasses many types of businesses and organizations. Construction companies may form the foundation for our industry, but there are many more: interior design, landscaping, appliance sales, water conditioning services, real estate, carpet, insurance… The list is unlimited.

Your company (and your bottom line) depend on area-specific new and/or renovated properties. Building permits can shape your marketing strategy when used to target your demographics.

Building Permits Can Increase Sales, Service

If you feel as if your marketing strategy is more like a shot in the dark, you’re probably right. Small- to medium-size business owners, in particular, may not have a sales/marketing department, so who’s in charge of advertising? You are.

Your organization needs advertising presence in:

  • Broadcast
  • Direct mail
  • Mobile/cellular
  • Home-based businesses
  • Pay-per-click
  • Print
  • Social media

National, state, county, and community building permits reports allow you to:

  • Bid on sales leads
  • Identify most active contractors in any given area
  • Pull and utilize data/information you need now
  • Receive daily, real-time advertising lead generation
  • Stop chasing non-qualified leads
  • Target specific areas with advertising campaigns

Data is Only as Valuable as Analysis

If building permits reports sound like something you could use, get started! But they aren’t much good if you don’t analyze – and utilize – the data. You should look for:

Hot Spots/Fads

Building permits can tell you how much new construction and renovation is going on where. But dig deeper. Your company may sell hot tubs, but spas are trending. How can you channel your 2020 marketing?


Building permits can “show you the money” in your area. If you sell swimming pool equipment, how many residential/commercial pools/spas were built in 2017, 2018, 2019? What’s the trend for 2020? Studying data can help you evaluate business goals.

Information Technology Increases Business

Construction Monitor Inc. can help you get the most out of building permits’ data. Ask us about ways to target marketing projects using comprehensive, up-to-date information.

We are a flagship. Construction Monitor leads the way with U.S. building permits generation and utilization ideas for you and other construction industry businesses.

Learn more. Contact us today.

Paternon, New Jersey Contractors Protest the Handling of Building Permits

Construction workers and contractors in a New Jersey town clashed with police and municipal authorities in an April protest against delays and denials in building permit processing in New Jersey.

building permit
Source: iStock.com/Branislav

The protests occurred in Paterson in response to what the protestors considered extreme slowness in processing and issuing building permits for new projects, reported Ed Rumley in an article in the Paterson Press that appeared on NorthJersey.com.

The delays in building permit approval have severely damaged construction workers’ and contractors’ ability to make a living, the protesters claimed. Denials of some building permits have also significantly affected the livelihood of workers in the Paterson area, according to the protestors.

Many of the protestors’ objections center on a relatively new inspector, hired about nine months prior, who they accuse of being too rigid and unwilling to compromise, Rumley reported.

The protests eventually led to a confrontation with the local police, who told the demonstrators to disperse since they didn’t have the required permits for the gathering. Tensions increased at that point, Rumley reported, but were defused after Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres arrived and spoke with the protestors.

The exchanges between the protestors and authorities sometimes became heated, but the protests broke up without incident.

Torres acknowledged that the building permit process has been taking too long. He promised the protestors that he would be making changes to the way the building permit process works, according to Rumley’s article. Torres indicated that system-wide changes were needed and that plans were underway to make the long-term shifts in process and policy that would make it easier to get building permits approved.

Torres’s solutions include a reorganization of Paterson’s community improvement division, which handles building permits.

Construction Monitor helps industry professionals stay up to day on trends and developments in the construction trade throughout the country. Contact us today for more information on the current controversies surrounding building permit processing in New Jersey and how this situation may affect construction projects in and around that state.