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Dental Permits – Budget Killing Dental Office Construction Cost #1

By Jayme Amos.  Get free updates of posts here

Dental Permits Budget Killing Cost:
Free – $50,000.

Permits are cheap. Let’s call it a couple hundred bucks in most areas.

Well, guess what?

While permits are cheap, dental permits are also horribly expensive – call it 10, 20 or even $50,000.

Dental PermitsHow, you ask?

Allow me to elaborate…This is one area where I might want to take my grandmother’s advice about saying nothing when having nothing nice to say…but I can’t resist myself so I’ll let it all out…

Some of my closest friends work for local municipalities and planning commissions. They’re good people. But for some reason good people don’t mean good, efficient systems in local government services. When it comes to dental permits for building dental offices, the fluctuations are stupefying.

Each municipality has its unique code requirements, timelines, favorite people in the community and unwritten rules. Were a dentist to get on their bad side, it could mean another year of delays. Really…. I’m not kidding.  Meanwhile, other municipalities stun me with their rapid turnaround time. There is no rhyme or reason. Or maybe there is and I’m the confused one in this mix.

But either way, dental permits and the people who issue them can be the #1 most expensive dental office construction cost of your new office project.

Question:  How does a cheap permit turn into dental permits that can cost thousands?

The answer is “delays”. Dental Permits

Consider the following math on a hypothetical 3 month permitting delay for your new office:

What might happen if you have 3 months of delays because you can’t get the permitting department to give you the green light?

A)     First, let’s consider the “Cost” of Your Construction Loan:

Partial Use of Your Construction Loan (used for initial fees, down-payments, etc.)

Estimated at $50,000

Your Monthly Cost of that Loan: Approximately $500/mth

$500/mth x 3 mth = $1500

B)      Next, remember that you have a “dormant” office space. This costs money every month.

Rent/Mortgage = $3000/mth (average is $2500-5000 per month)

$3000/mth x 3 months of permit and inspection delays = $9000


TOTAL = $10,500 in costs due to delays. 


Each month COSTS you.

These delays are budget killers!

Your rent or mortgage is surely thousands of dollars each month.  And each month that passes by is an irreplaceable few thousand dollars that is gone from your wallet forever; all because of dental permits delay.

And remember, this loss doesn’t include the loss of income from not producing in that new space. What would you have been able to produce that month in the new space if you were in the facility, not waiting on delays? Surely, its tens of thousands of unmet production.

I’ve seen these delays happen many times and its painful to watch because doctors are left helpless, at the mercy of a nebulous zoning and inspections department’s hierarchy, watching week after week pass them by.

And don’t neglect the intangible costs. Your stress is also worth something.

All these things pile up and negatively affect you while you wait for the permitting guy to stamp your paperwork. All of these costs snowball while waiting for dental permits to be issued and it doesn’t have to be that way.

As my team works with dentists, we work on your behalf and get to know as much as we can about the local code requirements and coordinate that with the architects, engineers, contractors and timing of dental equipment installation. We save dentists thousands of dollars on this single topic of permits alone. This way, you can be a dentist while you have a trusted partner coordinating all the moving parts for you.

dental permitsIf all of these dental office construction costs are managed correctly, you will save a LOT of money because your funds will be dispersed at the right times – not too early – keeping more money in your pocket and less paying interest on loans, mortgages and leases prior to your days of chair-side production.

So as you move forward, here are some things that we’ve seen work well for other clients. Hopefully you can incorporate these into your project.

1)      We submit two full sets of drawings to the building department for plan approval.

2)      We do this in conjunction with all the other vendors like the architect, the contractor and even the people in the permitting department; all having agreements on what is to be expected. That way we’re all on the same page.

3)      With a well-planned, unified front, we can avoid unnecessary delays in the permitting stage. In those situations where revisions are needed, necessary corrections can be made without horribly expensive permitting delays.

Don’t let dental permits kill your budget!

Approach the local permitting and zoning departments as necessary teammates who you need to earn goodwill with.

You’ll need their buy-in, their support and their collaboration.

Let’s see how many thousands of dollars of dental permits delays we can help dentists avoid!

Thanks and keep tuned for Budget Killing Dental Office Construction Cost # 2:  Forgetting the Future.

By Jayme




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