Getting a Permit for a Portable Classroom: How Long Does it Take?

Getting a building permit for a portable classroom takes time.
Matt Banes
Written by Matt Banes

How long will it take to get a permit for the portable classroom we are buying?

The time it takes to obtain a building permit for a portable classroom can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the location (state, city, county, township), specific local government regulations, the complexity of your project, and the current workload of the permitting office. Unless you need a portable due to an emergency, the process usually takes at least three to four months if everything is managed professionally. The process generally involves submitting a site plan and detailed plans for the portable classroom, the foundation it will be installed on, and the handicap ramp it will be required to have for access.

Here are some steps and considerations that might affect the timeline:

  1. Preparation: Before submitting your application, ensure detailed plans are ready. These include designs for the portable classroom, the type of foundation it will be installed on, a site plan, and the blueprints for an ADA-compliant access ramp, which is legally required. Your manufacturer or supplier can provide this information. This phase can take time as you must ensure all the requirements are met, including accessibility, safety codes, and utility connections.

  2. Review Process: Once submitted, your application will go through a review process where local government officials will assess it for compliance with various codes and regulations. This process can be quick, taking only a few weeks, or it could extend to several months, especially if there are issues with the application or if the review workload is heavy.

  3. Corrections and Resubmission: If your initial application is not approved, you may need to make corrections and resubmit, which can further extend the timeline.

  4. Inspections: Even after receiving the permit, inspections might be required during and after the portable classroom installation to ensure compliance with the approved plans and safety regulations.

Whether you are installing a used or brand-new portable classroom, a permit will be required.

This used portable classroom was installed with a permit that took three months to complete.

In some regions, a permit for a portable classroom might be obtained in as little as a few weeks, especially if it’s considered a temporary structure and meets all the local codes and regulations straightforwardly. However, in other cases, especially where public safety, environmental impact, or community concerns are significant, it could take several months.

For a more accurate timeline, it’s best to consult directly with your local building department or a professional experienced in obtaining such permits in your area. They can provide guidance tailored to your situation and help you navigate the process more efficiently.

About the author

Matt Banes

Matt Banes

Call me directly and I will help you make the smartest decisions before you buy, rent or sell a modular building or portable classroom anywhere in the United States. (800) 806-7485.
Since 1988, I have helped thousands of businesses, public and private schools, and places of worship with decisions concerning planning, permitting, floor plan design and financing of temporary and permanent modular spaces. So, why wait? Call me directly at the Modular Building Help Line today!