Building Variances and
AHJ Liaison Services

Variances Can Help a Project Move Forward
and Coordinating with the Local Authorities
Can Only Increase Your Success

The wiki definition of a “variance” is:

“A variance is a deviation from the set of rules a municipality applies to land use and land development, typically a zoning ordinance, building code or municipal code. The manner in which variances are employed can differ greatly depending on the municipality. A variance may also be known as a standards variance, referring to the development standards contained in code. A variance is often granted by a Board or Committee of adjustment.”

In many states there are local or state options for a building design to apply for a variance from the code. While they are not impossible to obtain, they do need to be handled with care. We have observed many owners and design professionals go before the building commission to seek a variance, only to find they do not have the correct data, coordination, or have failed to work with the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in the building or fire departments where their project is situated. Coordinating with all these elements is paramount to helping your chances succeed with a variance.

We take a proactive approach to variances in order to help your projects succeed. Our team’s experience as previous public building officials, as well as our extensive training in the codes and certifications with the International Code Council, help us understand these complexities. Our team is unique as members have worked in both the public and private sectors in Architecture and Construction. We bring these elements to help you with your needs in order to do everything we can for you to succeed.

We make a thorough review of your project and it’s unique requirements in order to determine the best possible alternatives. Once we establish that, we then take proactive approaches with the necessary officials to review elements and help determine the best alternatives for your project. No project has ever been exactly the same…so we bring our creativity, as well as our code knowledge to bear in order to develop the best possible outcome for you.

We have also been able to help with projects that were already constructed that may not have been constructed within the guidelines. While we may not be able to salvage every project to the exact desire every time, we certainly take the time to ascertain what elements are considered the underlying issues with the AHJ and how to address them. 

Have worked on projects with Scott that came out looking beautiful. Look forward to future projects!

Mike Meharg

Owner / Vice President, Blaze Construction, Inc.

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