Do I need pallet rack permits? A question we field a lot during the course of our work. The answer is: Probably. Most cities require permits on any racking over 5′ 9″ tall. Whether you choose to get permits is up to you.
We provide assistance with your permit process. However, we take care of most of the heavy lifting during the permit process so you can focus on your work. As a result, you can begin using your new pallet racking system as quickly as possible.
What permits are actually required? There’s two: Building Permits and Fire Permits. Therefore, some cities automatically include the Fire Permits in their permitting process.
Most cities require building permits for industrial storage racks that are over 5’ 9” high. In addition, this includes pallet rack and shelving.
Product stored above 12’ have a specific designation. For highly flammable products, anything over 6′ may be deemed High Piled Storage. A High Piled Storage permit requires more involvement from the Fire Marshal who will assess the flammability of the product being stored, and the adequacy of the fire sprinkler system.
Like many building permit fees, the permit fees for warehouse racking systems are typically a percentage of the total value of the racking project. The fee can vary widely, but we commonly see fees in the range of 10-30% of the racking value and installation cost.
Pallet Rack Permit Process
There are several steps to obtaining permits for warehouse storage racking. While the exact steps can vary by county or state, here is an overview of the typical process.
1. CAD Drawings
CAD Drawings are prepared to show floor and site plans, including the location of the racking equipment within the building, aisles, ingress, egress, rack dimensions, beam elevations, and more. (Meanwhile, you may need warehouse CAD Layouts. As a result, we help with that too.)
2. Seismic Calculations
Seismic calculations are a required part of the permit process in most states. Therefore, our engineers perform the calculations based on the specific configuration of racking in your warehouse, and the estimated loads you intend to place on the racking.
3. Permit Documents
We’ll fill out the necessary documentation to pull an initial permit for the racking. Secondly, we submit the documentation and work with the local government to process the initial permit.
Once the initial permit has been pulled, pallet rack installation can begin. Subsequently, our professional rack installers will install the racking in accordance with all city/county/state codes.
5. Special Inspection
The permitting authority requires an independent testing company to verify the rack was installed and anchored properly.
6. Final Inspection
The permitting authority performs their final inspection to verify the installation meets all requirements.
7. Final Permit
The permit receives a status of “finaled” after a successful final inspection. Consequently, your racking is ready for use at this point.
Let Us Help with Getting a Pallet Rack Permit
Obtaining permits is one of the least exciting of all the steps in a warehouse rack project. Moreover, it’s a lot of paperwork, communicating with multiple parties, and standing in line at the permit office. However, you can let us handle it for you.