Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start a permit?

Ideally, the permit process should be started 8-10 weeks prior to the installation date. We know that this can be an unrealistic time frame for meeting a deadline, however the minimum time frame is typically 2-4 weeks before the installation.

Do I need a permit?

According to the 2014 California Building Code (CBC), you are required to obtain a permit if the racking material is above 5’9”.

What permit do I need?

The answer to this question depends on the height of your storage racks. The general rule of thumb is that if the top of the material stored exceeds 144 inches, you will need both the City Building Permit and High Pile Fire Storage Permit. If the top of the material is below 144 inches, only the City Building Permit is required (unless the material being stored is a high hazard commodity*).

*Highly flammable material and liquids stored on your racks are considered high hazard commodities. This might require special containment and severe height limitations below 144 inches.

How much will my permit cost?

All permits are unique to their application and vary in cost. We recommend calling one of our permit experts for an accurate price. Permits can cost upwards of $2,800 or more depending on the inspections required. All pricing is fixed and does not vary.

Does it matter what I’m storing?

Yes, it does matter. The commodity can be classified on a scale of 1-4 or high hazard. The higher the commodity’s classification, the more regulations there are to adhere to.

Can you permit my existing rack(s)?

It depends on the manufacturer of the material and how it was installed. The material must be certified steel from a certified manufacturer and in good condition. The installation will also need to be done by a licensed contractor or the building owner (this excludes tenants). The material needs to be installed according to the codes, otherwise it must be uninstalled and then reinstalled properly to code. Another potential issue is the type of anchor bolts used during installation. If they are not certified anchors, the entire section will need to be removed.

Can used racks be permitted?

It depends on the manufacturer of the material and its application. The material must be certified steel from a certified manufacturer and in good condition. One of the difficulties with permitting used material is that it cannot be adjusted to meet the latest engineering requirements and regulations. So although used certified material can be permitted, the result is typically decreased storage capacity compared to its original design.

How long is the permit process?

The process of preparing and submitting permits takes approximately two weeks from the day our permit technician conducts the initial site visit. The next step of the process is handled entirely by the city. The time it takes to move forward after submission depends on the city, but typically it takes 4-6 weeks for feedback. They will either approve the project or require corrections. If the review process goes through a county, this process could take up to 10 weeks.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how does it affect my permits?

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, and still impacts the way cities and counties approve permits today. Basically, all commercial businesses must have accessibility for the disabled. Many cities and counties are enforcing the ADA now more than ever, potentially requiring more time, resources, and finances to complete the permit process. It all depends on city inspections and requirements. Storage racks are considered a tenant building improvement and ADA requires that 20% of the project value be allocated to improving ADA access throughout the building.

Should I consult with a permit specialist before or after I move?

The sooner you consult a permit specialist, the better. The last thing you want is to find out that the building you just moved into will not meet your storage needs. This is a common occurrence when it comes to fire suppression systems, ADA improvements, and concrete condition/strength. We protect our customers by consulting with them prior to their move, helping them make a well-informed decision regarding a new facility.

What do I do when the city shows up & I don’t have permits?

Call us, we’ll take care of them… 800-404-RACK

Why do I need permits?

Permits are required by cities, counties and states to ensure workplace safety. Essentially this covers the liability of your business and its work environment. In order to protect your employees and company as well as the city, calculations and permits are required to confirm that your materials and installation meet current safety standards.

Why is this company's material so much cheaper than yours?

At QMH we sometimes come across this question and usually, it is the difference between new and used material being quoted. However on occasion it is the difference in the quality of the product. There are uncertified copycat products that are dangerous for storage of materials. This material has not been tested and therefore cannot be engineered. It is important to verify your materials with an engineer. The inferiority of the material accounts for the cheap price.