Why Permits?

If you’re new to Pulley, you might be wondering how we got here. And by here, we mean permitting. Some people tell us permitting is boring. Almost everyone tells us it is painful. No one seems to enjoy permitting. Not us. We love permits.

Our mission is to help project teams break ground faster. Why?

The most pressing challenges of the next decade — housing affordability, climate change, resilient infrastructure — require us to radically, and rapidly, rebuild the world around us.

In 2022, the US produced 40% fewer homes than were produced in 1973, over fifty years ago. It's no wonder we're short 5 million homes and most families can't afford the median house price in their city.

Scientists estimate we have until 2030 to stop global warming, or the effects of climate change will be irreversible; 40% of carbon emissions are from existing buildings. And we're decades behind on repairing and replacing aging infrastructure; 33% of bridges and 70% of dams are older than their expected lifespans.

So, what is holding us back from completing these critical projects? We talked to developers, architects, contractors, and engineers, and the most common and biggest roadblock to breaking ground we heard was permitting.

Today, permitting takes months, is different in every city, and each jurisdiction is a maze of ever-changing, always-growing requirements. Recent studies estimate that slow permitting adds up to 15% to the final cost of construction, which gets passed along to home buyers, apartment tenants, and office lessees.

Project teams have described the permitting process as a frustrating guessing game and a black box. The industry has told us about the turmoils of deciphering city interpretation through multiple rounds of review, which not only eats into everyone's time, but it also leads to increased project costs overall(see stat in previous paragraph). And of course, it can be pretty mind-numbing work for teams that could be spending their time in more valuable and fulfilling ways.

It’s no surprise that permitting is so slow and costly. There are:

  • 19,000+ different jurisdictions across the US
  • 10,000+ pages of building code to enforce
  • Poor documentation and frequently changing requirements.

But, we can’t just do away with permits. Permitting serves fundamentally important purposes from safety to energy efficiency. Permits help ensure that any construction work aligns to safety codes, zoning requirements, and environmental requirements.

We believe that if we can streamline the permitting problem we can help developers, architects, contractors, and property owners kick off their projects faster. Much faster