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Obtaining a Building Permit - FAQ's

When Do You Need A Construction Permit?

These are some common examples of work requiring a permit:

Construct, move, demolish and/or erect any building, structure, room, or house.
Make improvements or alterations to a building, structure, room, or house.
Re-roof your home or other building.
Make electrical, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning installations or alterations.
Build or alter a swimming pool or install any permanent or portable spa or hot tub.
Build masonry fences over 36 inches high.
Backfill swimming pool, spa, or hot tub.
Install or replace skylights or windows.

Why Do You Need A Construction Permit?

The purpose of the various permits is to safeguard the health and general welfare of the community and your investment in your property. In addition, the evidence of a building permit is often necessary to obtain financing from lending agencies. Fire and liability insurance damages may not be paid in some cases where permits were not obtained and improvements do not meet regulations.

How Much Does The Construction Permit Cost?

There is no single fee for the various permits. Fees are based on the valuation of your project and the number of plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. The permit fee is collected at the time the building permit is issued. Some projects are subject to plan check and these additional fees are collected at the time the plans for the structure are submitted.

In brief, you will need a building, plumbing, mechanical and/or electrical permit for any work that physically changes or adds structures to your property. When in doubt, please give our Building Services Division a call at (714) 741-5307.

Who Should Obtain a Building Permit?

You as property owner or your authorized agent may obtain the required permits. If, however, you are contracting to have the work done, it is always wise to have the contractor obtain the permits. In this way, you can be sure the contractor retains the responsibility to call for, and receive approval of all required inspections. Please refer to the State of California Contractor's State License Board (CSLB) web site for important contractor information.

How long is a permit valid for?

Every permit shall expire if the work authorized by it is not commenced within 180 days from the date of issuance, or if the work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days at any time after construction progress is last documented.