- In Person – 7:30 to 10:00 a.m.
- By Email – Send us your question via email
- By Phone – (562) 431-3538, ext. 302
Apply for plan check or a permit…
Note for Contractors: Contractors are required to have a City Business License, and any sub-contractor working on a project must have a City Business License as well. Please download the Sub-Contractor List form and keep a completed copy at the job site at all times. Projects will not be finaled by the City Building Inspector without this form.
Helpful Information… Also visit our FAQ page.
- When is a permit needed?
Most major projects will require a permit of some kind. This is necessary to ensure that all buildings meet minimum standards which will protect its occupants and neighbors on a daily basis, as well as during emergencies and other disasters.
However, some minor alterations are allowed without obtaining permits (California Building Code 105.2). The most common exceptions are:
- Erection of block wall less than thirty inches high.
- Construction of decks and platforms less than thirty inches high, open walkways, and driveways on grade.
- Replacement of up to 400 square feet of roofing on an existing building in any twelve month period.
- Installation of ceramic tile on floors and countertops, and on walls not more than forty-eight inches high.
- Replacement of any existing broken or damaged ceramic tiles.
- Plaster patching not in excess of ten square yards.
- Construction of pools not over two feet in depth, without electrical or plumbing fixtures.
- Construction of cases, counters and partitions less than five feet high.
- Construction of retaining walls and planter boxes under 30 inches high measured from bottom of footings.
Do you need a building permit for an upcoming residential project that is going to cost over $1,000? Please be aware that as of January 1, 2011, you are now required to install battery operated CO detectors in your home. For projects where the Building Inspector will not be accessing the inside of your home (re-roofs, patios, stucco repair), the homeowner must complete and sign this form to certify that smoke and CO detectors have been installed.
- What types of permits can I apply for?
Construction Permits are documents obtained through the Department of Community Development, Building Division, which authorizes the start of construction or remodeling of a building in the City of Los Alamitos.
There are five common types of permits:
- Building Permit – Is required to construct or modify a building or structure.
- Electrical Permit – Is required to install or modify an electrical system.
- Plumbing Permit – Is required to install or modify a plumbing system.
- Mechanical Permit – Is required to install or modify heating, ventilation, refrigeration, air conditioning and other related systems.
- Block Wall Permit – Is required for any wall over 42 inches high or retaining wall over thirty inches high.
- How can I apply for a permit?
Permits are issued by the Building Division in City Hall. For simple jobs, a permit can often be obtained during the first visit; however, in most circumstances, more time is needed so plans can be reviewed in detail prior to the issuance of the permit.
A minimum of three complete sets of plans are required to obtain permits. Under certain circumstances, the Building Official may waive this requirement. If plans are required they must include the following items:
- A front and side elevation of the new building or addition.
- Construction details and material specifications.
- The location of emergency rescue windows from bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Energy/insulation requirements.
- For new construction or additions which will increase the “footprint’ of the building, a plot plan must also be submitted on a form provided by the Building Division. This must show the location of all buildings, and the distance from each building to the property lines.
- Who can obtain a construction permit?
A permit will be issued to:
1. A property owner, for work on single family or duplex buildings, provided that the owner lives in one of the units.
2. A licensed contractor.
3. A non-resident property owner of a single family or commercial property if the value of the work does not exceed ten percent of the building’s value in any 12-month period.
When a permit is taken out, the signature and identity of the applicant must be verified. A California Driver’s License, State of California Identification Card, or other positive identification will meet this requirement.
Contractors working in the City of Los Alamitos are required to have a Los Alamitos Business License.
If a contractor has employees, a Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance must be on file with the Community Developement Department. Contractors working alone may waive this requirement, but must show a pocket copy of their State Contractors License.
- What are the Building Permit Fees?
The cost of a permit is based upon the valuation of the proposed project as determined by the type of construction, size of project and the specific use of the buildings or structures.
Building Permit fees are generally about one to two percent of the valuation. Our Building Permit fee valuation table can be downloaded here. Please note this is only the Building fee as there may be other constructions fees, planning fees, state fees, school fees or sewer fees.
- What are the Building Plan Check Fees?
City engineers and planners will review the plans submitted with a permit application. This may result in design changes to comply with City and California regulations. The amount of time required for Plan Check depends on the size and complexity of the project.
Plan Check fees prior to issuance of each type of permit are as follows:
- Building Plan Check at 65% of Building Permit fee;
- Mechanical Plan Check at 25% of Mechanical Permit fee;
- Electrical Plan Check at 50% of Electrical Permit fee;
- Plumbing Plan Check at 65% of Plumbing Permit fee.
Further information can be obtained by calling (562) 431-3538, ext. 302 between 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on alternate Fridays.
Copies of the Municipal Code are available by clicking here.