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:

  • Construction of block wall less than 30 inches high.
  • Construction of decks and platforms less than 30 inches high, open walkways, and driveways on grade.
  • Replacement of up to 400 square feet of roofing on an existing building in any 12 month period.
  • Installation of ceramic tile on floors and countertops, and on walls not more than 48 inches high.
  • Replacement of any existing broken or damaged ceramic tiles.
  • Plaster patching not in excess of 10 square yards.
  • Construction of pools not over 2 feet in depth, without electrical or plumbing fixtures.
  • Construction of cases, counters and partitions less than 5 feet high.
  • Construction of retaining walls and planter boxes under 30 inches high measured from bottom of footings.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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 carbon monoxide (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.

Show All Answers

1. When is a permit needed?
2. What types of permits can I apply for?
3. Who can obtain a construction permit?
4. What are the Building Permit Fees?
5. What are the Building Plan Check Fees?
6. How many sets of plans do I submit?
7. What size plan page can I submit?
8. Can I download a permit application?
9. What is your plan check turnaround time?
10. Can I submit for plan check or check plan status online?
11. Can I check submittal status via email?
12. What are your design criteria?
13. What building codes are you using?
14. Does the City require an authorization letter?
15. Do contractors need a business license?
16. Do I need Title 24 energy calculations?