When is a Permit Required?
A permit is required for projects such as new construction, additions, remodeling, and repairs to electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. Examples include:
- New homes and buildings
- Room additions
- Enclosures and carports
- Decks and patio covers
- Garage conversions
- Landscape irrigation
- Retaining walls
- Window replacements
- Water services
- Sewer services
- Water heaters
- Fireplaces and fireplace inserts
- Shower/tub enclosure replacements
- Swimming pools and spas
- Ceiling fans
If you are a California licensed contractor, certain minor permits are available online. Homeowners wishing to obtain a building permit must visit the public counter.
In some cases, a permit is not necessary. Unless within a design review or preservation district (or a historic landmark), a building permit is not required for:
- One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, etc., providing the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
- Fences, other than masonry walls, less than seven feet in height.
- Retaining walls not over four feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
- Platforms, walkways, and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
- Painting, papering, and similar finish work.