Obtaining a Permit
Talk to Your Local Code Official
Your code official wants your project to be a success and will help you avoid potential problems that could cost you time and money. You will be asked some basic questions (What are you planning to do? Where?), advised of any requirements and, if necessary, referred to other departments for their approval. The code official will provide you with the resources and information needed for compliance with the applicable building codes. You will then receive an application for a building permit.
Please refer to items below to assist you in your submittal;
- Residential Design, Permitting and Construction Process Brochure (PDF)
- Residential Design, Permitting and Construction Forum Presentation (PDF)
At this stage you will document the "Who, What, When, Where and How" of the job, along with any sketches or plans of the proposed work. Normally, separate permits are required for electrical, plumbing, and heating or air-conditioning work. In a brief amount of time, the code official will review your plans and determine if your project is in compliance with local requirements. If your plans meet these requirements, a permit is issued. If not, the code official may suggest solutions to help correct the problem.
Owner-Builder Permit Requirements
In California, most construction work is required to be performed by a licensed contractor. In certain instances, the owner of the property may secure a permit as an owner-builder, but there are strict limitations on when this may occur. It is important to note that only the owner of the property qualifies for this type of permit issuance, and not the owner of a business or other tenant of the property. The Contractors State License Board has compiled a convenient summary of the limitation related to owner-builder projects for all owners to consider.
For more information, please see the Owner-Builder Permit Requirements in “Handouts & Forms.” https://www.hillsborough.net/138/Handouts-Forms
Now that you have been approved for a permit, you have legal permission to start construction. A fee, based on the size and value of the job, is collected to cover the cost of the application, the review and the inspection process. An experienced code official is available to you should you have any questions concerning your project. You should consider your code official as an ally who will help you make your project a success.
Job Site Visits
On-site inspections will be required to make certain the work conforms to the permit, local codes and plans. Again, you will have access to the expertise of the code official to help you with questions or concerns regarding the project and to ward off potentially costly mistakes. The code official will let you know approximately how many inspections may be needed for your project. Usually, a 1 or 2 day notice is needed when requesting visits.
Receive Final Approval
The code official will provide documentation when construction is complete and code compliance is determined. You will then have the personal satisfaction of a job done right. Enjoy your new surroundings with the peace of mind and the knowledge that they meet the safety standards of the town.