Apply For A California Building Permit

Where do I get a building permit in California?

If you are going to begin new construction or remodeling of real property at your business or home, you will need a building permit issued by your city. There are various types of permits depending on the type of construction you are doing and the city where the property is located.

What kinds of projects need a building permit?

Construction of new buildings as well as most remodeling work requires a permit. For example, you may be simply moving electrical outlets, or other fixtures and may need an electrical permit. In most cases, you will not need a permit for cosmetic types of work, such as painting. Building a deck or installing new faucets may not need a permit either. You should always contact your city to find out the particular requirements that are required as each city has its own requirements.

What are the types of building permits required in California?

Some licenses and permits could include:
• Building Permits
• Grading Permits
• Electrical Permits
• Plumbing Permits
• Mechanical Permits
• Landscaping Permits
• Sign Permits
• Demolition Permits

What type of information will be needed or asked for on the license application?

Generally, you will need to complete a building permit application and pay the permit fees, which will vary depending on the size of your project. You will also need to submit several copies of your building plans, floor plans, or other construction plans and specifications and maps. Building permit applications will request the following types of information:
• Project location
• Legal description of property
• Project name
• Proposed use
• Project description
• Property owner information
• Contractor's information and license number
• Types of permits being applied for

What is the approval process for a building permit application?

The application, along with the drawings of your plans and the building and design specifications will be reviewed by various departments within the city. Each city will have its own review process. Which departments are required to review your application will depend on the type of construction permit being applied for and the scope of construction. Each department in the city may have its own comments on the application and require changes or conditions that must be agreed to by the builder as part of the approval process.

For example, in the City of San Diego, a newly constructed building will generally require the approval of the following departments:
• Development Services
• Economic Development
• Public Works
• Neighborhood Code Compliance
• Project Management

How long does it take to obtain a building permit?

Every city has different requirements and staffing that will affect the timing of the issuance of a permit. Some simple permits may be available over the counter at the time you apply, however, most permits require several weeks to several months.  


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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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