Building Permits

Permit Requirements

A permit is required for most construction and/or repair projects, including electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work. Permits are necessary for, but not limited to, residential and business additions, alterations, patios, decks, garden and retaining walls, swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, air conditioners (adding or replacing), and all electrical and plumbing installations, including lawn sprinklers, water heaters, and gas lines.

When Permits Are Not Required

Permits are not required for the following:
  • Fences below eight feet in height, although Planning Division approval is always required before construction
  • Retaining walls that are not more than three feet in height, measured from the top of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or ground slope of 5%. Please note: The presence of a building / structure within five feet or existence of a geogrid is a surcharge.

  • One story detached accessory buildings with no electrical or plumbing installed, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet, that are less than eight feet in total height and do not block any windows of the dwelling; zoning clearance is required before construction

  • Awnings over doors and windows, in residential construction, which are entirely supported by the building and do not project more than 54 inches
  • Raised wood decks, which are less than 30 inches above the ground at all points
  • Painting, papering, carpets, and similar finish work
For a complete list please see our Work Exempt From a Building Permit

For More Information

These are only some of the projects that do not require a permit. To find out if your project requires a permit or to ask any other building question, please contact the Building Division at 925-833-6620. Building inspectors are available for questions between  7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

To check the status on a plan check or permit see our  What's My Status?

Required Application Forms

A Permit Application Worksheet must be completed for all work requiring a permit.  See Online Permits for permits that can be applied for via email.

When an owner or tenant is obtaining a permit a Notice to Owner Form must be completed in addition to the Permit Application Worksheet mentioned above.

When acting as an agent on behalf of the owner or the tenant, an Authorization of Agent Form must be completed in addition to the Permit Application Worksheet and the Notice to Owner Form mentioned above.

Required Energy Forms

When replacing a water heater, a 2016 CF1R-Alt-01-E Water Heater Form must be completed in addition to the required application forms.

When replacing a furnace or an air conditioning unit or installing a new air conditioning unit, a 2016 CF1R-Alt-01-E HVAC Change Out Form must be completed in addition to required application forms.

When adding or replacing windows, a 2016 Residential Window Fenestration form must be completed. 
When re-roofing a home, a 2016 CF1R-Alt-01-E Reroof Form must be completed in addition to the required application forms.
When re-roofing a non-residential building a 2016 non-residential re-roof form is required.