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Permits are not required for the following:
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. Also, 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 structure within five feet or geogrid or is a surcharge.
If necessary, you may call the morning of the inspection between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM and speak with an inspector. However, we are not able to give out exact inspection times due to unexpected issues that may arise during the inspector's schedule. We will do our best to accommodate each applicant's needs.
Note: For registered users, you can schedule inspections online. Please see Citizen Services.
Certain permits are considered “over the counter.” For example, a Water Heater, Furnace or Roof replacement are permits that are issued at the counter with little paper work. These permits normally take about 15 minutes in order to fill out the application and obtain the permit.
For work involving new construction or remodeling, several items are required to be submitted for plan checking. Items that may be required, but not limited to, may be: Plot Plan, Floor Plan, Framing Details, Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical plans, Soils reports, etc. Please call the Building Division at (925) 833-6620 to obtain the “Plan Submittal Checklist” for your type of project, which lists exactly what must be submitted for your project. A plan review fee is required at the time of submittal. The amount of time that it takes for your application to be approved depends on the complexity of the project. Minor items are typically handled over the counter or in one business day; other small projects such as small retaining walls, simple patio covers may take 1 to 2 weeks. However, room additions and new buildings normally take 15 business days for review.
Building permits can be applied for electronically. All over the counter type permits can be handled through e-mail. Larger projects are eligible to be process through the City’s eprocess360 system. Please contact Building at (925) 833-6620 for questions on how to process your project electronically.
You may wish to review the Swimming Pool, Hot Tubs, and Spas handout listing all requirements and safety barriers required for you spa. Swimming Pool, Hot Tubs, and Spas
If the work is on the interior of the building, someone over the age of 21 must be on site to allow the inspector access to the area of work. On work that is completely on the exterior of the building, you may leave instructions for the inspector to enter the yard without you being home. Please note that the inspector will not enter a yard / building with unattended animals or unsupervised, minor children.
The City offers over-the-counter (OTC) plan reviews for limited residential projects such as single-story additions less than 500 square feet; remodels with minimum structural changes; garage conversions to living space; and accessory structures such as sheds, arbors, patio enclosures, etc. Appointments are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and reviewed in half-hour increments per division/department. Refer to the handout OTC Residential Reviews Handout for limits on review time; specific design criteria and limitations of work; and contact information.