Do I Need a Permit?
According to State code, no building or structure regulated by the State code shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, converted or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has first been obtained. A building permit is required for most types of residential construction. The following are exceptions to the permit requirements:
A building permit may not be required for the following residential projects:
- One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet.
- Fences not over 7 feet high.
- Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
- Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
- Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work.
- Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, are not greater than 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground.
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings.
- Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and supported by an exterior wall that does not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
- Non-fixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
*Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical, and mechanical permits will be required for the above-exempted items. Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
Contact the Building Division at (916) 625-5120 for general information.