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THE BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS


DO I NEED A PERMIT?

Here are the requirements for Residential and Commercial permits.

Before a building permit can be issued by the Building Division, information related to zoning regulations must be obtained from the Planning Division. If the permit request is for new construction, then architectural design, public works and landscaping standards may apply to the property or project. These items must be addressed before a building permit can be issued by the Building Division.

The California Building Code requires that no building or structure regulated by the code shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, converted or demolished without first obtaining a separate building permit for each building or structure.

 

WORK THAT REQUIRES A BUILDING PERMIT

Examples of projects that require a Building Permit include:

  • Patio Cover Installation
  • Electrical Work
  • Heating/Air Conditioning
  • Plumbing Work
  • Reroof of Structures
  • Retaining Walls
  • Room Additions
  • Sewer Replacement
  • Solar Panels
  • Swimming Pools & Spa Installation
  • Water Heater Replacement
  • Water Softeners
  • Window Replacement

WORK THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE A BUILDING PERMIT

Examples of projects that do not require a Building Permit include:

  • One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and/or storage sheds or playhouses and under 120 sq. ft., located a minimum distance of 8 ft. from the main house, and less than 7 ft. in height
  • Detached platforms, walks and decks without a cover, less than 30 inches high and 120 sq. ft. in area
  • Fences not taller 6 ft. in height
  • Retaining walls under 3 ft. in height (including foundation)
  • Swimming pools less than 5,000 gallons and setting above the adjacent grade
  • Painting, papering & similar finish work

REQUIRED DRAWINGS

The following information must be prepared on a minimum of 11" x 17" size paper and drawn to a scale of 1/4" = 1' showing the following information:

  • Plot Plan showing the size, position and setbacks of the proposed project in relation to existing buildings, property lines, and public utility easements. This plan is to be drawn to a scale of 1:20, which means 1 inch is equal to 20 feet.

  • Foundation Plan indicating the type and size of footing used and the pad/finish floor grades.

  • Framing Section showing sizes of framing members and methods of assembly and, if required, the R-value of insulation being used.

  • Floor Plan detailing the location of walls, supports, size and location of doors, windows, electrical outlets, heater, plumbing fixtures, smoke detectors and the square footage of the project.

  • Roof Framing Plan showing details of framing, type of sheathing, nailing pattern, roof pitch and type of roof covering.

  • Exterior Elevations showing two or more sides of the proposed structure.

  • Four (4) sets of drawings must be submitted to the Building Division.

  • New commercial, new single/multi family dwellings or room additions over five hundred square feet (500) must submit one set of drawings to West Contra Costa Unified School District for payment of school fees. A letter from the West Contra Costa Unified School District showing that school fees have been paid must be submitted before a building permit can be issued.


ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Depending on the scope of work, other documents such as, engineering, soils reports or Title 24 may also be required:
    • Two (2) sets of structural engineering
    • Two (2) sets of Title 24
    • Two (2) sets of geological report

  • A residential addition greater than five hundred (500) square feet or a second story addition shall require a geological report.

  • A residential addition shall include wall, ceiling, foundation, slab, or raised floor U-values as per Title 24 special package A or D, as applicable, or submit a complete Title 24 energy compliance package. Title 24 requirements must be an integral part of the plans.

  • New commercial construction requires that one additional set of drawings be submitted to the Fire Department.

  • If the new structure is a restaurant, one additional set of drawings must be submitted to the Contra Costa County Health Department.

  • Commercial tenant improvements require two sets of Title 24 Energy calculations and may require engineering for any structural changes.

  • Residential room additions under 100 square feet are not required to submit Title 24 Energy calculations but must show R values of insulation and U values of windows on drawings. Additions of 100 square feet to 500 square feet must submit Title 24 Energy calculations and may be required to submit a soils report if the addition is on a slope.

Depending on project complexity, plan check should be complete within 7 to 21 working days.


PERMIT APPLICATION

When applying for a permit, certain information is required to complete the permit application.

  • Description of work
  • Project Location (street number & name)
  • Legal owners name, address and telephone number
  • Proposed work Valuation
  • Proof of Workman Compensation
  • State Contractors License Information
  • Current City Business License

The owner, an authorized agent, or a licensed contractor is the only person who can legally sign the building permit application. Upon approval of the application and issuance of the permit, the applicant/contractor has 180 days (6 months) to commence work on the project.


BUILDING PERMIT FEES

Fees are charged for each type of permit issued such as building, plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical. The permit fee is based on the valuation of the project and calculated from fee tables established in the code. The fees provide for the checking of plans and adequate field inspection of the materials and methods of construction.

Fees may be paid by cash, check, money order, Visa or Mastercard.
Fees may also be paid via fax when using Visa or Mastercard.


INSPECTIONS

All permits issued require an inspection during and/or at completion of the work. Scheduling inspections is the responsibility of the applicant/contractor. Depending on the type of project, the following inspections are required:

  • Foundation - after trenches are excavated, forms erected and steel is in place.

  • Underfloor - after the installation of underfloor framing, heating ducts and plumbing.

  • Underfloor Insulation - after the floor insulation is installed, but prior to installation of the subfloor.

  • Roof Nail - after installation and nailing of the roof sheathing.

  • Rough Frame - after the roof, all framing, fire blocking, siding, lath and bracing are in place and all pipes, chimneys, vents, rough electrical and plumbing are installed.

  • Insulation - after the wall and ceiling insulation is installed.

  • Drywall Nail - after the drywall is installed and prior to tape or texture.

  • Final - after finish grading and the bulding is completed and ready for occupancy.

Obviously, not all of the inspections listed above will apply to every job. If uncertain which inspections pertain, please check with the Building Inspection Division.


WHEN TO CALL FOR AN INSPECTION

An Inspection request recorder is available on a 24-hour basis by calling 510-724-8914. Inspection Requests require 24-hour notice.

  • Morning inspections are performed between 8:30 am - 10:30 am.
  • Afternoon inspections are performed between 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
  • APPOINTMENTS ARE NOT MADE.
The inspector can be reached at 510-724-8912 between 7:30 am and 8:30 am to inquire about a more specific estimated time of arrival. The approved plans and the inspection card should be on the job site and available to the inspector at the time of inspection.


PERMITS AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER

Stucco Work Electrical Repairs 
Plumbing Repairs Dryrot/Termite Repairs
Demolitions Minor Residential Repairs
Solar Power Systems Commercial Irrigation Systems
Fireplaces Retaining Walls with Engineering
Furnace Replacement Fire Damage Repairs
Reroofing Residential Irrigation Systems
Water Heaters Window Replacement

Permits may be pulled at Pinole City Hall during the following hours:
  • Monday through Thursday: 10:30 am - 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm-4:30 pm
  • Closed Fridays


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