Pinole's Residential Permits

Residential Permits

If you plan to sell or remodel your home, you may be affected by recent real estate law changes, which require a disclosure statement for property remodeling and additions where permits have not been obtained.

The Building Division receives frequent requests for inspections of houses being placed on the resale market. If permits were not secured for remodeling or additions, it can be a very costly and inconvenient process for the homeowner.

Lenders require proof a building permit has been secured. If the work involved additions or remodeling without permits, the wallboard must be removed to expose the framing members, as well as electrical and plumbing work, that was not inspected during construction.

Although a contractor will often secure the necessary permits, the responsibility for obtaining building, mechanical, electrical or plumbing permits lies with the homeowner.

2019 California Building Code Section 105.2

  • Cosmetic work, such as installing carpet, painting, wallpapering.

  • Minor improvements, such as replacing a garbage disposal or dishwasher.

  • One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and/or storage sheds or playhouses and under 120 Sq. ft. of projected roof area and do not have electrical or plumbing.  Note:  if structure exceeds 8 feet in height a permit is required.

  • Fences not over six (6) feet in height (typically, fences shorter than six (6) feet do not require building permits; however, all fences must comply with the placement, height, and appearance requirements of the Pinole Municipal Code Chapter 17.42.)

  • Retaining walls under 4 ft. in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall and not supporting a surcharge.  (Surcharge is a vertical load imposed on the retained soil that may impose a lateral force in addition to the lateral earth pressure of the retained soil.  Examples include sloped soil, vehicle loads supported by retained soil and fences installed on top of retaining walls.)   

  • Swimming pools less than 5,000 gallons set above the adjacent grade.

  • Detached platforms, walks and decks without a cover, under 30 inches high and under 120 sq. ft.

  • Removable window awnings projecting not more than 54 inches.


  • Installation of free-standing fireplaces (wood burning not allowed)

  • Fireplace inserts

  • Replacement of hot water heater, furnace or air conditioner

  • Water softeners

  • New sewer, water or gas line

  • Changes or replacement of retaining walls

  • Room additions

  • Window Replacement

  • Fire damage repair

  • Electric service upgrade, electric service panel relocation, and new wiring or electric outlets

  • Installation of heat pumps or solar panels

  • Reconstruction or modification of a dwelling

  • New siding or new roof

  • Termite repair work

  • Pools, spas and hot tubs

  • Patio covers, decks over 30 inches high OR over 120 square feet OR attached to the house, and gazebos

  • Permanent affixed or freestanding signs


The Building Division has created handouts explaining requirements for various residential improvements. For additional information, please review documents below.

GET INSPECTION RESULTS BY PHONING (510) 724-8914.  THE PERMIT NUMBER IS NEEDED AS WELL AS THE ASSOCIATED INSPECTION CODE.  After dialing the inspection request system, select option 3, then entering your permit number.  The system will repeat the permit number and ask you to confirm.  Then enter the inspection code for which the status is needed.  The system will confirm the date and status.

If you have questions, contact the Building Division at (510) 724-8912

  • Click here to learn more about the Building Permit Process.