Schedule a pre-application meeting

Optional: Meet with DBI or Fire Department staff to review code issues before you apply for a building permit.

What to do

Talk with City staff from the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) and the Fire Department before you submit.

The Planning Department offers a different pre-application meeting. See the process and requirements for a Planning pre-application meeting.

You only need to include the Fire Department if you are building 3 units or more.

1. Decide if you need a pre-application meeting

The meeting gives you a chance to ask questions before you submit your permit application.

Pre-application meetings are helpful if your project is particularly complex or you are unsure of your building permit code interpretation.

2. Fill out the pre-application packet


A set of schematic drawings, describing existing conditions and the proposed project
  • Your list of specific code-related questions

3. Send us your pre-application packet

Department of Building Inspection

Plan review supervisor for DBI pre-application meeting
49 South Van Ness Ave
Suite 590
San Francisco, CA 94103

4. After the meeting

You will get notes and our agreements in writing. Attach these to your building permit application.

Our decisions in the pre-application meeting are binding. When you apply for your building permit, we will use that agreement to measure your project’s compliance.


For a 2-hour meeting

Department of Building Inspection (DBI) 

  • Building review $400 (mandatory)
  • Mechanical review $400 
  • If the meeting goes over 2 hours, DBI charges $200 an hour

Fire (only needed for 3 units or more)

  • $576
  • If the meeting goes over 4 hours, Fire charges $144 an hour

Last updated September 28, 2023