The Department of Building Inspection reviews every building permit application for life safety and building code compliance.
Review these instructions to prepare the right forms and submit your application for an In-House project. We accept In-House projects for electronic plan review (EPR) or with paper plans.
There are different processes for adding an accessory dwelling unit or a Development Agreement project or Affordable Housing.
For all other projects, follow these steps to submit your In-House project.
Decide if your project needs a Full or Site Permit
The first step is to decide whether to apply for a Full Permit or a Site Permit.
This is an important decision as it determines the process for reviewing a project. It cannot be changed without resubmitting the permit application.
Many customers prefer the more condensed Full Permit process. Projects with more iterative design and engineering may be better served by the Site Permit process. These are often projects that will cost more than $25 million. (See more details in the Administrative Bulletin 032.)
Full Permit requirements
- Initial submittal includes: Architectural, Structural and Mechanical/Electrical plans, and Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency information
- Two payments: initial filing fee and issuance fee
Site Permit requirements
- Initial submittal limited to Architectural plans, other plans can follow after issuance of site permit as addendums
- Four payments: filing fee, issuance fee, addendum submittal fee, addendum issuance fee
- Addendum schedule and submittals for Structural and Mechanical/Electrical plans, and Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency information. Plan Check supervisor advance approval needed for multiple addendum submittals.
Fill out the building permit application form for your project
Pick the form that applies to your project.
- Form 1/2: New construction (new building for single-family residence, multi-family residence, commercial)
- Form 3: All other construction work in any type of building
- Form 4: Sign permit
- Form 5: Grading/Excavation permit
- Form 6: Demolition of an entire building
Fill out the form completely.
Fill out the project application
Fill out other forms
You must fill out the School Facility Fee form for these projects:
- New construction
- Horizontal or vertical additions
- Building enlargement
If your construction project includes any water fixtures, a new fire sprinkler system, or a new utility line, fill out the water use forms from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
File a labor compliance bond if needed
You must secure and file a surety bond with the Controller's Office if your project will create 10 or more residential units.
Register to track your construction waste
You must track your construction waste if your project is for:
- New construction
- Commercial additions 1,000 square feet or greater
- Commercial remodels or alterations that cost $200,000 or more
- Full building demolitions
- Residential additions or alterations that increase the building’s conditioned area, volume or size
Provide plans created by an architect, engineer or designer
Format PDFs of your plans for our electronic plan review software, Bluebeam.
You must also add our back check page to your plans.
Submit your application for intake
Prepare your documents and email them.
For electronic plan review (EPR), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit only 1 project per email.
Use this email subject line: New In-House Review Permit Request - [insert property address].
Include all requested documents.
We will check your documents and confirm whether your project should be submitted as a Full or Site Permit. We will email you your filing fee invoice.
To request paper plan review, email us at email@example.com and attach all of your forms and applications. We will schedule an appointment for you at the Permit Center.
Please note that the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) is now conducting all disabled access review as part of our plan review.
Plans requiring a DBI permit that are not project managed by the Department of Public Works no longer need to go to Mayor’s Office on Disability (MOD) for accessibility review and inspection.
Project plans currently under review by MOD that are not finalized by June 30, 2023 will complete and be finalized with DBI-assigned accessibility specialists. As of July 1, 2023, new projects will be fully reviewed by DBI, including for accessibility.
MOD will continue to review projects that do not require a permit, will continue to conduct ADA Title II barrier removal inspections and provide technical assistance regarding disability access compliance and best practices, including but not limited to compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act.
Starting July 1, DBI will also be conducting disability access inspections. More information will be available soon.
Get a pre-plan check
Your application will be routed to pre-plan check automatically for EPR. If you are getting paper plan review, bring your plans to the Permit Center for your appointment.
Plan reviewers will:
- Make sure the plans are complete and include all required documents. (You can download reference checklists for residential and commercial permits that plan reviewers will use to make sure your plans are complete. You do not have to submit the checklists.)
- Assign the required review stations.
- Categorize the project by estimated building permit plan review time.
Pay filing fee invoice
After we confirm all your documents are ready for intake, we will email you an invoice with your filing fee.
You must pay your filing fee for your permit application to be processed. Then we will route your application to the required plan review stations at the appropriate City departments.
Your filing fee will depend on whether you are doing a full or site permit.
Review by required stations
Your plans must follow City codes for neighborhood development and building safety.
We review all applications to make sure they follow these codes. Our review will include:
- Quality review
- Routing to other City agencies, as required
- Plan review with applicant or agent in Bluebeam (our plan review system)
Track your building permit application in our permit tracking system (PTS).
If you need help beyond permit tracking, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Respond to plan checker comments
If your plans need revisions, you must stay with EPR or paper, based on how you submitted your plans.
For EPR, upload your revisions in Bluebeam. (Learn how we use Bluebeam.)
For paper, submit revised paper plans only to assigned plan checker directly by appointment.
Pay remaining fees and permit issuance
We will email you your next invoice and your final forms about your role on the project.
Construction can start after receiving a job card. Call us to schedule the appropriate inspections during your construction project.
Submitting Addenda for your site permit, email email@example.com.
Apply for other City permits if needed
Once you have your construction document, you may need to apply for a street space permit to use street space during construction.
Once you have your construction document, you may need to apply for trade permits, like plumbing and electrical.
You will need to apply for separate permits for:
Transport of mixed construction and demolition (C&D) debris
If your construction activity will generate mixed C&D debris, the mixed debris must be collected and transported by a company that has obtained a permit for each debris box and/or each vehicle used to transport mixed C&D debris.
Apply for a mixed C&D debris transporter permit
Last updated June 8, 2023