Step by step

Prepare for your construction project

Before you apply for a building permit, follow these steps.

Your property and project plans affect what processes you must follow to get a building permit.

1

Check if your project needs a permit

Time:

10 minutes

Some construction projects do not need a permit.

Check if your project needs a permit

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2

Check and resolve complaints

Time:

10 minutes to 1 hour

Check your property’s complaints or notice of violations in our tracking system. 

You must resolve notices of violation before you apply for another permit

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and

Check your property’s environmental categories

Time:

10 minutes

Your property’s slope, landslide risk, and Maher area will affect your required documents for your project.

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and

Check your property’s historic resource status

Time:

10 minutes

If your project will be visible from the street, check your property’s historic status.

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3

Check earthquake safety rules

Time:

10 to 30 minutes

Check our earthquake safety program for multifamily residential buildings.

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4

Check water use rules

Time:

10 minutes to 1 hour

If your project uses water in certain ways, you have to follow additional steps.

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5

Check neighborhood development processes

Time:

10 minutes to 1 hour

Your project must meet City requirements that keep neighborhoods livable.

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6

Check commercial construction requirements

Time:

30 minutes to 1 hour

If your construction project is on a commercial space, check these requirements.

Check commercial construction requirements

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7

Check if your permit needs plans

Time:

10 minutes

Most building permit applications require architectural plans drafted by a professional.

Check if your building permit needs plans

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8

Create your plans

Time:

1 or more hours

If your permit requires plans, follow these rules to create your plans.

Create your plans

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and

Format PDFs of your plans

Time:

1 hour

If you are submitting online, format PDFs of your plans for our electronic plan review software.

Format PDFs of your plans

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9

Get a building permit

You must have a building permit to do construction. Follow these steps.

Get a building permit

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Last updated September 25, 2020