FAQs

When am I required to get a permit?

Permits are required for any new construction and alterations or additions to existing buildings, including structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and some finishing work. However, there are some exceptions to permit requirements. A more detailed list can be found here or if you still have additional questions please contact the Community Development Services Department.

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Why do I have to buy a permit to build on my own property?

Texas state law and the adopted building codes requires you to obtain permits – even on your own property – to ensure that you meet minimum building standards for your own safety and for the safety of future property owners and occupants.

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Who is responsible for obtaining permits?

The property owner, registered architect, licensed engineer, or registered contractor is responsible for obtaining all required permits. Permits for Mechanical (HVAC), Electrical, and Plumbing work require the applicant be a state licensed contractor for the specific trade.

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How do I get a permit?

To get a permit, you must complete a permit application. Permit applications are available here or may be obtained from the Planning and Development Services Department.

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When can I start work?

When an actual permit is issued to you, work can begin. If work began prior to the issuance of the permit, a penalty will be issued to the owner or contractor. The permit must be available on the job site and available to the inspector. If you’ve submitted plans and specifications, the Community Development Services Department will return one set of plans stamped “Approved” to you. These approved plans, along with the permit, must be available on the job site and available to the inspector.

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Where do I get permits?

The Community Development Services Department can assist you in determining what permits may or may not be needed for your proposed project.

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Can I get a permit by mail or fax?

No. Processing of permits more often than not need some clarification about the scope of work, contractors involved, and/or possible inspections that may be required. By coming into the office, our staff can better assist you in the permit process and possibly answer any questions so that the permit may be issued over-the-counter.

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How do I figure permit fees?

Fee schedules and valuation tables are available to help you determine permit fees in the adopted Schedule of Development Fees.

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When does my permit expire?

Your permit expires if work isn’t started within 180 days from the date of issue. Once you have begun work, your permit expires if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days or more. Formal scheduled inspections through the Planning and Development Services Department shall be sufficient to show progress with the project and shall automatically extend the expiration date.

If you can’t work within a 180-day period and don’t wish to abandon the project, you may submit a written request to extend your permit for up to and additional 90 days.

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Why do I need a plumbing permit to replace or install a water heater?

Texas state law and the adopted building codes requires plumbing permits for water heaters because of fire, electric shock, and explosion hazards.

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When do I have to hire an architect or engineer to design my project and prepare the plans?

While an architect or engineer may not be required for the design of your construction plans, architectural type plans will be required. Plans must be scaled and legible and depending on the project could require greater detail than an owner or contractor could provide. Refer to the specific permit application for the submittal requirements.

For single-family residential dwellings or accessory buildings, an architect or engineer is usually not required unless the design or methods used in the construction, alteration, or repair of the structure do not meet the minimum prescriptive standards provided within the adopted building codes.

For commercial/multi-family construction, alteration, or repair, an architect or engineer may be required if the design or methods used in the construction, alteration, or repair of the structure do not meet the minimum prescriptive standards provided within the adopted building codes or if the scope of work meets certain criteria. Refer to the architect or engineer for flowcharts detailing the specific criteria when an architect or engineer will be required.

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When are plans required?

Refer to the specific permit application for the submittal requirements.

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What technical information do I need to submit with my plans?

You may be required to submit some or all of the following:

  • Site plan or survey
  • floor plans
  • specifications
  • elevations
  • mechanical, plumbing, and electrical drawings
  • foundation plan
  • energy documentation
  • structural calculations
  • required fire-protection equipment
  • section details

Refer to the specific permit application for the submittal requirements.

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Can a permit be issued before the plan review is approved?

No. All plans must be approved before permits are issued. However, with special permission from the Community Development Services Department, temporary releases or partial permits may be issued for extenuating circumstances.

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How can I contact a plans examiner or inspector?

Contact the Community Development Services Department.

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