Frequently Asked Questions 

Topic: General Permit Information

 
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If a violation notice is served on a property for work being done without the benefit of a building permit, the permit is subject to violation penalties.  The penalties are two times the permit fees that shall be in addition to the required permit fees.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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Yes, there are requirements for obstructions and visibility at streets and driveways. Examples would be fences and bushes.
 
More Info: OA-15- Visibility Obstructions at Streets and Driveways
Topic: General Permit Information
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Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District prohibits the installation of any new, indoor or outdoor, permanently installed fireplaces after October 26, 2007 in any residential or commercial building. See the handout below
 
More Info: OA-17- Wood Burning Appliance Advisory
Topic: General Permit Information
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We may issue a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy if the field inspectors in each discipline and the Fire department have signed off and approved a Temp C of O.  A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is typically good for a period of 30 days.
 
More Info: Commercial Request for Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
Topic: General Permit Information
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All in ground pools and spas Gunite, Vinyl, and Fiberglass  requires a permit. Any above ground pool greater than 5000 gallon capacity would require a permit. Above ground pools less than 5000 gallons and above ground spas will require an electrical permit.
 
More Info: Swimming Pool and Spa Documents
Topic: General Permit Information
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That would depend on the size and location of the shed. There are building size and height restrictions on tool sheds in order to be exempt from a building permit.
 
More Info: Permit Exempt Detached Structures
Topic: General Permit Information
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Residential projects typically do not require an architect to draw the plans.  Depending on the design and scope of work engineering may be required.
Some commercial improvements will require an architect to prepare the plans. See the handout Who is authorized to prepare plans.
 
More Info: GI-13- Who is Authorized to Prepare Plans
Topic: General Permit Information
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Permits can be issued to properly licensed contractors and owner/builders who have completed an owner/builder verification form in addition to the permit application. If the work will be done by a licensed contractor, have the contractor apply for the permit in his or her name.
 
More Info: Do I need to hire a contractor?
Topic: General Permit Information
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The applicant for a permit shall provide an estimated permit value at the time of application. Permit valuations shall include total value of work, including materials and labor, for which the permit is being issued, such as electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing equipment and permanent systems. If in the opinion of the building official, the valuation is underestimated on the application, the permit shall be denied, unless the applicant can show detailed estimates to meet the approval of the building official. Final building permit valuation shall be set by the building official.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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Projects may also require review and approval by the fire, water and sewer district that serve the project.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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Building Permits and Inspections has a large assortment of documents and handouts to assist you with the planning, permitting, and inspection of your project.
Our web site also has popular links to State and County departments, many trade and code organizations. There are also links to fire departments, School districts and other building departments outside the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County See "Related Links" section on the left side of page.
 
More Info: Documents and Handouts
Topic: General Permit Information
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Building permits can be applied for at one of our four office locations.  Simple Miscellaneous Residential permits can be applied for and paid online.
An example of online permits would be for a Water heater, Heating and Cooling, Sewer or Water line replacement, Reroof.
 
More Info: Getting Started
Topic: General Permit Information
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Complete and submit a building permit application to Building Inspection.  This can be done at one of our for office locations (hours vary) or apply online for simple projects.
 
More Info: Getting Started
Topic: General Permit Information
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A permit expires a) in two years from the date of its issuance. b) if no work has been started within six months from its issuance, or c) work has started but stopped for over six months. If no inspection progress has occurred for over six months your permit will expire.  Once a permit is in expired status a reactivation fee will be charged to reactivate the permit.  Inspections need to be scheduled until all inspections are complete and finaled.
 
More Info: Responsibility for Inspection of your permitted work
Topic: General Permit Information
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Permit fees vary depending on the type of construction, square footage and/or valuation of the project. Fee estimates can be provided over the phone and fee schedules can be provided upon request. Fee calculators can also be downloaded from the Building Inspection web site.
 
More Info: Fee documents
Topic: General Permit Information
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Storage containers, railroad cars may require a Building permit. Planning department approval is required in all instances. Fire department approval is also required for commercial use.  See handout below for more information
 
More Info: GI-10- Railroad Cars and Storage Containers used as Structures
Topic: General Permit Information
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Apartments, Condominiums and Three or more unit buildings are considered commercial permits.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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Building codes tell what, where, and how buildings can be built. Building codes insure that buildings are built safely and help make the community livable.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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Noise sources associated with construction, repair, remodeling, demolition, paving or grading of any real property, provided said activities do not take place between the hours of eight p.m. and six a.m. on weekdays and Friday commencing at eight p.m. through and including seven a.m. on Saturday; Saturdays commencing at eight p.m. through and including seven a.m. on the next following Sunday and on each Sunday after the hour of eight p.m. Provided, however, when an unforeseen or unavoidable condition occurs during a construction project and the nature of the project necessitates that work in process be continued until a specific phase is completed, the contractor or owner shall be allowed to continue work after eight p.m. and to operate machinery and equipment necessary until completion of the specific work in progress can be brought to conclusion under conditions which will not jeopardize inspection acceptance or create undue financial hardships for the contractor or owner;
 
More Info: http://qcode.us/codes/sacramentocounty/
Topic: General Permit Information
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Building Inspection currently provides plan review and field inspections based on the 2010 California Building code, Residential code, Electrical code, Plumbing code, Mechanical code, 2008 California Energy code, 2010 Cal Green Building Standards, Chapter (Title 16) Sacramento County code.
 
More Info: California Building Standards Recognized by Sacramento County
Topic: General Permit Information
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Fees will vary depending on the type or permit required, scope of work, type of construction, and the use of the building. The fees for new Commercial and Residential buildings or additions are based on a square foot cost valuation. Alterations to existing buildings such as interior remodels, tenant improvements, window replacements and fire repairs are based on the job value. Job value is the cost of the complete job including labor and materials based on what the contract for the job is. Owner builder or Do it yourself is not considered to be free labor. We base our fees on what a contractor would charge of the job.
  
More Info: Fee Documents
Topic: General Permit Information
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See our Food for Thought handout
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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The term Change in Use refers to changing the use of a building or occupancy.  For an example Warehouse to Office or Retail to Assembly 
A building may have been built with a small office space and a larger warehouse space.  A new tenant may want to turn some of the warehouse space into office. This would be considered a change in use.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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If your permit expires without all the inspections being completed or expires during the plan review process the permit will need to be reactivated. Permits that are expired for less than six months will be reactivated at fifty percent of the Building permit fee or Plan review fee. Permits that are expired for more than a six months will be reactivated at one hundred percent of the fee. Reactivation fees are based on the most current fee schedule  at the time of reactivation.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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A contractor who does not want to obtain a permit when one is required should raise a red flag. Not only are the penalties expensive (3x the permit cost) it places you as the property owner at a greater risk. Unpermitted work has no inspections and serious safety issues can go unnoticed. Unpermitted work may go unnoticed for a while, however it often times surfaces when you sell your home or a new commercial tenant comes into obtain a permit for new work. Unpermitted work ultimately falls on the owner of the property.  If your contractor does not want to get a permit, find another who does.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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A  Certificate of Occupancy is issued pursuant to a building permit for new construction, additions, and changes of occupancy after all the necessary construction has been approved and finaled by the inspector. It is evidence that Building Inspection has determined that the construction was done according to the requirements of the code for the given occupancy to be housed in the building.
 
Issuance of the C of O may take several weeks to complete, as we may need to collect reports from a number of agencies before the permit is finaled out and a C of O issued. The yellow job jacket showing all the final signatures serves as your C of O until one arrives in the mail.
If there is no change in use to the building or tenant space a new C of O may not be issued unless requested. 
 
Please Note: We do not issue Certificate of Occupancies for Residential.  Your Job Folder with all Final Inspection Signatures serves as your Certificate of Occupancy for your Single Family Dwelling
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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It is a document that gives permission to do something such as build a project.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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See our handout below
 
More Info: GI-04- Sacramento County Building Design Criteria 2010 CBC
Topic: General Permit Information
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A permit is needed for building a new building, adding to or remodeling an existing building (including electrical, mechanical or plumbing installations or alterations), for swimming pools, sheds over 120 square feet (projected floor area- residential only) or 9 feet in height, water heaters, signs, fences over 6 feet high, patio covers, screen rooms or when changing the use of a building. A permit is needed when altering an existing structure or adding new structures.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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A plumbing permit is required for the installation of any gas piping.
Except for piping less than 6 feet in length between an existing gas outlet and a gas appliance in the same room.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information
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The Downtown and Branch Center Rd. offices are open Monday thru Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
The Fair Oaks office is open 9:00 am - 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Monday and Tuesday only.
 
The North Highlands office is open 9:00 am - 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Wednesday and Thursday only.
 
More Info: Permit office locations
Topic: General Permit Information
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An owner, contractor or an authorized agent for either can apply for a permit with a signed authorization letter to act in their behalf.
 
More Info: AP-17- Authorization of Agent to Act on Property Owner's Behalf
Topic: General Permit Information
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It's the law. State law and County Building Codes dictate how buildings must be built to insure the safety of construction and the use of property. Proof of a building permit may also be needed for project financing.
 
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Topic: General Permit Information