Permit Related Questions

Why are Building Permits and Inspection Required?
 
The City of Vallejo Building Division is charged with providing for life safety and the safeguard of property through enforcement of the California Building, Residential, Green Building Standards, Electrical, International Property Maintenance, Plumbing and Mechanical Codes and other codes, laws and municipal ordinances.
 
Can I as a homeowner apply for a construction permit?

Yes. Home owners are required to complete an "Owner-builder" form.

What are the building permit fees based on?

Building permit fees are calculated based on the valuation of the project. Please refer to the City of Vallejo Fee Schedule, or call our office for assistance. The following link is a summarized version of the Fee Schedules

How much will my permit and plan check cost?

Fee Estimator tool is an online service that can assist in permit fee calculations. You can also review the Fee Schedule for further information.

What types of work require Building Permits?
 
Most new construction, remodeling and repairs require building permits. Most electrical, plumbing, mechanical and insulation installations, repairs and replacement also require permits.
 
Some typical projects requiring permits:
  • New homes and buildings
  • Room additions, patio enclosures, sun rooms, and carports.
  • Kitchen remodels.
  • Bathroom remodels.
  • Decks and patio covers (attached or detached).
  • Arbor and trellis (regardless of size).
  • Gazebos and self-contained spas.
  • Garage conversions.
  • Storage sheds.
  • Swimming pools and spas.
  • Re-roofing.
  • Window and door installations or changes.
  • Water softeners.
  • Water heaters, fences, fireplaces and fireplace inserts.
  • HVAC systems and wall heaters.
  • Electrical service and sub-panels.
  • Insulation and drywall.
  • Exterior siding.
  • Skylights.
  • Shower/tub enclosure replacements.
  • Retaining walls.
  • Landscape irrigation.

                 A Residential Building Permit is not required for:

Per CRC 105.2, permits shall not be required for the following. However, exemption from permit requirements
of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of
the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

Building:
1. One‐story detached accessory structures with a floor area not greater than 120 square feet (ft2).
2. Fences not over 7 feet high. (Planning approval required on fences over 6 feet high and engineering approval, may be required within 15 feet of a public way) 
3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of
the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons (18,927 liters)
and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
5. Sidewalks and driveways.
6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
7. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
8. Swings and other playground equipment.
9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior
wall and do not require additional support.
10. Decks not exceeding 200 ft2 in area, that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not
attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by CBC 311.4.

Electrical:
1. Listed cord‐and‐plug connected temporary decorative lighting.
2. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles but not the outlets therefor.
3. Replacement of branch circuit over-current devices of the required capacity in the same location.
4. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not
capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.

Gas:
1. Portable heating, cooking or clothes drying appliances.
2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment
unsafe.
3. Portable‐fuel‐cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to
a power grid.

Mechanical:
1. Portable heating appliance.
2. Portable ventilation equipment.
3. Portable cooling unit.
4. Steam, hot‐ or chilled‐ water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
5. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment
unsafe.
6. Portable evaporative cooler.
7. Self‐contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant or that are
actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.
8. Portable‐fuel‐cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to
a power grid.

Plumbing:
1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed
trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove
and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be
obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and
reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or
rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

Commercial Building Permit is not required for:

Per CBC 105.2, permits shall not be required for the following. However, exemption from permit requirements
of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of
the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

Building:
1. One‐story detached accessory structures with a floor area not greater than 120 square feet (ft2).
2. Fences not over 7 feet high. (Planning approval required on fences over 6 feet high and engineering approval, may be required within 15 feet of a public way) 
3. Oil derricks.
4. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of
the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
5. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons (18,925 liters) and
the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or
story below and are not part of an accessible route.
7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
8. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
9. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R‐3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, are
not greater than 5,000 gallons (18,925 liters) and are installed entirely above ground.
10. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one‐ and two‐family dwellings.
12. Window awnings in Group R‐3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more
than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
13. Non‐fixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.

Electrical:
1. Repairs and maintenance: minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of
approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
2. Radio and television transmitting stations: the provisions of this code shall not apply to electrical
equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power
supply and the installations of towers and antennas.
3. Temporary testing systems: a permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system
required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.

Gas:
1. Portable heating appliance.
2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment
unsafe.

Mechanical:
1. Portable heating appliance.
2. Portable ventilation equipment.
3. Portable cooling unit.
4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
5. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
6. Portable evaporative cooler.
7. Self‐contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by
motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.

Plumbing:
1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed
trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove
and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be
obtained.
2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and
reinstallation of water closets, provided that such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or
rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

*Recommendation:
Although your project may not require a building permit, it is recommended you obtain Planning and Public Works Department approval before beginning any project (A plot plan May be required.
 
Obtaining Building Permits

Please submit a completed permit application and, if required, three (3) or more sets of plans (depending on the type of project) and pay applicable pre-plan check submittal fees. A building permit is issued upon approval of the permit application and payment of building permit fees and other applicable fees.
 
Building Permit Application Requirements

A building permit application requires:

  • Description of the work.
  • Legal address of the project.
  • Owner?s name and telephone number.
  • Applicant?s name, address, telephone  number, and signature (Applicant must be either the owner, the owner authorized agent or the contractor).
  • Contractor?s, Architects? and/or Engineer?s name, license number, address and telephone number.
  • Completion of the ?Owner-Builder Declaration?, or ? California Licensed Contractor Declaration? and the ?Worker?s Compensation Declaration?.
  • Construction Valuation  cost of the proposed work (including materials and labor).
  • Plans (if required)-Three (3) or more sets of plans (depending on the type of project)  and two (2) copies of  structural calculations and specifications. Other documents may be required at submittal.

Planning Department Approval
 
Most building permit applications are reviewed by the Planning Division for compliance with zoning regulations such as Use, and property line setback and height requirements.
 
Construction Plans information
 
Plans, if required in order to show building standards code compliance, must be clear and drawn to scale. The plans may be prepared by the owner, an architect, engineer draftsperson or designer. A licensed California Architect or Engineer may be required to prepare plans for certain locations or unusual structural conditions.
  • Plot plan showing property dimensions,  location of all existing and proposed structures on the property with distances from other buildings and property lines.
  • Floor plan showing room size and uses, placement of walls, location and sizes of windows, doors and stairs, fixtures, electrical including receptacles and lights, fireplaces and cabinets.
  • Exterior elevations showing all sides of the building being constructed or remodeled and indicating the height of the structure and the exterior materials being used.
  • Structural plans including: foundation, floor framing, roof framing, cross sections and framing details.
  • Structural Calculations, if required.
  • Title-24 Energy Compliance documents.
  • Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical
  • Green Building Standards
  • ADA Standards, if applicable

Costs
 
The Building Division is supported by fees collected for services. Plan review fees pay for staff time to check plans for code compliance. Permits fees pay for inspection services. All fees are identified in the City of Vallejo fee schedule and are available for your review.
 
Building permit fees and any required plan check fees are based on the value of the project. Electrical mechanical and plumbing permits fees are based on the types and quantities of items to be evaluated.
 
Additional charges may be assessed for any further planning review; additional required permits, such as grading or encroachment permits; and/or any applicable fire prevention division (payable to the City of Vallejo Fire Prevention Division) and/or school district fees (payable to Vallejo Unified School District).
 
How long are plan checks and permits valid?
 
Plan checks are valid for six (6) months from the date of approval. After this time, the plan check will expire if the building permit has not been issued. A one-time six (6) month extension may be granted if a written request is received before the expiration date, Permits are valid for six (6) months from the date of issue or the last approved inspection. After this time, the building permit will automatically expire. A one-time six (6) month extension may be granted if a written request is received before the expiration date.
 
Which code does Building Division follow?
  • 2019 California Building Code
  • 2019 California Residential Code
  • 2019 California Electrical Code
  • 2019 California Plumbing Code
  • 2019 California Mechanical Code
  • 2019 California Green Building Standards Codes
  • 2019 California Energy Code
  • 2019 California Fire Code