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Permits are NOT required for the following types of home improvements: Exemption from the permit requirements of these codes does not grant authorization for any work to be done in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

California BUILDING Code Permit Exemptions
  • One-story detached accessory building provided the floor area does not exceed 120 s.f. (Planning Department Zoning regulations still apply)
  • Patio slabs (where no patio cover is to be constructed).
  • Sidewalks (MUST drain to front of property).
  • Driveways. (Contact the Engineering Division)
  • Painting (both interior and exterior)
  • Papering and similar finish work.
  • Removing and replacing carpeting, floor tile, or vinyl flooring (unless termite report or water damage is involved, or alterations to framing or sub-floor are proposed).
  • Removing and replacing broken panes of glass.
  • Fences not over six (6’) feet in height.
  • Retaining walls not over four (4’) feet in height from the bottom of the foundation to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge (a cut in hillside creates a surcharge) or within an Engineered Grading Development such as Dougherty Valley.
  • Platforms, patio slabs, or decks, walks, and driveways not more than thirty (30”) inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a residence or garage when projecting not more than fifty-four (54”) inches.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a residence in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the water capacity does not exceed five thousand (5,000) gallons. (Electrical permit is required for ALL prefabricated pool equipment.)
California ELECTRICAL Code Permit Exemptions
  • Portable motors or other portable appliances energized by means of a cord and plug that have an attached plug and are to be connected to an approved existing receptacle when that cord or cable is permitted by code. (Example: fish ponds, fountains)
  • Repair or replacement of fixed motors, transformers or fixed approved appliances of the same type and rating in the same location.
  • Temporary decorative lighting.
  • Repair or replacement of current carrying parts of any switch, contactor or control device.
  • Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets (electrical boxes) therefore.
  • Repair or replacement of any over-current device (fuse or breaker) of the required capacity in the same location.
California MECHANICAL Code Permit Exemptions
  • A portable heating appliance, portable ventilating equipment, portable cooling unit, or portable evaporative cooler.
  • Replacement of any component, part, or assembly of an appliance which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of this code.
  • A listed and labeled unit refrigeration system (i.e.: household refrigerator, wine cooler, etc.).
California PLUMBING Code Permit Exemptions
  • The stopping of leaks in drains, soil, waste, and vent pipes, provided, however, that should any concealed trap drain pipe, soil, waste, and vent pipe become defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, the same shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be procured and inspection made as provided in this code.
  • The clearing of stoppage or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures, nor for the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures.
  • Removing and replacing faucets.

Building and Code Enforcement Links

  • 2016 California Building Code
  • 2016 California Electrical Code
  • 2016 California Energy Code
  • 2016 California Fire Codes
  • 2016 California Mechanical Code
  • 2016 California Plumbing Code
  • 1997 Uniform Sign Code
  • 1997 Uniform Solar Energy Code
  • 1997 Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa And Hot Tub Code
  • 1997 Uniform Housing And Abatement Of Dangerous Buildings Code
  • 1997 Uniform Security Code
    Effective Date November 1, 2002