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When do I need a building permit in Florida?

Learn about when you need a permit for construction projects in the state of Florida as well as how to go about obtaining one.

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Studio Marlowe

Written by:

Christi Farrell, RA, Leed GA


November 8, 2022


Studio Marlowe

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Florida Building Permit

In the state of Florida, anytime you are making an addition or alteration to your home, including but not limited to enclosures, roofing, siding, soffit, fascia, windows, doors, and porches, as well as additions to the living area of your home, you will need to obtain a building permit prior to beginning any work.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you are only doing cosmetic work that does not alter the footprint of your home or affect its structural integrity, you may not need a permit. Examples of cosmetic work that would not require a permit include painting, Minor repairs such as installation or repair of countertops, cabinets, and carpeting.

If you are unsure whether or not your project requires a permit, you can always contact your local building department for clarification. The last thing you want is to get halfway through a project only to find out that you should have had a permit all along!

What Is a Building Permit?

A building permit is a document that gives you permission to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, or demolish a building or structure. obtained from your local government authority. The permitting process exists to ensure that all construction projects meet certain safety standards set forth by the government.

When do I need a permit?

In the state of Florida, permits are generally required for any construction project that results in the alteration of the supporting structure or envelope of your home. This includes things like adding or removing walls, increasing the size of openings in existing walls, or changing the roofline. If you're unsure whether or not your project will require a permit, it's always best to err on the side of caution and consult with your local building department.

-Building a new home 

-Adding on to an existing home 

-Making major renovations to an existing home 

-Constructing a pool 

-Installing solar panels 

-Making changes to your home's electrical system 

-Making changes to your home's plumbing system 

-Making changes to your home's HVAC system

How do I obtain a permit?

The first step is to contact your local building department to inquire about obtaining a permit. They will be able to provide you with the necessary paperwork as well as inform you of any fees that may be associated with obtaining said permit. Once you have completed and submitted the required paperwork, someone from the building department will likely schedule a time to come out and inspect your property prior to issuing the permit. 

1. Decide which permit you need.

The first step is to figure out which permit you need for your project. You can do this by contacting your local building department or by visiting their website. Once you know which permit you need, you can begin the application process. 

2. Fill out the application.

The next step is to fill out the required application for your chosen permit. This application will vary depending on the type of project you're undertaking and the municipality in which you live. Be sure to include all of the required information and supporting documents so that your application can be processed quickly and without delay. 

3. Pay the fee.

Once you have submitted your completed application, you will be required to pay a fee before your permit can be issued. The amount of this fee will also vary depending on the type of project you're undertaking and the municipality in which you live. 

4. Wait for approval.

After you have submitted your application and paid the required fee, all that's left to do is wait for your permit to be approved. Once it has been approved, you will be able to begin work on your project! Depending on the municipality in which you live, this process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, so please plan accordingly.

How much does a permit cost?

The cost of a building permit varies depending on the scope of the project, but it is generally fairly inexpensive - often less than $100. However, if your project is particularly large or complex, then the cost of the permit may be more significant.

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Contributor / Co-Founder
Christi Farrell
Christi is a licensed architect and interior designer specializing in sustainability. She enjoys teaching design and bringing transparency to the impact that furniture has on our planet.
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