During normal building activity, after your plans are submitted, it will take approximately 2 weeks for the review of your plans to be completed. After the review of your plans is finished, the plans examiner will either notify you that your plans are ready for permit issuance or will require revisions. Subsequent plan reviews will take approximately 1 week.
Those eligible to pull a Building Permit:
- Any properly licensed State Contractor
- An Owner of a residential or commercial property on which the project is proposed.
- An Agent for the Owner or Licensed Contractor
Worker’s Compensation Certificate Requirements:
Prior to issuance of any permit, a valid certificate of Worker’s Compensation Insurance must be filed with the City Building and Safety Division. (Section 7031.5, California Business and Professional Code)
When are plans necessary?
The plans are used to show details to obtain the necessary building permits. Your plans must have specifically drawn details so that a worker could build directly from them.
What kind of plans are necessary?
Normally, a site plan, floor plan, elevations, structural calculations, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and energy calculations.
Minimum information on building plans includes:
- Standard format for plans is 1/4″ per foot scale for floor and foundations plans, sections and elevations, and a 1/8” per foot for site and plot plans on 24”x 36” paper minimum standards size.
- A site plan including the lot dimensions, legal description, all existing buildings and proposed construction on the property, distances of buildings to property lines, drainage patterns, electrical system location.
- A floor plan showing room locations, sizes, and uses; doors, location and size of windows, stairs, sizes and spacing of all structural members.
- Elevations illustrating the building’s exterior appearance, architectural features, height, chimneys.
- Two structural sections showing the building foundation, floor systems, walls, and roof as it would appear if it was cut in two at a particular plane.
- Electrical, mechanical and plumbing plans are required to show location and size of equipment, wiring switches and fixtures.
- Disabled access plans are required for additions, alterations and repairs to existing commercial buildings, such as tenant improvements, as well as for new buildings.
- General information and specification sheet for material and workmanship.
- Foundation plan showing foundation layout and dimension sizes, reinforcement and detail of anchor bolts…etc.
Plan Preparation Submittal
The City does not provide plan drawing or designing services, but we do provide information and interpret codes to assist you in meeting City standards for approval. The complexity and number of plans required depend on the type of project application. For very small projects not requiring engineering, such as patio covers and one-story wood frame additions, you may prepare your own drawings, provided they are clear, drawn-to-scale and include the details and information needed for approval. If you are unfamiliar with code requirements and drawing plans, you should contact a draftsperson, architect or engineer for this service.
In most cases, three sets of plans and two sets of structural and energy calculations are required for submittal. Plans can only be submitted during the Building Division’s counter hours, listed on the Building Division page.
When must I hire an Engineer, Architect, or Surveyor?
New buildings and major remodels which require more extensive plans, calculations, and technical reports, such as:
- A lot survey map, signed by a land surveyor, or civil engineer within a specific license number range.
- A report by an appropriately State licensed person may be requested at the time of plan check for the following:
- Soils report for new building or major remodel
- Design calculations and details for the building structural system
- Electrical systems (generally services 400 amps or more)
- Title 24 energy calculations (new buildings, additions, increases in electrical services)
Why are plan checks performed?
The plan checking process is an independent review of the submitted plans and reports. Your plans will be reviewed by our Building Division plan review staff and consultant engineers for mandatory requirements such as structural safety, energy conservation, exit requirements, light and ventilation, and disabled access. Early notification of our engineers will prevent potential problems and help you as the owner avoid unexpected and unnecessary expenses later.
For example, a proposed structural change that will affect the stability of the building will require a new support system as part of the finished building. Adding a second story may require strengthening the existing foundation and framing. If primary beams must be removed, the remaining structure must be properly supported to protect you and your family. Therefore, you must notify your design professional and our plan review engineers of any changes you are making to the plans prior to construction.
What happens after the plans are checked?
After the plan review engineer examines your set of plans and writes a correction list, the Building Division will notify the applicant of the job status. As an applicant, you will need to pick up the reviewed plans, make necessary changes, and return them for a second review. Once fully corrected, the person responsible for designing the project must sign the plans with proper identification, then our engineers will approve the plans as ready for permit issuance.
Please remember that approval of plans and specifications does not permit the violations of any section of the building codes or other City ordinance, federal and state law.
The plans are then reviewed by staff to check for administrative items, such as written approvals from other agencies, proof of contractor’s licenses and insurance, and calculation of remaining fees to be paid. Work cannot commence until all administrative items are cleared.