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Frequent Questions


When is a permit required?

Why do I need a permit?

What happens if I choose not to obtain the required permits?

What happens after the permit is issued?

Why cannot homeowners pull permits on rental property?

Does someone need to be there when the inspector arrives?

How do I become a licensed contractor?

If I use a contractor, what guidelines should I use to choose one?

How much time do I have once the permit is issued?

What is a threshold building and do I need a threshold building inspector?


 When is a permit required?

Per Florida Building Code (102.2), a permit shall apply to the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every public and private building, structure or facility or floating residential structure, or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings, structures, or facilities.

Why do I need a permit?

The Florida Building Code (101.3) states that the "code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength... and to provide safety to firefighters and emergency responders during emergency operations".

What happens if I choose not to obtain the required permits?

Building & Code Enforcement will issue a Stop Work Order.  Once a permit is obtained, the cost will be double for an After the Fact permit.  Additionally, there may be fees for a third party engineering analysis if areas of work are concealed.  If no action is taken, a Notice of Violation will be issued and could result in fines being levied.

What happens after the permit is issued?

The list of required inspections is located on the bottom of the permit placard.  Instructions on scheduling these inspections will be provided when your permit is issued.  It is the applicants (Owner Builder/Contractor) responsibility to ensure that all required inspections are made prior to proceeding with work on the project.  For new dwellings, once all fees are paid and all required inspections are completed, the applicant will be issued a CO (Certificate of Occupancy). Upon request, a COC (Certificate of Completion) for minor projects can be obtained.

Why cannot homeowners pull permits on rental property?

In order to receive an exemption to Chapter 489 of the Florida Statutes, which requires the use of a licensed contractor to do the work, the residence MUST be for the use and occupancy of the homeowner only.  It may not be built for sale or lease.

Does someone need to be there when the inspector arrives?

If the inspection requires the inspector to enter your building or there are animals on the property, someone must be there to meet the inspector.

How do I become a licensed contractor?

In order to qualify to be a licensed contractor, you must show proof of experience in the particular trade in which you are interested in being licensed.  Licenses are issued through the State of Florida, Department of Business and Professional Regulations.  You may contact them by phone at 850-487-1395 or go online at www.myfloridalicense.com

If I use a contractor, what guidelines should I use to choose one?

Ask for and check references.  Ask to see their state license.  You can "Verify a License" by license holder name or by license number on the state web site at www.myfloridalicense.com.  Once you verify the license, the website also gives you the option of checking for any state complaints.  If they ask you to secure the permit, beware.  They may not be licensed, which puts the homeowner totally at risk.

How much time do I have once the permit is issued?

Permits expire and become null and void if work is not started and an inspection requested within 180 days from the issuance date of the permit.  After work has commenced, the permit will expire when work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days.  Lack of an approved inspection within this time will serve as validation that the job has been suspended or abandoned.

What is a threshold building and do I need a threshold building inspector?

Florida Statute 553.71 (11) defines a threshold building as "any building which is greater than three stories or 50 feet in height, or which has an assembly occupancy classification as defined in the Florida Building Code which exceeds 5,000 square feet in area and an occupant content of greater than 500 persons."   Florida Statute 553.79 (5)(a) states "The enforcing agency shall require a special inspector to perform structural inspections on a threshold building pursuant to a structural inspection plan prepared by the engineer or architect of record. The structural inspection plan must be submitted to and approved by the enforcing agency prior to the issuance of a building permit for the construction of a threshold building. The purpose of the structural inspection plan is to provide specific inspection procedures and schedules so that the building can be adequately inspected for compliance with the permitted documents."  The threshold building inspector shall be hired by the owner or the building contractor and shall meet all of the requirements and duties identified in the Threshold Building Inspector Requirements form.

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