Fun facts about building permits

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - Apr• 11•08

Janet Mitsui-Brown and Roger Brown's metal fence with slate-covered posts, in Los AngelesIf you live in the city of Los Angeles and are planning some home improvements, the city’s Department of Building and Safety offers some fascinating FAQs:

Do I need a permit to build a fence around my property?
A permit is not required for any type of fence under 3’6″ in height. A permit is required for a masonry or concrete fence over 3’6″ in height, and for a fence of any other material over 10’0″ in height. Please note that even though a permit may not be required, all fences must comply with the requirements of the L.A. Zoning Code.

Can I as a homeowner apply for a construction permit?
A homeowner can obtain a permit and do the construction, alteration or repair on his/her house and accessory buildings or facilities thereto if the owner resides or will reside in the dwelling.

How much is a building permit and what is it based on?
Building permit fees are calculated based on the valuation of the project. Please refer to the Los Angeles City Building Code section 91.107, or call our Customer Call Center for assistance.

Can a homeowner prepare the drawings, obtain my building permit, and construct my own house or addition without consulting an architect/engineer/contractor?
Yes, if the house is one story, and will be built from plans based on the Department standard “TYPE V” sheet.

Is a plumbing permit required to replace my residential garbage disposer?
No.

Is a permit required to install a domestic cooking range, broiler unit or domestic-type clothes dryer in my single-family dwelling?
No.

When is a plumbing permit required for natural gas piping?
A plumbing permit is required for the installation of any gas piping except piping less than 6 feet in length between an existing gas outlet and a gas appliance in the same room.

See more
Links to all building departments in California

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