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How to Fill Out a Building Permit Application- A Step-by-Step Guide

Guide
Do you need help filling out the building permit application? In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn what permit application fields are required and what each field means. We also provide examples. Get help with the building permit application with these instructions.
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Did you know we return building permit applications to applicants if there's missing information? Use this guide to make sure you fill out all the required fields.

The building permit application

You can fill out this form online or by paper and pen.

Let's learn what each section is asking for. You'll find notes and yellow highlights for any required sections or fields.

Type of work

Type of work section has four options: New construction; Demolition; Addition/alteration/replacement; Other. Select one of the options that applies to your project.

The Type of work section has four options. This section is required. Select one that applies to the project: 

  • New construction: Are you building something that does not exist now? Are you getting a permit for a structure that does not have any permit records? If yes, select this option.
  • Demolition: Are you tearing down or removing an entire structure? If yes, select this option.
  • Addition/alteration/replacement: Are you adding to or changing an existing structure? Are you altering the interior walls of an existing structure? Are you creating new space as part of an existing structure? If yes, select this option.
  • Other: Are trees are being removed or grading taking place? If yes, select this option.

Example: 

You want to build an addition to make your home bigger. As part of this project, you’ll need to tear down a weight-bearing wall. Although you’re removing walls, you’ll want to select Addition/alteration/replacement. This is because you’re not removing the entire house, you're adding on to it.

Category of construction

In the Category of construction section there are six options: 1 & 2 family dwelling; Multifamily; Commercial/Industrial; Master builder; Accessory building; Other;

The Category of construction section has six options. This section is required. Select one that apply to your project: 

  • 1 & 2 family dwelling: A single-family home, duplex or intended for residential use. This includes shed, garage, and demolition of a residential structure. 
  • Multifamily: For three of more family dwelling units as part of a structure.
  • Commercial/industrial: For retail, office, towers, bridges. 
  • Master builder: For Master House permits. 
  • Accessory building: A building separate from the original building on the lot. This building may be for storage or living purposes. 
  • Other: 

Job site information and location

Job site information and location required fields: Job address; City/State/ZIP; Suite/bldg./apt.no (if applicable)

Fill out the required fields (highlighted in yellow): 

  • Job address: The address of job site. Where will the work be performed?
  • City/State/Zip 
  • Suite/bldg./apt. no. (If applicable)

Description of work 

Description of work field is required.

Here are some guiding questions to help you write the description of work: 

For this project... 

  • What are you planning to do? 
  • Are you creating livable space? This can be a bedroom, living room, office space, dining area, entertainment or play rooms. 
  • What is the square footage? 
  • Will there be a bathroom? 
  • Will there be a kitchen? 
    • If yes, will there be a.... 
      • Sink? 
      • Stove? 
      • Refrigerator?
      • Permanently installed microwave in a cabinet (not on the countertop)?

Example: 

You want to convert an existing backyard shed that is 150 square feet to a guest house. It will be a studio with a sleeping area. There will be a bathroom and a kitchen with a sink and refrigerators, but no stove.

Property owner or Tenant

Property owner or Tenant required fields: Select either Property owner or Tenant; Name; E-mail; Address; City/State/ZIP; Phone; Owner signature; Date.

The Property owner or Tenant box is required. Make sure to check one of the boxes.

  • Property owner: a person or company that owns a house or land. 
  • Tenant: a person who rents/leases a business structure or land. This is for commercial projects only. This option is not for residential (1 & 2 family dwelling only) projects.

Fill out the required fields in this section:

  • Name 
  • E-mail 
  • Address 
  • City/State/ZIP 
  • Phone 
  • Owner signature 
  • Date 

Read the Owner installation agreement. If the owner and/or tenant will be the general contractor for the project, they need to sign and date.

Contractor

Contractor required fields: Business Name; CCB lic. no.; Authorized signature; Print name; Date

Fill out the required fields in this section:

  • If you’re hiring a contractor, check the Contractor box. 
  • Business Name 
  • CCB lic. No.: A licensed contractor will have this number.  
  • Authorized signature: The contractor’s signature 
  • Print name 
  • Date 

If you are not hiring a contractor, write, “Owner doing work” in the business name field. For residential projects (1 & 2 family dwelling only), owner should be a person not an LLC and/or corporation. 

If you plan to hire a contactor but have not hired one yet, write “To bid” in the business name field. You can update this information once you hire a contractor. 

Applicant or Contact Person

Applicant required fields: check whether this person is the applicant or contact person; Contact name; Address; City/State/ZIP; Phone; E-mail; Authorized signature; Print name; Date

The Applicant will be the person who will be communicating with the city about permit updates and inspections. 

Permit updates may include requests for additional information, clarification on information submitted, request for payment, notification of when a permit is ready to be issued, and permit abandonment and expiration.

Pick a person who will respond quickly and will communicate well with your building team.  

This person may be the contractor, architect, or homeowner. 

Fill out the required fields in this section:

  • Applicant or Contact Person. Select one.
  • Contact Name: The applicant or contact person’s name 
  • Address 
  • City/State/ZIP 
  • Phone 
  • FAX (optional) 
  • Authorized signature: The applicant's signature 
  • Print name 
  • Date 

Required Data: One and Two Family Dwelling Units 

Data Required: One and Two Family Dwelling Units required field: Valuation

The Data Required: One and Two Family Dwelling Units section is for single family homes or two unit homes like a duplex.

If you have three or more unit homes, you will need to fill out the next section, Required Data: Commercial Use.

Fill out the required field in this section:

  • Valuation: 
    • Are you doing the work yourself? 

      • If yes, the valuation is the fair-market value of the work being done. The fair market value is generally twice the cost of materials. The cost of materials is based on the type of material.  A marble counter top will be a different price than laminate.  

    • Are you hiring a contractor? 

      • If yes, the valuation is the cost of the contractor’s labor and materials for your project. 

Required Data: Commercial Use

Required Data: Commercial Use required field: Valuation

The Required Data: Commercial Use section is for three or more unit homes and for all other permits that don’t fall under the Required Data: One and Two Family Dwelling Units section.  

Fill out the required field in this section:

  • Valuation: 
    • Are you doing the work yourself? 

      • If yes, the valuation is the fair-market value of the work being done. The fair market value is generally twice the cost of materials. The cost of materials is based on the type of material.  A marble counter top will be a different price than laminate.  

    • Are you hiring a contractor? 

      • If yes, the valuation is the cost of the contractor’s labor and materials for your project. 

Statement of Fact 

Statement of Fact required field: Initials

Finally, read and initial the Statement of Fact. This is required

Congratulations! You’ve filled out your building permit application! 

Complete your application and apply for a building permit

Next steps: make sure you have a complete application packet. Learn more about project requirements in What You Need for a Permit- Minimum Submittal Requirements.

Then, apply online or apply in person for your building permit.