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Photo by Andy Callahan

Building permits are an unavoidable part of the any home remodeling project, but it can be hard to find out information about getting exactly the right permit in your area. So, here’s everything you need to know about building permits in the state of Florida:

There are general rules for building permits in Florida but you must always check with your local city planning department. Even if you’re making minor alterations to your property, there may be restrictions on things such as zoning and height regulations. You should generally go through your local city Building Department – however if you live in an unincorporated area then you need to check with the county to find out who issues building permits in your area.

Once you’ve checked your local restrictions, here’s what you generally don’t need a building permit for:

  • Sheds that are less than 100 square feet
  • Fences
  • Driveways
  • Roofing projects that are less than $500 in value

For any other large remodeling projects, the Florida Building Code states this:

“Per the Florida Building Code – Building 2001, Section 104.1.1 When required:

Any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy or occupant content of a building or structure, or any outside area being used as part of the building’s designated occupancy (single or mixed), or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the technical codes, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit for the work.”

Many cities in Florida will issue general building permits, but some may issue individual permits for separate projects.

For a general building permit, the information you will be asked to provide will include:

  • Property address
  • Property Details
  • Your name and contact information
  • Contractor/Architect names, license numbers, business names and contact information
  • Details of the project
  • Estimated Building Cost

And keep in mind that, depending on the extent of your remodeling project and the area your home is located, you may be asked to provide plans and architect’s drawings beforehand.

To find a great contractor in your area, you can use our free, online contractor referral service.