Frequently Asked Questions - Building

Why do I need a building permit and who can/should obtain one?

The purpose of the various permits is to safeguard the health and general welfare of the community and your investment in your property. In addition, the evidence of a building permit is often necessary to obtain financing from lending agencies. Fire and liability insurance damages may not be paid in some cases where permits were not obtained, and improvements do not meet regulations.

You as property owner or your authorized agent may obtain the required permits. If, however, you are contracting to have the work done, it is always wise to have the contractor obtain the permits. In this way, you can be sure the contractor retains the responsibility to call for and receive approval of all required inspections. Please refer to the State of California Contractor's State License Board (CSLB) website for important contractor information.

What do I need to submit with my building permit application?

Building permit submittal checklists are available online for review/print. Please visit Application Submittal Checklists & Handouts under the Forms tab to view Building Services application submittal checklists and handouts.

These handouts are specific to which permit application is being submitted. For questions regarding which checklist applies to your permit application, you may contact Building Services at (530) 621-5315.

What are my building permit fees?

Building Permit Fees are calculated according to Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 079-2016(PDF, 8MB).

There is no single fee for the various types of permits. Fees are generally based on the valuation of your project. Some permits are flat fee or based upon the Time and Material to process/inspect the permit and the number of plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. The permit fee is collected at the time the building permit is issued. Some projects are subject to plan check and these additional fees are collected at the time the plans for the structure are submitted.

For questions regarding Building Permit Fees, you may contact Building Services at (530) 621-5315.

Do I need a building permit?

To determine if you need a building permit, review the list of exemptions under guidance tab. If your activity is not covered by an exemption, then you will need a building permit under forms tab.

For questions regarding which exemption or permit applies to your activity, you may contact Building Services at (530) 621-5315.

How long is my building permit valid?

Every permit issued by the Building Official shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the building or work authorized by such permit is not completed, with a final inspection approval and a certificate of occupancy, where required by the building code, within two years from date of issuance.

Permits affected by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) are exempt from the foregoing expiration and are governed by TRPA regulations in effect regarding permit expiration and reissuance. These exception permits will be found exclusively within the Lake Tahoe basin.

When are Building Inspections required and what does the Building Inspector do?

All construction or work for which a permit is required is subject to one or more inspections by the Building Safety Division.

All such construction or work shall remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes until approved by the building official. In addition, certain types of construction shall have special inspections, as specified by the latest edition of the California Building Code.

It shall be the duty of the permit applicant to cause the work to remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes. Neither the building official nor the jurisdiction shall be liable for expense entailed in the removal or replacement of any material required to allow inspection.

The County inspector checks the work that is being done for compliance with the approved plans and applicable codes and ordinances.

The County inspector will check each phase of the job and shall approve it before the next part of the job begins.

The County inspection job card given to you when permits are issued will list the inspections required for your project, although additional inspections may be necessary when noted or the County inspector adds them to your inspection card.

The County inspector signs and dates the inspection job card for each inspection approved and will provide you with a list of corrections for work not approved. The list of corrections will include a brief explanation of each correction (i.e. deviation from the approved plans).

What type of Building Inspections are required?

If a grading permit was required for your project, grading inspections and clearance of the initial grading work will precede any building construction inspections.

Building Inspections

  • Foundation Inspection: When the excavation for footings is complete and footing forms and required reinforcing steel and structural embedments are in place, but before any concrete is placed. (Also needed are separate underground electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections).
  • Exterior Shear inspection: When all exterior sheer elements are in place & correctly nailed, all required hardware (straps, clips, holdowns, ties & caps) are installed.
  • Roof Sheathing Inspection: When all roof framing members are installed and the plywood or other sheathing is complete along with any required strapping.
  • Wood Framing Inspection: When all roof, walls and floor framing, fire blocking, draft stopping and all pipes, chimney, vents and duct work are in place, but before any work is covered. Wood framing inspection will not be approved until rough mechanical, electrical, and plumbing inspections are completed.
  • Insulation Inspection: When all thermal insulation is in place but before it is concealed. Inspect state energy requirements stated on the approved plans.
  • Lath and/or Gypsum Board Inspection: After all lath and gypsum board is in place but before any stucco is applied, or before gypsum board joints and fasteners are taped and finished.
  • Reinforced Masonry Inspection: In grouted masonry before any units are laid up, all steel must be tied and in place ready for concrete foundation pour. Grout inspection is required after units are laid. Final inspection is required after cells are grouted and cap is installed.
  • Structural Steel Inspection: When structural steel members are in place and required connections are complete but before concealing any members or connections. Certificates of Compliance are to be given to the City Inspector.
  • Re-roof Inspection: Sheathing inspection and building final inspection.

Electrical Inspection

  • Underground: After conduit or cable has been installed in trench but not covered.
  • Rough wiring: Before any part of the work is concealed and prior to framing inspection. Telephone, television, intercom, security, doorbell and thermostat cable need to be in place for rough inspection. Compliance with Title 24 Requirements for Residential Lighting is checked.
  • Final: When all fixtures, appliances, and systems are in place and connected.

Plumbing Inspections

  • Underground or sub-floor plumbing: After material has been installed and tested, including sewer. Sewer Cap, is inspected for demolition projects.
  • Rough plumbing: Before any part of the work is concealed (including shower pan hot mop), prior to framing inspection and after roofing is installed.
  • Gas piping test: After lath or gypsum board has been installed.
  • Shower pan.
  • Final: After all fixtures are in place and connected.

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Inspections

  • Underground/Sub-floor duct inspection.
  • Rough: Before any part of the work is concealed, metal fireplace rough, prior to framing inspection and after roofing is installed.
  • Final: All appliances and equipment are in place and connected (Performance test may be required).

Final Inspection

  • Call for final inspection when the construction has been completed.
  • All external surfaces must be painted, or otherwise sealed, weather-stripping must be installed on all new windows and doors, and all electrical or plumbing fixtures have been installed. Interior painting, wallpapering, or carpeting need not be complete.
  • Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms must be installed as required by the latest edition of the California Residential Code.

What time is my Building Inspection scheduled for?

Check the list of scheduled inspections to confirm your inspection time. Please note that the anticipated inspection time column will be available by 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the scheduled inspection. The anticipated inspection time will be listed as either AM or PM. AM = 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PM = 12:00 p.m. to Finished Inspection Route.

The content of these tables is provided without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information is presented in "real time" so changes to the database update this information as they occur.

For questions regarding inspections (scheduling/cancelling/general questions), you may contact Building Services Inspections at (530) 621-5377.

Is my permit/plans ready to be issued?

Building permit status can be obtained on the eTRAKiT website. The permit application status screen will list all departments and agencies that are required to approve your permit/plans prior to issuance. Once all listed statuses are marked APPROVED, your permit/plans are ready for pick up. Please call Building Services to schedule an appointment to pick up your permit/plans at (530) 621-5315.

Please note, if the application status box is blank or marked Needed, it generally indicates the agency has not started their review of the permit/plans. We've also included phone numbers for these agencies and departments for any questions you may have for them about their review process.

Parcel Research: How can I obtain historical records for my property?

To obtain historical records for your property, you will need to complete a Parcel Research Request(PDF, 335KB). The Parcel Research Request form can be submitted in person or mailed to: Building Services, 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville, CA 95667.

Research fees are based on the time required to complete the research and the costs for photocopies.

Parcel Research: How can I view permit history for my property?

To view permit history for your property, request a parcel permit history(PDF, 335KB) . You will need to have your Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) available to locate this information. If you do not have your APN, you may contact the Assessor's Office for this information at (530) 621-5719. You may also visit APN Lookup to help you find your parcel number.

This search displays permit history beginning in 1987. Previous permit history is on microfiche and is available with Building Services. Parcels can be renumbered due to parcel splits, etc. Permit history is recorded on the parcel number active at the time of issuance so the current parcel number you are researching may not include all the permit history on the property. Generally, if there is a "dwelling" permit in your current research, there will be no earlier permits.

How do I contact Building Services?

Visit the Building Services page for the department's location, contact information and hours. Note: As all permitted use information is parcel-specific, it is strongly recommended that you provide either the Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) or numerical street address(es) of the parcel(s) you are inquiring about. If you do not have an APN or street address, you may contact the Assessor's Office for this information at (530) 621-5719. You may also visit APN Lookup to help you find your parcel number.

What is my Snow Load? Climate Zone? Fire Safe Regulations? Water District?

View Building Design Criteria here. You will need to have your Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) available to locate this information. If you do not have your APN, you may contact the Assessor's Office for this information at (530) 621-5719. You may also visit APN Lookup to help you find your parcel number.