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How Much Does A Building Permit Cost?

$50 – $300
Small Jobs, Plumbing, Electrical, Fence, Deck
$500 - $2,000
Large Construction, Renovations, House Building
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Key Takeaways:

  • Building permit costs range from $50 to $300 for small jobs like plumbing, electrical work, fences, and decks.
  • Construction, renovations, and house building permits cost $500 to $2,000.
  • Building permit fees are typically 0.50% to 2.00% of the total construction cost.
  • Additional fees for plan reviews, zoning permits, and impact fees can add hundreds or thousands to the total permit cost.
  • Permit costs vary significantly by location and project scope. Check with your local building department for specific requirements and fees.

At Renotag, we know that building permits are an essential part of any construction or renovation project. Whether you’re building a new home, renovating your kitchen, or just installing a new fence, you’ll likely need to obtain a permit from your local building department. If you’re wondering how much a building permit costs, let’s break it down.

Building Permit Cost

The cost of a building permit can vary widely depending on the type and scope of your project. Here are some average costs for common projects:

ProjectAverage Cost
Build a House$1,000 — $3,000
Build A Garage$150 — $500
Convert Garage Into Living Space$800 — $1,500
General Construction$500 — $2,000
Room Addition$200 — $600
Electrical$50 — $350
Roofing$150 — $500
Fence$40 — $150
Plumbing$30 — $500
Sprinkler system$35 — $200
HVAC$50 — $1,500
Water Heater$25 — $250
Bathroom Remodel$200 — $800
Deck$50 — $150
Shed$50 — $145
Pergola$60 — $150
Seawall or bulkhead$100 — $400
Land leveling or grading$50 — $400
Basement Finishing$200 — $1,000
Kitchen Remodel$500 — $1,500
Window$50 — $200
Driveway$50 — $200
Swimming Pool$100 — $300
Demolition$100 — $450
Well Drilling$250 — $600
Scaffolding$100 — $300
Building Inspecting$100 — $500
Crane or Temporary Tower$300 — $600

As you can see, permit costs can range from under $100 for small projects to several thousand dollars for major construction. On average, most homeowners spend between $150 and $1,500 on building permits.

Building Permit Cost Calculator

Average Cost To Get A Building Permit
National Average Cost$477
Minimum Cost$50
Maximum Cost$6,000
Average Range$150 to $1,500

Keep in mind that these are just averages. Your actual permit cost will depend on your location and the specifics of your project. Let’s look at some of the factors that can impact the price.

Electrical Permit Cost

Electrical permits for minor work like adding outlets or switches typically cost $50 to $100. More extensive projects like rewiring a home or upgrading the electrical panel can cost $200 to $350.

Plumbing Permit Cost

Plumbing permit fees are often based on the number of fixtures being installed or modified. Expect to pay around $50 to $75 per fixture, with a minimum fee of $30 to $50. Large projects can cost up to $500.

Deck Permit Costs

Building a deck usually requires a permit, which costs $50 to $150 on average. The price may be higher for very large decks or those with special features like built-in seating or lighting.

Construction Permit Cost

Construction and remodeling permits are based on the total project cost. Here’s a breakdown of typical costs:

Project CostAverage Permit Cost
Less than $25,000$30 — $250
$25,000 — $50,000$200 — $650
$50,000 — $100,000$400 — $1,000
$100,000 — $500,000$1,000 — $3,000
$500,000 — $1,000,000$3,000 — $6,000
More than $1,000,000$5,000 — $10,000+

So for a typical kitchen remodel costing $30,000, the permit fees would likely be in the $200 to $650 range. Building a new $300,000 home would incur permit costs of $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

Garage Building Permit Cost

Building a new garage or converting an existing garage into living space requires a permit. Fees vary based on the project:

TypeAverage Cost
General Building$150 — $500
Conversion Into Living Space$800 — $1,500

Roofing Permit Cost

If you’re replacing or repairing your roof, you’ll need a permit. The cost differs for repairs vs. replacement:

TypeAverage Cost
Repairs$70 — $250
Replacement$150 — $500

Fence Permit Cost

Fence permits typically cost between $40 and $150. Some municipalities waive permit fees for small fences under 6 feet tall. Check your local codes.

Water Heater Permit Cost

Replacing a water heater requires a plumbing or mechanical permit in most areas. Fees range from $25 to $250 depending on the type and size of the unit.

Bathroom Renovation Permit Cost

Remodeling a bathroom usually involves plumbing, electrical, and structural changes – all of which require permits. Expect to pay $200 to $800 in permit fees for a typical bathroom renovation.

Basement Finishing Permit Cost

Finishing or remodeling a basement requires multiple permits for framing, electrical, plumbing, and more. Total permit costs are $200 to $1,000 on average.

Kitchen Renovation Permit Cost

Like bathrooms, kitchen renovations involves several trades and requires multiple permits. Budget $500 to $1,500 for permit fees on an average kitchen renovation.

Window Permit Cost

Replacing windows requires a permit in most cases. The fees are higher if you’re enlarging the openings or adding new windows:

Project sizeAverage Cost
One window$50 — $200
Multiple windows$400 — $600

Driveway Permit Cost

Installing or expanding a driveway usually requires a permit, which costs $50 to $200. You may also need to pay for a site inspection.

Swimming Pool Permit Cost

Inground swimming pool permits cost $100 to $300 on average. Additional fees may apply for electrical work, fencing, and plumbing.

HVAC Permit Cost

Installing or replacing heating and cooling equipment requires a mechanical permit. Fees range from $50 to $1,500 depending on the complexity of the system.

Shed Permit Cost

Permit requirements for sheds vary widely by location. Small sheds under 100 square feet may not need a permit at all. Larger sheds typically require a permit costing $50 to $145. Livable sheds with plumbing and electricity can cost $500 to $2,000 to permit.

TypeAverage Cost
Small Sheds (< 100 SF)$0
Sheds (> 200 SF)$50 — $145
Livable Sheds With Plumbing & Electricity$500 — $2,000

Pergola Permit Cost

Pergolas and other small outdoor structures usually require a permit to build. Fees range from $60 to $150 on average.

Demolition Permit Cost

Demolishing a structure or part of a structure requires a permit in most cases. Demolition permit fees are $100 to $450 on average.

Building Inspection Fee

In addition to the permit fee, you’ll need to pay for building inspections during and after the project. Inspection fees are $100 to $500 on average.

Residential vs. Commercial Building Permit Fees

Permit costs are very different for residential and commercial projects. Commercial permits are based on the building size and can easily cost thousands of dollars. Residential permits are cheaper and based more on the project scope.

Commercial Building Permit Cost

Building Size (SF)Average Permit Cost
5,000$750 — $4,200
10,000$1,500 — $8,400
25,000$3,750 — $21,000
50,000$7,500 — $42,000

Residential Building Permit Fees

ProjectCost Range
Fence, HVAC, Deck, Water Heater, Windows, Doors$0 — $100
Manufactured Home, Excavation, Demolition$100 — $450
Foundation, Pergola, Remodeling, New Construction$600 — $3,600
After the fact / As Built$2,000 — $8,000

Building Approval Fees

On top of the base permit fee, you may owe additional fees for plan reviews, impact fees, and more. These can add up quickly:

SourcePotential Impact
Technology Fee3% of permit fee
Planning Surcharge5% of permit fee
Financial Recovery1% of permit fee
State Surcharge1 — 3% of permit fee
Zoning Permits$120 or up to 13% of permit fee
Permit Renewals or Extension$60 — $550 or 25% of permit fee
Plan Reviews / Checks$90 — $1,000 or 25% — 80% of permit fee
Phased Permitting$195 per phase or 10% — 50% of permit and plan review fees
Express Plan Examination$600 — $1,000+ per permit
Historic Alterations or Demolition+50% surcharge on permits fees
Transportation Impact Fee$6,500
Sewer Connect Fees$500 — $10,000
Unpermitted work2 — 16 times permit fees
After Hour inspections2 — 3 hour minimum, up to $450
Park Development Fees$2,000 to $3,500
Flood Control Development Impact Fees$1,500 to $2,500
State Surcharge+12%

Average Cost of House Building Permits By Location

Permit costs for building a new home vary quite a bit from state to state. Here are some averages:

StateAverage Cost
Arizona$2,100 — $3,700
California$1,200 — $3,000
Idaho$1,700 — $3,100
Illinois$2,000 — $3,000
Oregon$950 — $1,800
Texas$1,000 — $3,000

Remember, these are averages for an entire state. Actual costs in your city or county may be higher or lower. Always check with your local building department for the most accurate permit pricing.

What Is A Building Permit?

A building permit is an official approval from your local government to construct, alter, or demolish a structure. It ensures that the proposed work meets all zoning, safety, and structural requirements.

Why Are Building Permits Needed?

The permitting process is designed to protect public safety and welfare. It helps ensure that buildings are constructed to code, with proper materials and techniques. This minimizes the risk of structural failures, fires, and other hazards.

Permits also help maintain property values and aesthetics in a community by enforcing standards and preventing unpermitted work. They’re an essential part of the legal and regulatory framework surrounding construction.

What Happens If You Build Without A Permit?

Building without a permit can lead to fines, legal action, and difficulty selling your property. In some cases, you may be forced to remove or demolish unpermitted work at your own expense.

It’s always best to obtain the necessary permits before starting construction. If you’ve already completed unpermitted work, you may be able to get a retroactive permit by working with your local building department.

When Do You Need A Building Permit?

In general, you need a permit for any construction, alteration, or repair that changes the structure, plumbing, electrical, or mechanical systems of a building. Here are some common projects that require permits:

New Construction

Building a new home or detached structure like a garage or shed almost always requires a permit. The permitting process for new construction is more involved and expensive than for smaller projects.

Room Addition Permit Cost

Adding a room or expanding the footprint of your home requires a building permit. Permit fees for room additions are $200 to $600 on average, but can be higher for very large or complex projects.

Major Renovations

Extensive remodeling work that moves walls, adds windows, or changes the layout of a room usually requires a permit. Minor cosmetic updates like painting or flooring may not.

Structural Changes

Any project that impacts the structural integrity of the building needs a permit. This includes removing load-bearing walls, altering the roofline, or underpinning the foundation.

Electrical, Plumbing, and Mechanical Work

Updating or installing new electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures, or HVAC equipment requires a permit in most cases. Some minor repairs may be exempt – check your local codes.

If you’re unsure whether your project needs a permit, it’s best to check with your local building department before starting work. They can advise you on the specific requirements for your area.

How To Get A Building Permit

The process of obtaining a building permit varies by location, but typically involves the following steps:

  1. Contact your local building department to discuss your project and obtain the necessary application forms.
  2. Prepare detailed plans and specifications for the proposed work. You may need to hire an architect or engineer for complex projects.
  3. Submit your completed application, along with the required plans and fees, to the building department for review.
  4. The plans examiner will review your application to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning regulations. They may request additional information or revisions.
  5. Once the plans are approved, you’ll receive your permit and can begin construction. Display the permit on site.
  6. Schedule the required inspections at various stages of the project, such as foundation, framing, and final. The inspector will check that the work meets code.
  7. After passing the final inspection, you’ll receive a certificate of occupancy allowing you to use the new or renovated space.

The specific requirements and timeline can vary, so it’s important to start the permitting process early and allow plenty of time for review and revisions.

What Is A Permit Service?

A permit service is a company that handles the permitting process on behalf of the homeowner or contractor. They’re familiar with local requirements and can help expedite the process.

Permit services are most often used for large or complex projects where the permitting process is more involved. They charge a fee for their services, which can save time and hassle for the homeowner.

Building Permit Requirements

To apply for a building permit, you’ll typically need to submit the following:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Site plan showing the location of the proposed work
  3. Detailed construction drawings and specifications
  4. Structural calculations (if applicable)
  5. Energy compliance documentation
  6. Proof of ownership or authorization from the property owner
  7. Contractor information and licenses
  8. Payment for permit fees

The exact requirements vary by location and project type, so it’s important to check with your local building department for a specific list.

Where To Get A Building Permit?

Building permits are issued by the building department or development services department in your local city or county government. The specific department name may vary, but it’s typically part of the planning, zoning, or public works division.

Many jurisdictions allow you to apply for permits online through their website. Others require you to submit plans in person or by mail. Contact your local building department for the most up-to-date information on their permitting process.

Getting A Building Permit After The Fact

If you’ve completed work without a required permit, you may be able to obtain a retroactive or “as-built” permit. This process is more expensive and time-consuming than obtaining a permit before construction.

To get an after-the-fact permit, you’ll need to submit plans and documentation showing that the work meets current building codes. You may also be required to expose or remove portions of the work for inspection.

In some cases, unpermitted work may need to be modified or demolished to comply with codes. It’s always best to check permit requirements and obtain necessary approvals before starting construction.

Building Permit FAQs

Who Can Apply For A Building Permit?

In most cases, the property owner or a licensed contractor can apply for a building permit. Tenants may need written authorization from the owner. Some jurisdictions require that certain projects be completed by licensed professionals.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Building Permit?

The time it takes to get a building permit varies widely depending on the complexity of the project and the workload of the building department. Simple projects can often be permitted the same day, while larger projects can take several weeks or even months.

Windows, Drywall, Fencing, HVAC, Siding, Roofing, Water Heater, Plumbing, Mechanical, Fireplace Insert, Deck, Patio, Trellis, Fire Damage Repair, Garage Conversion, Small RepairsSame day
New Homes and Structures, Home Additions, Home Remodeling, Foundation Repair, Pools and Spas, Retaining Walls, Solar2 weeks
Commercial Construction and Renovations4 weeks

To avoid delays, submit complete and accurate plans and respond promptly to any requests for additional information. Starting work without a permit can result in fines and stop-work orders.

Can A Homeowner Pull A Building Permit?

In most cases, homeowners are allowed to obtain their own building permits for work on their property. However, some jurisdictions require that certain projects be completed by licensed contractors.

Even if you’re allowed to do the work yourself, it’s important to carefully consider your skills and experience. Improper construction can create safety hazards and may not meet code requirements. When in doubt, it’s best to hire a licensed professional.

What is an Owner-Builder Permit?

An owner-builder permit allows a homeowner to act as their own general contractor on a construction project. This can save money on contractor fees but also comes with increased responsibilities and liabilities.

As an owner-builder, you’re responsible for overseeing all aspects of the project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, scheduling inspections, and ensuring code compliance. You may also be personally liable for any injuries or damages that occur on the job site.

Owner-builder permits are not allowed in all jurisdictions, and some projects may not be eligible. Check with your local building department for specific requirements and restrictions.

Hiring A Permit Service

If the permitting process seems overwhelming, you may want to consider hiring a permit service. These companies specialize in navigating the complexities of building permits and can save you time and hassle.

A good permit service will:

  • Be familiar with local codes and requirements
  • Have established relationships with building department staff
  • Provide guidance on plans and documentation
  • Submit and track your application
  • Communicate with the building department on your behalf
  • Arrange for necessary inspections

Permit services typically charge a flat fee or a percentage of the overall permit costs. While it’s an additional expense, it can be worthwhile for complex projects or if you’re short on time.

When choosing a permit service, look for a reputable company with experience in your project type and location. Ask for references and check online reviews to ensure they have a track record of success.

Building permits are a necessary part of any construction project, ensuring that work is safe, legal, and up to code. By understanding the costs and requirements in your area, you can budget accordingly and avoid costly delays or fines. Whether you choose to navigate the process yourself or hire a permit service, obtaining the proper permits is an essential step in bringing your project to fruition.

At Renotag, we’re here to help guide you through every stage of your renovation journey. Check out our other cost guides for more information on budgeting for your project, and read our articles for tips and inspiration. With the right planning and preparation, you can create the home of your dreams while ensuring a safe and successful project.

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