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The purpose of a building permit is to ensure the project meets minimum requirements. These requirements are established by the City of Plano and required by the Adopted Building Codes (I-Codes) and International Fire Code.
Building permits are reviewed by City staff for compliance with zoning and code requirements, and inspected by the City’s building inspectors for compliance with the Adopted Building Codes.
You need a building permit to legally start construction of a building project. The project must be in accordance with the approved drawings and specifications. More information can be found on the Permits page.
A building permit is important because it helps protect your large investment. If a construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by the City, the value of your investment could be reduced.
Property insurers may not cover work done without proper permits and inspections. If you sell your home or building, the potential buyer may examine City records to make sure the proper permits and inspections were obtained.
To know if you need a building permit, email firstname.lastname@example.org, read the "When is a Permit Required" document or call 972-941-7140 before beginning construction.
The following projects typically require a building and/or zoning permit:
A building permit is not required for the following projects:
To find out how much a building permit costs, look at the City of Plano Fee Schedule.
Plano keeps track of who is using building permits correctly by relying on the integrity of contractors and the honesty of Plano residents. Plano also relies on staff assistance from all departments and resident comments to identify construction projects that have begun without proper building permits.
To know who has an approved building permit, check for a permit to be displayed at the construction site. If a permit is missing, it is likely the project has not been approved or reviewed by the City of Plano.
The contractor ensures building code compliance on a project site. They should be licensed by the state (when required) to perform the work. If there is ever a question as to whether some aspect of a project complies with the code, the contractor is the responsible party.
If there is no contractor, you ensure building code compliance. If you are doing the work yourself, you are the responsible party if there is concern about whether something violates the codes.
The length of time to get a building permit depends on the type of project.
Small home improvement projects or miscellaneous simple permits (including re-roofing, plumbing repairs, and air-conditioning replacement) are reviewed by Building Inspections permit technician staff and expedited as soon as possible.
Larger projects (including buildings and new construction) are not to exceed 10 working days for comments to be delivered to an applicant.
Yes, there is a time limit on building permits. Permits may expire if authorized work has not begun within 180 days of the permit being issued.
A setback is a zoning term for the distance required from nearest point of wall of structure to a property line. For example in Plano’s SF-7 and SF-9 zoning districts, the front setback (distance from the property line to the front of the structure) is a minimum of 30 feet. The City does not allow any structure to be built in the setback (driveways and similar items are excluded).
A utility easement is a grant by the property owner for the use of a designated portion of land by the public, individuals, groups or corporations for specific purposes. All newer subdivision developments have utility easements clearly delineated on the plat maps.
The intent of easements is to allow utility companies sufficient room to build and service their infrastructure (phone lines, cable, natural gas, water, sewer and electricity). The City does not allow any permanent structure, including garages, decks, pools and sheds, to be built on top of any easements.
Prefabricated metal sheds and carports are considered accessory buildings. Plano requires that all accessory buildings, whether permanent or temporary, shall (1) be secured to the ground in a way that will resist movement from storms or vandalism; and (2) meet the setback requirements.
Plano does not require a building permit for an accessory building that is 120 square feet or less. In instances where the building does not need a permit, the building still needs to meet the setback requirements of the City of Plano Zoning Ordinance. For accessory buildings of more than 120 square feet, a building permit is required. The City’s building inspectors will inspect the structure to ensure it is securely anchored and installed in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
When looking for a contractor, find out how long the contractor has been in business in the area and check references to make sure they are. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been registered against the company. Check to be sure the contractor is registered with the City of Plano and has insurance coverage. The City of Plano cannot recommend contractors.
Most contractors are required to be licensed (electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors); there are some exceptions. General contractors do not have any licenses, but a property owner should ask their contractor if they are registered with the City of Plano before beginning. If a contractor asks you to apply for the building permit, chances are that they may not be registered because the City verifies applicable contractor licensing with the State for all building permit applications. Resident homeowners do not have to be licensed to perform work on their own home. If you have questions about contractor registration, contact the City of Plano Building Inspections Department at (972) 941-7140.
No, you should not take the building permit out for the contractor. When the contractor signs the permit, the contractor is agreeing to do the work according to code. If you sign for the permit, you are liable for correcting the contractor's work if it should fall short of the City adopted code standards.
Before your project begins, insist on seeing the permit. During the course of your project, monitor your contractor’s inspection records. This will protect you from being responsible for code violations and ensure project completion.
No, the City of Plano does not inspect homes to tell you what is wrong with your home. Independent inspectors can be hired to do these types of troubleshooting inspections.
If you are planning to do any digging, you must call 811 before you dig to arrange for utility companies to mark buried utility lines in your yard.