When is a building permit required?
Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, 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 California Building Code (CBC), California Mechanical Code (CMC), California Plumbing Code (CPC), California Fire Code (CFC), the California Electric Code (CEC), or the California Energy Code (CEC), or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit.

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Contractors can now apply for their Building Permits Online

Do I need a building permit to install a Portable Hot Tub?
Yes. A permit is required for the electrical supply to the spa or hot tub and also so that state required pool and spa barriers can be inspected.

Do I need a building permit to install an attached patio cover, enclosed patio or solarium?

What work is exempted from building permit requirements?
Exemptions from permit requirements of the codes shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of Solano County. Permits shall not be required for the following:

  1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
  2. Fences not over 6 feet high. 
  3. Oil derricks.
  4. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III-A liquids.
  5. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of the height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1. Any piping and/or electrical to or from the tank requires a permit.
  6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
  7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work.
  8. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  9. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 Occupancy (Single Family Dwelling) that are less than 24 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground.
  10. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
  11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
  12. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 (Single Family Dwelling) and U (Garages or Agricultural Structures) occupancies.
  13. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height. Counters for commercial or industrial operations require permits.

Separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required for the above-exempted items.

Who may obtain a building permit?
Permits may only be issued to a licensed contractor or the property owner or their certified agent. (Contractors License and Workers Compensation Insurance verification required).

What do I need in order to obtain a building permit?

  1.  A completed permit application.
  2.  Four (4) complete sets of plans are required for plan check submittal (If applicable) Site Plan, Floor Plan, Elevations, Roof Framing Plan, Floor Framing Plan, Foundation Plan, and Building Cross-Section. Energy Forms (2 sets if applicable), Engineering/Calculations (2 sets if applicable), Soils Report (1 set if applicable), Fire Sprinkler Plans/Calculations (3 sets if applicable)
Plans are to be drawn neatly, to scale and fully dimensioned. Plans shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that it will conform to the provisions of all codes and relevant laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, as determined by the Building Official. All plans are required to be signed by the person responsible for their preparation, including energy forms. Plans shall be sealed and signed by architect and/or engineer if applicable. Project address, project data, and work scope shall be on the first sheet of plans.

Building Permit Process

What types of permits may be issued over the counter?

  1. Minor repairs due to damage caused by termites and/or deterioration (Submittal of termite report required)
  2. Re-roof
  3. Minor interior repairs with no structural work
  4. Minor plumbing, electrical or mechanical repairs, change-outs or alterations.
  5. Most Residential Roof Mounted Photo Voltaic systems. (Subject to approval for over the counter issuance based on roof structural elements.)

When is an inspection necessary?
All projects for which a building permit is required will need inspection. Typically inspections are required for foundation; underslab/underfloor; floor joists/girders; underfloor insulation; roof sheathing/shear wall nail; rough electric, mechanical, plumbing and frame; exterior lath; insulation; drywall nail; final inspection. Rule of thumb- "Don't cover it before the inspector sees it."

How do I arrange an inspection?
Call the 24 hour inspection request line phone number noted at the top right hand of your building permit. (707) 784-4750. Leave a voice mail with the job address, the building permit number, the date you need the inspection, and the nature of the inspection requested.

When can I talk to an inspector?
The building inspectors are generally in the office between 8-8:30AM and 4:00-4:30PM. Inspectors have voice mail if you are unable to reach them in the office. Support staff is available between the hours of 8AM-5PM. Call (707) 784-6765.

Phone: (707) 784-6765

How can I get copies of permit history?
A records research can be conducted for $35.50 per quarter hour plus the price of copies (75¢ for the first copy and 12¢ there after for 8 ½ x 11 and 75¢ for 11 x 14). Note: Records prior to 1995 may not be complete.

In addition to building permits, what other permits are necessary?
The following permits may also be applicable:

Use Permit
Zoning Consistency Review
Architectural Review
Public Works:
Grading Permit
Encroachment Permit
Env. Health:
Well Permit
Septic Tank Permit
Other Agencies:
Depending upon the location and type of structure, permits from other agencies may be required such as water/sewer districts, Air Quality Management Districts, etc. Please contact the Building & Safety Division at (707) 784-6765 for more information.