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Projects Eligible for Online Permitting

Residential Projects for which Building Permits CAN Be Obtained via Permits Online

The following is a list of projects for which you can apply for Building permits online using the Permits Online tool. This includes projects located within areas affected by the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire.

  • Re-roofs
  • Solar Systems including Photovoltaic and Thermal
  • Siding replacement
  • Water heater new or replacement (including associated piping and vents)
  • HVAC new or replacement (including associated piping and vents)
  • Electrical service replacement
  • Electrical service upgrade (maximum of 200 amps and associated wiring)
  • Minor electrical repair
  • New electrical meter/service
  • Installation or replacement of interior wall coverings (e.g. sheet rock, paneling, etc.)
  • Dry rot repair and/or replacement in kind, or other alterations
  • Repairs to decking or guardrails of decks
  • Commercial construction/remodel/alteration
  • Most projects which requires submittal of plans 
  • Work on or within manufactured homes

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Projects That Do Not Require Building Plans

For the residential and non-residential projects listed below, building plans are not required, so you can apply for a Building Permit with No Plan Check. But please note: A site plan may still be required.

Residential Projects

The following types of projects do not require building plans for residential structures and/or associated accessory structures:

  1. Plumbing work, including water heater replacement or installation (including associated water piping, gas piping, and vents)
  2. Electrical work (with a pre-existing meter). New solar (photovoltaic or thermal) systems require plans.)
  3. Electrical service upgrade (maximum of 200 amps including associated wiring)
  4. Mechanical work, including heating and/or cooling equipment repair or replacement (including associated water piping, gas piping, and vents)
  5. Re-roofing, including roof sheathing, fascia boards and rafter tails that are replaced as a matter of required maintenance
  6. Siding installation or replacement
  7. Wall: Dry rot repair and/or replacement in kind or other alterations to not more than 40 lineal feet of wall, provided the work meets the requirements for conventional construction in the building code. “Wall” includes bottom plate to top plate and may include rim joist, rafter tails and fascia (foundation repair/replace and re-framing of room rafters requires plans).
  8. Decks: Repairs to decking or guardrails

Because there are no plans, it is important that the permit description include enough information so that the building inspector can determine the extent of the work. All work must conform to present codes. (Example: Guardrails which are replaced must meet current spacing and height requirements. Stairs must comply with current rise and run requirements.)

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Non-Residential Projects

For non-residential projects, the types of projects that do not require building plans are severely limited because, with some exceptions, when alterations or structural repairs are made to existing non-residential buildings, Americans with Disabilities Act requirements must be made as well.

The following types of projects do not require building plans for non-residential structures:

  1. Replacement heating, water heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment with the same type of unit in the same location. (New roof-mounted equipment or equipment in a new location requires plans. New solar (photovoltaic or thermal) systems require plans.)
  2. Re-roofing (reframing the roof requires plans)
  3. Electrical service upgrade (maximum 200 amps including associated wiring)
  4. Electrical work not involving the placement or replacement of switches or receptacles
  5. Plumbing work not involving the placement or replacement of plumbing fixtures

All other work for a non-residential structure requires plans.

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Projects for Which Permits CANNOT Be Obtained via Permits Online

The following is a list of projects for which you cannot use the Permits Online permitting tool to apply for permits. We are currently working to upgrade Permits Online to expand the projects available.

  • Structural demolition
  • Historic structures
  • SB-547 (unreinforced masonry) structures
  • Structures that are currently in the Code Enforcement process
  • Structures in a flood zone
  • Work which will disturb asbestos
  • Projects under the purview of other Permit Sonoma divisions:
    • Code Enforcement
    • Engineering & Water Resources
      • Grading and Storm Water
      • Road Encroachment
      • Road Improvement Plan Review
      • Sanitation Sewer
      • Survey and Land Development (County Surveyor)
      • Transportation Permits
    • Planning (Project Review)
    • Well & Septic
      • Water Wells
      • Graywater Systems
      • Septic Systems

    To proceed with the projects listed above:
    Visit the Permits Page or
    Contact the Appropriate Permit Sonoma Division

    Projects That Do Not Require a Building Permit

    See When Is a Building Permit Not Required? – BPC-005 for a comprehensive explanation.

    You can also watch this Permit Sonoma video for some of the more popular projects that do not require a Building permit.

    (Note: You may still need to obtain other permits such as Well & Septic or Use or Zoning.)

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