Do you need a building permit?
If you're planning to do any construction, alteration, or repair work, you'll probably need to get a building permit. Building permits are issued by the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety and help to ensure that any work done in the city conforms with building code and zoning requirements that protect the safety of you, your team, and your customers.
Building permits are generally required for any building, structural, electric, HVAC, and plumbing projects. They can include projects such as:
- New buildings or structures
- Additions to a building
- Structural alterations to a building or structure
- Interior modifications and changes to a floor plan
- Changes of building use and/or occupancy
- Parking layout changes
- Use-of-land projects, such as recycling deposit center, open air storage, outdoor temporary events
- Signs and sign structures
- Fences, retaining walls and shoring plans
How to get a building permit
Depending on the extent of the changes or renovations you're making, you will have different options to apply for a building permit. Smaller projects can be approved online, while larger projects – for instance, significant remodeling or a change of business use – may require a more detailed “plan check” process that includes submitting architectural and structural plans to the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). You can find more information online on the LADBS website.
If this is your first time obtaining a building permit, the Concierge Program at LADBS helps customers navigate through the development permitting process and will provide you with a roadmap to get your project approved.
Once your building permit has been approved, you can begin your work. However, don't forget the critical step of scheduling final inspections. Inspections are required before you cover or conceal any work that's been completed to ensure that the work you've done meets the permit requirements. Depending on your project type and size, you may need to schedule a few inspections – for instance, if you need to cover any construction work before you can move onto the next phase of work you'll need to get an inspection first. Once all of the work has been completed, you can schedule an inspection to get final approval.
You can schedule your inspections online when your work is ready to be inspected.