When is a Permit Required?

The best way to determine if a proposed project requires a permit is to contact the Building Division at 408-778-6480.

A permit is generally required for any new building, addition, alteration, repair, or change in use for an existing building or structure, and for site improvements.

Residential Examples
Examples of residential items that require a permit are:
  • Accessory structures, including carports, detached garages, patio covers, and sheds where the floor area exceeds 120 sq. ft.
  • Driveway replacements
  • Fences over 6 ft. in height
  • Interior remodels
  • Re-roofing
  • Repairs to damaged wood siding or stucco (if more than 32 sq. ft.)
  • Retaining walls supporting a surcharge
  • Swimming pools and portable spas if not plug-connected
  • Water heater replacement
  • Window replacements
Commercial Examples
Examples of commercial items that require a permit are:
  • Addition of walls
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Change in occupancy
  • Changes to the electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems
  • Removal of walls between spaces
  • Shelving units / gondolas, counters, and partitions more than 6 ft. in height
  • Signs / copy changes