Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I am planning to add a small addition to my house (about 400 square feet). Do I need professionally drafted plan or can I draw one as the owner? About how long would it take to obtain a permit?

Due to the small scope of your project and assuming it is your home, you would not need plans prepared by a licensed engineer or architect under most circumstances. However, we would need drawings with sufficient detail to be able to confirm that the room size, ceiling height, and other requirements can be met. You may visit our website at for minimum requirements for plan submittal to get an idea of the information we will be looking for on the plans.

The process of obtaining permits for this work is relatively simple. We will do a review of your plans, which normally can be accomplished while you are completing the permit applications (a 15-30 minute process at the Building and Safety District Field Office). If the project is more complicated, our engineers will need to take in the plans for a thorough review, that could take up to two weeks. Once the plans are approved and permits obtained, you may begin construction. There will be required inspections at certain intervals during the construction. The office staff can advise you as to when these will need to occur.

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