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Building Permits & Inspections

Will You Need a Building Permit?

Probably. A building permit is required whenever you are constructing, moving, altering, converting, improving, repairing or demolishing a structure in any area of the City. It applies to work on the interior as well as exterior of the structure. Work covered by the building permit must have City inspections before the project can be considered complete. Click to read the list of items that do not require building permits.

Getting a Building Permit

To get your permit, you must hire a contractor licensed in the City of Laguna Beach or provide proof of ownership to take on the liability yourself, submit the required paperwork, and pay a fee.

Fill out this Building Permit Application and bring it to the Community Development Building Counter with two sets of plans for your project (more information about project drawings below). Permits can be issued over-the-counter at City Hall and are valid for 180 days. Be sure to display your permit in a conspicuous location at the work site.

Project Plans

Most people hire an architect or designer to draw their plans. However, for small projects, you may wish to submit drawings you create yourself. That is fine as long as the drawings are to scale and clear enough so we can fully understand the work. This is an example of a resident's drawing that meets our requirements.

The cover sheet for your drawings should include

  1. the address of the work to be completed
  2. the name of the property owner
  3. the name of the person who prepared the plans
  4. scope of work description
  5. remodel square footage

Building Permit Fees

Building Permit Fees depend on the valuation of the work to be completed including labor and materials. Fees are charged per permit — for example, you'll pay one fee for an electrical permit, and another for a plumbing permit. 

This online calculator will help you estimate your project's fees.

Building Permit Fees must be paid in person at the Community Development Building Counter.

Inspections

The number of inspections you will need depends on the scope of your project. When we issue your permit we will be able to tell you the number of inspections your remodel will require.

If your project is not in compliance, we will need to perform additional inspections. Unless your project is reported for a violation, inspectors will not show up unannounced.

If you request your inspection before 4:00 p.m. we can usually inspect the next business day. Please don't do any more work until the inspection is complete. 

To schedule an inspection for all permits issued on or after April 29, 2019 please call our automated inspection system at (866) 462-2073. Click here for information about our automated inspection system.

To schedule an inspection for all permits issued on or after April 28, 2019 please use the old inspection number (949) 497-0707.

For questions email lbinspectors@lagunabeachcity.net.