Residential Permitting

Express Permits

Updated January 9, 2020

Some projects are simple enough to qualify for express permits.

What is an express permit?

A residential express permit is issued when the scope of work doesn’t change the home’s footprint, doesn’t require demolition of walls, or doesn’t require any electrical or plumbing work.

Can I get an express permit?

Small changes to your home, like replacing a drafty old window with one that is energy efficient, can qualify for an express permit. Applying for an express permit will help make sure these changes are done safely.

You can get an express permit if your project is simple and similar to projects in the list below:

  • adding on or removing siding from the outside of your home
  • adding or removing brick
  • adding or removing insulation
  • replacing windows with windows of the same size
  • replacing exterior doors with doors of the same size
  • removing or repairing more than 32 square feet of drywall
  • removing drywall or insulation to evaluate or observe the home-structure
  • roof repair: just replacing decking boards
  • foundation repair that doesn’t increase impervious cover
  • limitations for bathroom and kitchen remodels
    • converting bathtubs and showers
    • plumbing fixtures cannot be added or relocated
    • walls cannot be relocated or removed
    • only the drywall surrounding the bathtub, shower or sink can be removed

No matter what type of project you are doing, all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms must meet code requirements.

How much does an express permit cost?

An express permit costs $6.50. Some factors could increase the cost.

Your project may require a historic review if your home is more than 40 years old. There are three different fees incurred with a historical review that total $575.

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need a tree permit and inspection if there are trees larger than 19 inches in diameter on your property. Tree permit reviews and inspections cost $311. Even if you are only doing interior work, this inspection is required to make sure that the tree’s roots are not damaged by any construction equipment.

Finally, any additional updates to your plans will cost $105 to review.

How do I get an express permit?

Fill out the Residential Express Permit Application to get an express permit. If you are the homeowner, make sure you sign the permit application even if the work will be completed by a hired professional.

You will need to pay any outstanding fees when you turn in your completed express permit application.