In simplest terms, you should obtain a permit to ensure that any work done on your home or business is done safely and correctly. Per Chapter 1 of the Florida Building Code Sec. 105.1 and section 553.79 (1), Florida Statutes: Any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy or occupant content of a building or structure, or any outside area being used as part of the building’s designated occupancy (single or mixed) or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the technical codes, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit for the work.
B. How long does it take to get a permit?
Approval times vary based on complexity and work load but we generally attempt to review permit applications within 30 working days (per FBC 105.3.1).
A permit application is valid for 60 days after notification is sent that it is ready for pick up (per FBC 126.96.36.199).
Once a permit is printed, it remains valid as long as work begins within 180 days from the date issued and continues in a substantial manner until completion of the job (per FBC 188.8.131.52).
A permit will expire if work does not start within 180 days or if work starts and then stops or is abandoned for 90 days or no inspection is called in within 90 days from the last inspection (per FBC 184.108.40.206).
E. Can I renew my permit and is there a limit to the number of times a permit can be renewed?
Yes, a permit can be renewed once, beyond that it is the decision of the Building Official. If a permit is renewed before it expires, you will be accessed a fee of 50 percent of the original permit fee. If the permit is renewed after it expires you will be accessed 100 percent of the original permit fee.
F. Can I pull my own permit? What work can I do as an owner?
As the owner of a one or two family dwelling you my act as your own contractor and do the work yourself, provided that the home is for your own use, and is not for sale or lease. You must also do the work yourself, or provide direct on site supervision. If you are the owner of a commercial property, you are required to hire a contractor for any work that requires a permit and inspection. You will need to complete and sign an Owner/Builder Affidavit Form and acknowledge that you understand your legal responsibilities (per Sec. 9-28 of the Fort Lauderdale Code of Ordinances).
G. Do you offer walk-through permitting and what are the hours?
We offer walk-through permitting services for less complicated permit types between the hours of 8:00 am to 9:30 am, Monday through Friday.
H. What is the address for the Department of Sustainable Development?
Greg Brewton Department of Sustainable Development
700 NW 19th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311
I. I have a question about a permit; can I speak with the Building Official?
You are always welcomed to contact the Building Official, however, it may be quicker to contact the Chief Inspector of the discipline that you have questions about. Most times, you can receive a quicker response from the Chief of Structural (Building), Electrical, Plumbing, Flood or Mechanical (Heating and Air Conditioning). There are other disciplines that will also review your drawings, such as Landscaping, Zoning, and Engineering (pertaining to civil and utility infrastructure). Fire will also review the drawings for all buildings other than 1 and 2 family dwellings. Inspector Contact Info
J. Are plans for a single family home required to be sealed by an architect or engineer?
SS 481.229(b), Florida Statutes, exempts 1 and 2 family residences, townhouses and any ancillary buildings to those structures, from requiring plans from a licensed architect.
K. What is a Notice of Commencement?
If your contract exceeds $2,500.00, a Notice of Commencement must be filed by the homeowner or contractor (per FBC 105.8).
In accordance with Section 713.13 (1) (h) of the Florida Statutes, a “Notice of Commencement” must be filed with the Clerk of the Court (County Records Division) prior to commencement of construction of a project, and a certified copy or affidavit attesting to the recording of the Notice of Commencement, must be posted at the job site. This notice contains detailed information about the project such as property owner, financial institution, job site address, contractor, etc., and protects the property owner’s title to the property.
Failure to record a Notice of Commencement may result in paying twice for improvements to the property. If you intend to obtain financing, consult with your lender or an attorney before recording your Notice of Commencement. A recorded copy of the Notice of Commencement must be posted on the job-site.
L. Where do I have the Notice of Commencement recorded?
Governmental Center West
1 N. University Drive
Plantation, FL 33324
Broward County Records, Taxes and Treasury Division
Broward County Governmental Center Room 114
115 S. Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
M. Where do I go to submit for Broward County Approvals?
Governmental Center West
1 N. University Drive, Building A - Suite 102
Plantation, FL 33324
N. Do I need to submit a survey with my application?
Yes, all exterior work requires a current, signed, and sealed survey as well as a site plan locating all proposed work.
The following permit types can be submitted with copies of a current, valid survey along with a completed Zoning Affidavit:
O. At what stage of construction can I get my power turned on?
Power will not be released under most circumstances until the building has received all required inspections and all fees due are paid. We do issue what is known as a 30-day temporary power permit for specific items that require testing prior to occupancy.
Inspections are conducted between the hours of 8am to 3:30pm.
If you need an after-hours inspection (additional fee applicable) please contact the Chief of the discipline you need an inspection for. Contact Info
To request a specific time accommodation, please contact your inspector between 7:30 and 8:00am. Contact Info
R. How do I cancel my inspection?
One of the operators in our call center can help you cancel your inspection between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:30 pm by calling 954-828-6520.
S. How do I register as a contractor?
New contractors must physically appear at the Department of Sustainable Development to register.
The following forms are needed for registration:
State or County License
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
If the contractor is unavailable to appear at the Department of Sustainable Development, we will accept an original, notarized letter on company letter head authorizing named representative to submit the information on his/her behalf. Photo ID also required.
T. How do I renew my contractor registration information?
Renewal can be done in person by visiting a service clerk or electronically here: Contractor Renewals
Need a Permit?
A. Do I need a demolition permit to remove After the Fact (ATF) work?
You do not need a demolition permit to remove work installed without permits unless you intend on demolishing any additional portions of the building.
B. Do I need a permit to seal and restripe a parking area/lot?
C. Do I need a permit to install a gravel driveway?
Yes, Zoning permit only. Gravel driveways are not allowed within the Riverland annexed and Broward County zoned areas.
D. Do I need a permit to repair a fence?
Yes, unless only fence pickets on a wooden fence are being replaced and if the work, labor, and materials, does not exceed $1,500 dollars.
E. Do I need a permit to install a shed?
Yes, a building permit is required. All sheds must have any of the following to qualify for installation within the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ):
Signed and sealed shop drawings from a Florida Licensed Engineer or
State of Florida product approval or
Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance.
F. Do I need a permit to replace the decking on my dock?
Yes, a permit is required as well as approval from Broward County.
G. Do I need a permit for a painted sign?
Yes, Zoning only.
A. Can I install my fence along my front property line by the street?
Only if you are located within the Riverland annexed and any of the Broward County zoned areas. Fences within the City zoned areas must be setback a minimum of 3 feet from all street side property lines. Fences may never be installed within a required sight triangle.
B. Can I install a fence along my seawall?
No, nothing but a mooring device can be installed or attached to a seawall.
C. Has the Seawall Ordinance changed?
Yes, as of July 1st, 2016. You can obtain a copy of the new ordinance here: Seawall Ordinance
Please note that the seawall ordinance is in the process of being updated again. Stay tuned for updates.
D. Can I install a pool in my front yard?
Yes, but it must be a minimum of 5 feet from all property lines.
E. Can I install a dock on Seminole Lake or any other privately owned waterway?
Yes, if you have written permission from the property owner of the waterway. This must be submitted with the dock application package.
F. Do interior signs need a permit?
Yes. All interior signs need to have signed and sealed shop drawings by a Florida licensed Engineer. They do not need wind load calculations.
G. Can I install a sign as Owner Builder?
The only sign that would be allowed for installation as an Owner Builder would be a painted sign on an existing wall, if allowed by the ULDR, a zoning permit is required.
H. What is a sight triangle?
Sight triangle: A triangular shaped portion of land established for unobstructed visibility of motorists entering or leaving a street or driveway intersection in which nothing, whether stationary or movable (i.e., vehicles, vehicular maneuvering area, signs, landscaping or objects of any kind) is permitted to be located between a height of two and one-half (2½) and eight (8) feet above the elevation of the adjoining edge of pavement. An exception to the prohibition is a tree with clear trunk between two and one-half (2½) and eight (8) feet. Sight triangles shall be provided at the following locations:
1. The intersection of an alley or street and a driveway, or
2. The intersection of an alley and a street, or
3. The intersection of a street and a street.
I. What are the different sizes of sight triangles?
Sec. 47-2.2., Code of Ordinances of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Measurements:
A triangular shaped area of land, as defined in Section 47-35, Definitions, and measured as follows:
1. Ten (10) feet from the intersection point of the edge of a driveway and curb, or in the event that there is no curb, the edge of the alley or street pavement; or
2. Fifteen (15) feet from the intersection point of the extended property lines at an alley and a street; or
3. Twenty-five (25) feet from the intersection point of the extended property lines at a street and a street.