How to Obtain Contra Costa County Building Permits

Planning Permissions How to Obtain Contra Costa County Building Permits

How to Apply for Contra Costa County Building Permits

Starting a home improvement project in Contra Costa County is not always easy. That's because of the stress of getting the Contra Costa County building permits. You have to fill forms, get authorizations, documents, submit plans, etc.

Want to remodel your home but don't know how to get approvals? DoNotPay can take you through the application process with no stress. Whether with Chicago, Palm Beach County, Sarasota County, or Los Angeles building permits, we got your back.

Read on to learn how DoNotPay can solve your  issues.

When Can You Apply for Contra Costa County Building Permits?

A building permit proves that your project complies with the local standards. No owner or contractor can erect or demolish a structure in contra costa county without a permit.

While most projects need , some don't. For that reason, we've listed the more common ones that need approval:

  • New structure construction
  • Remodeling of an existing building
  • Demolition of any building that had a permit
  • Re-roofing
  • Kitchen remodel; including cabinets only
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Solar electric systems
  • Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas installation
  • Changing existing piping connections
  • Reconstruction of parking lots
  • Installation of signs

Which Projects Can I Start Without Contra Costa Building Permits?

Per the 2019 California Residential Code (CRC), these are the projects that do not need permits:

  • Oil derricks
  • A one-story detached structure with a floor plan that is less than 120sqft
  • Fences below 7ft high
  • Retaining walls below 3ft high
  • Water tanks support with less than 5000 gallons' capacity
  • Repair or replacement of residential sidewalks
  • Painting
  • Tiling
  • Countertops
  • Cabinets

Who Can Get Contra Costa Building Permits?

Contra Costa County issues building permits to either of these three people:

  1. Owner of the property
  2. Licensed contractor
  3. Tenants with evidence that they can act on the owner's behalf.

How Long Is the Contra Costa Building Permit Application Valid?

These are the reasons your building permit could become invalid:

  1. If you don't respond to the review comments within 180 days of the application.
  2. When you don't get your approval letter within 180 days after it is ready
  3. A permit expires if the project doesn't begin within 12 months after its approval.

How to Get a Building Permit in Contra Costa County?

Whether you want to build a new structure or alter an existing one, it's best to apply for a building permit. You must send your applications to the Contra Costa County building permit center.  

Before you apply, make sure the relevant approval documents for the project are ready.

What Forms to Upload?

Only verified property owners or agents can get Contra Costa County building permits. So, you must complete these forms to prove your claims:

  • Building permit declaration form
  • Owner-building acknowledgment and verification form
  • Authorization to act on property owner's behalf form

What Are the Contra Costa County Building Permit Fees?

The Contra Costa board of supervisors sets the fees based on your project value. You could pay higher if there are errors in your application. People who only need a small office with a bathroom could pay lower fees. But they must get a permit for something that's not a dwelling. As such, you should provide every detail of the proposed project in your application.

Here's a breakdown of fees for home improvements projects:

Project Value for Modification to Dwelling UnitFees Attached
Up to $2,000$75 + $0.14 for extra $1,000 or fraction above $2,000
$25,000$78 + $1.98 for extra $1,000 or fraction above $25,000
$50,000$128 + $1.38 for extra $1,000 or fraction above $50,000
$100,000$197 + $0.37 for extra $1,000 or fraction above $100,000
$500,000$345 + $0.23 for extra $1,000 or fraction above $500,000
$1,000,000$460 + $0.46 for extra $1,000 or fraction above $1,000,000

Remember that the Contra Costa building permit fee schedule is subject to adjustments. So, we will track the board's website for changes, then make the necessary updates.

What Are the Requirements for Residential Plan Submittal for Contra Costa Building Permit?

Each county has specific building permit requirements. What is needed for an el Sobrante building permit is different for Contra Costa County. Knowing the items to include in the plan will assist you with the permit application. So, what are the things the board expects to see in your plan submission?

  1. Architectural, Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing drawings
  2. Structural calculations
  3. Energy, water, and environmental compliance documentation
  4. A completed copy of the unique inspection form
  5. A copy of the Stamped site plot plan
  6. Survey letter
  7. Fire district approval

Steps to Apply for the Contra Costa Building Permit

If you meet the requirements, the following action is to apply. So, follow these steps to get started:

  1. Visit the building or grading permit page for up-to-date information.
  2. Go to the application portal.
  3. Create a new account if you never had one.
  4. Login to your account.
  5. Add your CSLB license if you're applying as a contractor.
  6. Complete the Contra Costa County building permit application form.
  7. Upload your documents.
  8. Submit.

Getting a Contra Costa building permit is a long and complex process. If you need one, there's no need to search any further. Remember, inputting incorrect data during application reduces your chances of success. For that reason, you should get help from experts. DoNotPay is the solution. We have the tools to make the whole application process simpler for you.

If you want to get a building permit without a hassle in Contra Costa County but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered. Create your own cancellation letter in 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.


  2. Choose one of the following options:
  • Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
  • Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
  • Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  1. Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.


  2. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.


  3. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.


  4. And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.


If you need help with completing your building permit request, reach out to DoNotPay now.

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