How to Easily Apply for Houston Building Permits

How to Get Houston Building Permits in Few Easy Steps

Now that you've relocated to Houston and want to set up a building or you've bought a house that requires renovation, the next thing in line should be getting a Houston City building permit to kickstart your construction.

A building permit application process is structured into a number of steps that you should successfully complete before being awarded the permit.

At times, during the documents' verification process, you might encounter delays, making the process hectic and cumbersome. Moreover, depending on the type of your project, you can expect to get feedback from the Permitting Center in less than a week or up to 30 business days. DoNotPay helps ensure that you get your promptly from the comfort of your home.

When Is a Building Permit Necessary in Houston?

All construction permits within the city of Houston are issued by the Houston Permitting Center. The permit is to ensure that any structure set up within the city is safe and habitable. Homeowners or contractors who choose to proceed with construction without a building permit are issued with a stop-work order to cease construction.

The aspects of construction work that require a permit include:

  • Construction of sheds, garages, vaults, patios, and walls
  • Swimming pool
  • Alterations
  • Repairs
  • Underground storage tank
  • Soil boring
  • Scaffolding permit
  • Enlargement of an existing building
  • Demolitions
  • Conversions

Why Should You Get a Building Permit in Houston?

The City of Houston building policies mandates that any construction work should have a building permit. The benefits of having a include:

  • It enhances your chance of securing a loan on your property
  • Easy resale of your property
  • Ensures that your property is insured - Most insurance companies do not insure homes that lack building permits because such homes carry a lot of risks. There's no way of establishing whether the houses were built to proper standards.
  • Ensures safety of occupants - Any building with a permit has been thoroughly inspected and deemed fit for habitation.

How to Get a Building Permit in Houston City on Your Own

There are three ways you can choose from to obtain a building permit in Houston, Texas. They are:

1. Online Application

For any residential or commercial project, visit the Houston Permitting Center website and open the building permit application form link. You need to have opened an account with them to log in to the portal. If it's your first time, go ahead and register, then proceed to apply for a permit.

You'll be required to fill in your personal information, upload all the necessary documents, and then submit them. It can take up to 10 days for your application to be reviewed and, subsequently, the issuance of a permit.

2. Mail Application

To apply for Houston City building permits via mail, obtain the application forms by:

  • Downloading from the official Houston City website
  • Collecting them from the Houston Permitting Center

Ensure that you've filled in the correct details and mail the forms to 1002 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77002, USA.

3. In-Person Application

Apply for your building permit in person by visiting the Houston Permitting Center at 1002 Washington Ave, Houston, Texas, 77002, USA, next to the Amtrak station. While visiting the office, carry all the necessary documents, including a valid US identification document.

Remember to fill in the forms correctly, make the necessary payment and submit them to the clerk at the office. You'll then receive instructions on how long you'll have to wait for the granting of your permit. The office is open from Monday - Friday, from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

To book an appointment or for any inquiries, call +1 832-394-9000.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Building Permit in Houston?

To get a Houston building permit, you will have to submit the following documents to the Houston Permitting Center:

  • Title deed with the location of the property/structure
  • Architectural floor plans and building evaluations
  • Technical details concerning the construction
  • Compliance form and disability access
  • An approved zoning permit application
  • A septic tank and a well permit from the Health Department (for new structures)
  • A health department and septic system review (for new structures)
  • Contract value
  • General contractor's information

What Is the Cost of Getting a Building Permit in Houston?

The minimum permit fee is $55, and the non-refundable plan review fee is 25% of the total building permit fee. Below is a summary of the cost of a building permit per project:

Type of ProjectFee
Construction on Residential Structures (Duplex or Single Family)$0.25 per sq ft
Residential Roofing$125
Windows, Leveling, and Siding$75 each
Construction on Commercial Buildings for the First 100,000 sq ft

Each Additional ft

$0.20 per sq ft


Alterations or Repairs to Residential Buildings$200
Residential Swimming Pool$75
Commercial Swimming Pool$150
Demolition of a Residential Structure$50
Demolition of a Commercial Multi-Structure$500

How to Apply for a Houston City Building Permit With the Help of DoNotPay

If you want to apply for a building permit in Houston city but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered. Create your own request letter in 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    1. Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
    2. Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
    3. Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  3. 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.

  4. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.
  5. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
  6. 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.

DoNotPay can help you apply for other building permits, including:

Why Use DoNotPay to Apply for a Houston Building Permit

DoNotPay saves you time and energy by allowing you to apply for your Houston building permit from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is sign up, upload your documents and we'll handle the rest. If you don't have all the right documents, DoNotPay can help you access documents from all companies, service agencies, and government entities and get them approved in no time.

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