Process Your San Francisco Building Permits in Minutes

Planning Permissions Process Your San Francisco Building Permits in Minutes

How to Get a San Francisco Building Permits

When you think of building a home in San Francisco, the first thing that should come to your mind is .

Building a home or remodeling it to suit your current preference comes at a cost. First, you need to know how to get a building permit record. Then, you need to visit the Department of Building Inspection(DBI) offices at specific hours to access the services. This process can be hectic and stressful for most people.

Acquiring a building permit in San Francisco solely depends on the nature and scope of your project. If all goes well, the San Francisco building department can process your building permit in two to four weeks . However, with DoNotPay, you can conveniently access these services from anywhere and at any time.

When Is a Building Permit Necessary in San Francisco?

Suppose you're planning to set up a building in San Francisco. In that case, it's advisable to perform due diligence on what requires a building permit to minimize your chances of getting penalties or being banned from building in San Francisco.

A San Francisco building permit helps you:

  • Improve the overall safety of your house
  • Secure your property value
  • When planning to resell your house
  • Boost your chances of getting a loan

The types of structures that require building permits include:

  • New additions, alterations, or repairs of existing buildings like decks
  • New construction
  • Canopies, signs, and awnings
  • Construction of sheds, garages, vaults, patios, and walls
  • Swimming pool
  • Underground storage tank
  • Soil boring
  • Scaffolding permit
  • Tenant layout
  • Fireworks stands and Christmas trees
  • Demolitions

What Documents Do I Need to Get a Building Permit in San Francisco?

The Building Department in San Francisco issues a building permit to anyone who has all the necessary documents needed for approval. These documents include:

  • Demolition, structural engineering calculations, and drawings
  • Electrical, plumbing, and mechanical drawings
  • Site plan for building permit
  • Architectural floor plans and building evaluations
  • Technical details concerning the construction
  • Compliance form and disability access

How to Get a Building Permit in San Francisco

The DBI Permit Services office is responsible for issuing building permits in the city of San Francisco. Getting a house building permit record will depend on your preference. To process one, choose one of these three ways:

1. Online

The city of San Francisco has an online platform. First, open the DBI website to apply for your building permit. If you already have an account, proceed to log in to the site. If you are new, you should start the registration process by first reading and complying with the instructions on the website. Then, complete the Contractor 's Agreement and Terms of Service form in PDF format.

Email the Contractor's Agreement and Terms of service form to, or mail the printed format to 49 South Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103 Attn: Online Permitting.

You'll receive license verification within a week or two. Use the information provided to log in and begin your application.

2. Over the counter

Apply for your San Francisco building permit in person over the counter by visiting the Department of Building Inspection offices at 49 South Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103. The offices are open from Monday - Friday, from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm, except for Wednesdays, when they operate from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Alternately, you can first call +1 628-652-3200 for more information on the services. Notably, before deciding to apply for your building permit over the counter, confirm if your building project qualifies for an over-the- counter process.

3. Via mail

Visit the DBI platform to download the building permit form or pick up the forms at 49 South Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94103. After filling out the necessary details, mail the forms back from the pick-up point. This process can take 20 business days. The permit services office will contact you to pick up your ready permit or revise the proposed form. In addition, you do not need an appointment to pick up your building permit.

What Is the Cost of Getting a Building Permit in San Francisco?

Generally, the permit fees are about 6-9%of the building cost. Below is a table with the building permit cost breakdown.

Type of constructionType of permit feeCost
New additions, alterations, or additionsBuildings worth between $50,000.00 to $200,000$446.74 for the first $50,000 plus $4.56 for each additional $1000
New constructionBuildings worth between $50,001.00 to $200,000$359.06 for the first $50,000  plus

$3.72 for each additional $1000

Fireworks and Christmas treeGeneral$102.69

How to Apply for a Building Permit in San Francisco With the Help of DoNotPay

Why waste time going from one office to another when there's a better alternative? DoNotPay saves you time and energy by allowing you to apply for a San Francisco building permit in minutes.

If you want to apply for a building permit in San Francisco without a hassle 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 obtain other building permits including:

Why Use DoNotPay to Get a Building Permit in San Francisco, CA?

DoNotPay helps you to obtain your in a fast, secure, and easy way. San Francisco has a natural and appealing beauty that makes it an attractive place to settle in. Unfortunately, this has led to the area being one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S. Anyone planning to build in San Francisco easily gets frustrated by the permit application process. By using DoNotPay, you can enjoy swift services from the San Francisco Building Department.

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