How to Apply for St Johns County Building Permit

Planning Permissions How to Apply for St Johns County Building Permit

How to Get Your St Johns County Building Permit

Most major home renovations or repairs will require a building permit. In St Johns County, Florida, homeowners may need building permits more often than usual in the face of regular tropical storms and the resulting damage. It's also common to use the opportunity of storm repairs to make positive changes to the design of your house, from adding a deck to knocking down a few walls.

If you're in need of a St Johns County building permit, however, it's not always easy to get approval without professional assistance. While a general contractor may handle the building permit process for you, not all St Johns County homeowners choose to work with a contractor when making storm damage repairs or major changes to the house.

DoNotPay can help you with smooth, expert document preparation for your  application so you can handle your own DIY repairs and trades hiring without hassle.

When Is a Building Permit Necessary in St Johns County, FL?

Some projects need building permits while others do not. How do you know the difference? According to the Florida Building Code:

"Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any required impact-resistant coverings, electrical, gas or plumbing system…shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit." - FBC 105.1

Let's break that down. This means that you need a building permit to:

  • Construct
  • Enlarge
  • Repair
  • Move
  • Demolish
  • or Change the Occupancy of

a building or structure on your property. This includes your house and any detached structures like a garage or pool shed.

You also need a building permit to:

  • Install
  • Enlarge
  • Alter
  • Repair
  • Remove
  • Convert
  • or Replace

any serious structural features of your home and out-buildings. This includes:

  • Impact-resistant coverings (ex: siding)
  • Electrical system
  • Gas lines
  • Plumbing systems

What Doesn't Need a Building Permit in St Johns County, FL?

So which projects allow you to skip the hassle of a building code? Anything that falls outside the defined scope. This includes things like:

  • Fence construction and repair
  • Minor Landscaping (landscaping that impacts drain, utility lines, or structures may need a permit)
  • Cosmetic changes

However, even for these minor home changes, any exterior changes might still need approval from your HOA even if building codes are satisfied.

How Do You Get a St Johns County Building Permit Approved?

  1. Create a Detailed Plan of the Renovations or Repairs

First, you will need a very detailed and complete plan on the repairs, improvements, and/or changes you plan to make to your property. The documents necessary will depend on your plans. Your contractors and trades services (if properly licensed and trained) can often help you put together the professionally detailed documents and drawn-to-scale charts needed for your St Johns County building permit application portfolio.

  1. Get Your HOA to Sign Off on the Changes

Most Florida homes are inside an HOA development. This means you are subject to neighborhood rules on home appearance and construction. Be sure to run your building plans by your HOA and get their approval on any changes before you apply for your building permit. This will save you (tons!) of time in the future if your HOA has notes you'll need to adhere to.

  1. Prepare to Pay the Correct Building Permit Fee

Every building project will have a semi-unique fee based on the changes you need to make. You will want to carefully review the St Johns’s permit fee structure to ensure you are ready to pay the funds. St Johns County building permit fees can range from less than $100 to over $1000 depending on how many changes you make, and how large your house is.

St Johns County does provide this handy Permit Cost Calculator if you already know your project specs.

  1. Have Your Licensed Trades Professionals Sign Off on the Work

If you are making changes that require a licensed tradesperson like an electrician or plumber, they will need to sign off on your building plans and your building permit application.

  1. Review Compliance With the Florida Building Code

Finally, to make sure your application is accepted the first (or maybe second) time you submit it, check your plans for compliance with the Florida Building Code (FBC). This is something you can bet the permit office will do, usually to send a permit application back with notes for approval.

  1. Apply for a St Johns County Building Permit Online or In-Person

St Johns County, FL officially accepts certain building permit applications online. However, the application process is not transparent and you'll need to commit to account creation to explore whether this option will work for you.

Next Steps for Getting Your Building Permit if the DIY Method Fails

What do you do when all your hard work results in a rejected building permit application, perhaps with notes that you don't know how to address? From here, you can choose one (or both) of two options.

Hire a General Contractor Who Can Get the Building Permit for YouA general contractor is someone who handles sub-contractors and trades services for a homeowner. They also often handle all the paperwork, like getting your building plan finalized and approved as a building permit. If you don't yet have a general contractor, don't want one, or can't afford one, you'll need different professional guidance.
Work With an Online Service Like DoNotPay to Improve Your Building Permit Application for ApprovalAlternatively, you can work with an online report-assistive service like DoNotPay. We can help you build a strong application for your St Johns County building permit. We'll check for completion, check against the building code, and help you ensure you're ready to resubmit with greater success.

How to Get Your St Johns Building Permit With the Help of DoNotPay

If you want to get a building permit without a hassle in St Johns 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.


What Happens if My Building Permit Application Is Rejected?

If your building permit application comes back with notes, don't worry. This is actually how the system is supposed to work. Approving a building permit is a complex business. Your building plans will need to be checked for safety and compliance with a wide range of safety and environmental related laws. Getting just a few notes on your building permit application's first (and even second) rejection is actually a good thing. It means you're a lot closer to approval than you realize.

DoNotPay can help you make the necessary adjustments and prepare a portfolio to submit for your  again, hopefully, this time for permanent approval.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?

We can help you and those you know get building permits anywhere in the US. Check out a few other regions we can help with when it comes to construction and repairs:

Our ability to help doesn't stop at building permits. Check out a few other ways we can smooth your home renovation, property management, and make other parts of your life easier as well.

  1. Reduce Your Property Taxes
  2. Notarize Any Document
  3. File an Insurance Claim
  4. Standardized Legal Document Assistance

Having trouble putting together a successful building permit application? DoNotPay can help with this and so much more. Contact us today!

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