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Building Development Frequently Asked Questions

What are permits and why do I need one? 
When don't I need a permit? 
What happens if I build without a permit? 
How and where do I get a permit? 
What other information do I need to supply in order to apply for a permit?
Can I draw up my own plans? 
Who can obtain a permit? 
How long does it take to get a permit? 
What about inspections? 
Can I do the work myself or do I have to hire a contractor? 
How do I verify if a contractor is licensed? 
What if I have a permit but never called for inspections? 
How do I determine the value of the job?



Q: What are permits and why do I need one?

 A: Permits are the way the City of Pinellas Park regulates construction. There are several different types of permits, based on the type of construction.

The following list indicates when a permit is required: 

Interior of Structures

Appliance - Replace or install gas appliance 
Bathrooms - Remodeling or new if the value is greater than $500 
Ceramic Tile - Tub or shower area if the value is greater than $500 
Door - Size of rough opening altered 
Drywall - If repair is over 32 square feet 
Railings - Repair, replace or new if the value is greater than $500 
Remodeling - If the value is greater than $500 
Stairs - Repair, replace or new if the value is greater than $500 
Walls - Removal, extension of existing or new walls if the value is greater than $500 

Exterior of Structures

All new construction if the value is greater than $500
Addition - Increase of floor area
Antenna/Satellite Dish - See Section 18-1507
Awnings - Commercial if the value is greater than $500
Bearing Post - Replace or new
Carports - Repair, replace, new or close-in for additional habitable or storage space
Covered Patio - Repair, replace, new or close-in for additional habitable or storage space
Door - Size of rough opening altered
Fireplace - Repair, replace or new if the value is greater than $500
Garage - Close-in for additional habitable or storage space
Hurricane shutters - More than two-story structure
Railings - Repair, replace or new if the value is greater than $500
Remodeling - If the value is greater than $500
Roof - New and reroof
Roof - Repair existing roof if the value is greater than $500
Screen Room - Repair, replace or new, repair does not include screen replacement
Screen Walls - Install vinyl or glass in existing screen walls
Shed - Repair, replace or new if value is greater than $500
Siding - New or replace over 100 square feet
Stairs - Repair, replace or new if value is greater than $500
Walls - Removal, replace or new if value is greater than $500
Window - Remove and fill in opening
Window - Repair or new if the value of work is greater than $500

Plumbing and Water Supply

Appliance - New location of sewer or water lines
Dishwasher - New location of sewer or water lines 
Faucets - Shower or tub replacement or new 
Fire Systems - Repair, replace or new 
Hose Bib - New location of water line 
Plumbing - Install new or remodeling including water, sewer and gas lines 
Sewer Line - Repair, replace or new 
Shower Pan - Repair, replace or new 
Sink - New location of sewer or water lines 
Spas - Install (not portable) 
Tub - Replace or new 
Washing Machine - New location of sewer or water lines
Water Filtration System - Replace or new 
Water Heater - Replace or new 
Water Lines - Repair, replace or new 
Water Softener - Replace or new 
Water Closet - New location of sewer or water lines

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

A/C Heating - Install system 
A/C Heating - Install wall unit by cutting out or removing part of wall (not replacement) 
A/C Heating - Replace condenser, air handler, or heating elements 
Duct - Alteration, replacement or new if value of work is greater than $500 
Equipment Hoods - Repair, replace or new if value of work is greater than $500 
Heating Unit - Repair or new if value of work is greater than $500 
Hot Water Heater Exchange Unit - Repair or new if value of work is greater than $500 
Ventilation - Repair, replace or new ducted with electric hook-up

Electrical

Appliances/Equipment - New location where electric must be extended 
A/C Heat - Wiring repair, replace or new 
Ceiling Fan - New location (not replacement) where electric must be extended 
Electric Systems - Repair, replace or new (any part of system, except replacement of fuses or breakers) 
Electric Service - Work on existing service or panel (including upgrade, except replacement of fuses or breakers) 
Light Fixture - New location where electric must be extended 
Low Voltage Wiring - Alarms, new construction and existing (direct wire only) 
Outdoor Lighting - New location where electric must be extended (not low voltage)

Site/Landscaping

Concrete Patio - Repair, replace or new if the value of work is greater than $500 (check zoning regulations) 
Concrete Sidewalk/Steps - Repair, replace or new if the value of work is greater than $500 (check zoning regulations) 
Drainage - Any change to existing flow of stormwater 
Driveway - New, add to existing or replacement if the value of work is greater than $500 
Fence - New 
Fence - Repair or replace more than 25 feet of existing 
Filling in of Lot - More than 250 yards of fill 
Flag Poles - Commercial 
Grubbing/Digging - Removal of Florida native vegetation
Landscaping - Upgrading in the Community Redevelopment Area 
Parking Lots - Repair, replace, new, add to existing or restriping if the value of work is greater than $500 
Pool - Replace deck or new equipment if the value of work is greater than $500 (not relocating of deck) 
Pool/Spa - Enclosure repair, replace or new if the value of work is greater than $500  
Pool/Spa - Replace or new in-ground or above-ground pool/spa  
Tents - Commercial use 
Tree - Removal or relocation of protected species 
Wood Deck/Steps/Balconies - Repair, replace or new if the value of work is greater than $500 

FAQ List



Q: When don't I need a permit?

A: Most major projects will require permits of some kind. This is necessary to ensure that all buildings meet minimum standards which protect its occupants and neighbors in everyday living and in the case of emergencies or natural disasters. 

Some minor projects are allowed without obtaining building permits. However the construction of such projects should be in conformance with all applicable codes.

The following list indicates when a permit is not required:

Interior of Structures

Appliance - Replacement other than gas 
Cabinets Kitchen/Bath - Repair, replace or new 
Door - Replace assembly, including jambs 
Flooring - Carpet, vinyl, wood or ceramic tile 
Painting - Interior 
Walls - Portable or temporary without electric or plumbing

Exterior of Structures

Awnings - Residential 
Burglar Bars - Replace or new  
Door - Replace assembly, including jambs 
Garage Doors - Replacement 
Gutters 
Hurricane Shutters - One/two-story structure and no electric 
Painting - Exterior 
Roof - Repair if the value of work is less than $500 
Screen Room - Replace screening only 
Siding - Repair small area less than 100 square feet 
Soffit or Fascia - Not including structural repairs 
Stucco 
Window Glass - Replacement 
Window - Repair or replace if the value of work is less than $500

Plumbing and Water Supplies

Faucet - Reinstall sink faucet in same location (does not include tub or shower faucet) 
Hose Bib - Replace 
Ice Maker Line - Replace or new 
Sink - Reinstall in same location 
Water Closet - Reinstall in same location 
Water Heater - Repair, no replacing of pipes 
Wells - (SWFWMD permit may be required) 

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Heating - Install window unit in existing opening 
Heating - Repair if the value of work is less than $500

Electrical

Alarms - Low voltage phone lines, computer lines, plug in alarm systems and lighting 
Ceiling Fan - Replacement of existing 
Light Fixture - Replacement of existing 
Outlet or Switch - Replacement of existing

Site/Landscaping 

Arbors/Trellises - New or replacement, but not allowed in building setbacks 
Driveway - Recoat/seal asphalt 
Fence - Repair or replace permitted fence less than 25 feet 
Filling in of Lot - Less than 250 yards of fill with no change in existing drainage 
Flag Poles - Residential 
Grubbing/digging - Removal of nuisance exotic vegetation (Building Development inspection required) 
Landscaping - Residential 
Laundry Poles 
Parking Lots - Recoat/seal and re-striping same as originally approved 
Playground Equipment - Kids' play structures such as swings, playhouses or basketball hoops 
Pool or Spa Equipment - Repair if the value of work is less than $500 
Spa - Portable with approved electric and fencing 
Sprinklers - Install landscaping sprinklers (cannot hook into public water supply; must have own well or reclaimed water) 
Tents - Residential 
Tree - Removal or relocation of non-protected species 

These examples are only some of the exempted projects which are listed in various code books. Not all exempted projects have been included. Contact the Building Development Division for additional information.

FAQ List 



Q: What happens if I build without a permit?
  
A: If you begin construction without the required permit(s), a "Stop Work Order" will immediately be issued by an Inspector. You will be required to apply for the permit(s) and pay additional fees (twice the amount of the original fee). After the permit has been properly issued, you will then be required to uncover any work which has been covered so that it may be inspected prior to the release of the "Stop Work Order", or the building official may allow an engineer or architect to inspect and take responsibility for the work. He would then have to write a letter to the building department accepting responsibility for the work and assuring the work complies with the code. In some cases, regulations or codes may not permit the type of construction that has been done. In this case, you may be required to replace or restore the area to its original condition prior to your construction.

FAQ List 



Q: How and where do I get a permit?  

A: You may obtain a permit application in our Online Permit section or at the Building Development Division.  Permits are issued by the Building Development Division at the permit counter which is located in the Public Works/ Technical Services Building, 6051- 78th Avenue, Pinellas Park. The permit counter is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can contact us by calling (727) 369-5647.

On some simple jobs, a permit may be obtained during the first visit. However, in most circumstances, more time will be needed to review the plans in detail prior to issuing any permits.

A minimum of three complete sets of building plans and 5 sets of site plans are required to obtain permits for most projects. Staff at the Permit Counter can assist you with the requirements for your specific project. In general, however, a complete set includes:

  • Plot Plan - showing the position of the proposed project in relation to existing buildings, property lines and any easements.

  • Foundation Plan - indicating the type, size and location of new foundations or footings.

  • Floor Plan - detailing the location of walls, supports, size and location of doors, windows, electrical outlets, heaters, plumbing fixtures, smoke detectors and the square footage of the project. Again, as with the plot plan, what is existing and what is proposed to be built should be clearly noted.

  • Roof Framing - clearly indicating the size and methods of assembly of roof rafters and ceiling joists. Typically, roof slope and roofing materials are called out on this plan.

  • Floor Framing - clearly indicating the size and methods of assembly of all floor framing members. Floor joists, girders and sub floor size along with foundation connections should be shown on this plan.

  • Cross Sections - clearly indicating ceiling heights, wall construction and R-value of any insulation to be used.

  • Exterior Elevations - clearly showing how the exterior of the building will look upon completion. Doors, windows, exterior material, etc. should be shown.

  • Energy Calculations - any time conditioned (heated or cooled) space is added to a building you are required to show compliance with the Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction.

  • Structural Calculations - structural calculations may be required if your project is of a large size, unusual shape and/or more than two stories in height. These calculations allow the Building Development Division to verify that structural elements are adequately sized and connected. This portion of the project must be prepared by a licensed engineer or architect.

FAQ List



Q: What other information do I need to supply in order to apply for a permit?

 A: When applying for a permit, the following information is required to complete the permit submittal:

  • Description of the work
  • Location of the project (address)
  • Legal owner's name, address and phone number
  • Valuation of the proposed work (what it would cost to hire a contractor to do the work)
  • Square footage of the area being effected

FAQ List 



Q: Can I draw up my own plans?

  A: Plans, drawings and specifications may be prepared by anyone for the following projects:

  • Above ground pools and spas
  • Driveways
  • Fence - new/repair
  • Patios/sidewalks

FAQ List 



Q: Who can obtain a permit?
  
A: Permits may be issued to: 

  • Property owners (for work on owner occupied single family residences).
  • Licensed Contractors.
  • Certified Agents of a Contractor with a Letter of Authorization signed and notarized by the Contractor.

When a permit is issued, the signature and identity of the applicant must be verified. A Florida Drivers License, State of Florida Identification Card or other positive identification will meet this requirement.

Contractors are required to have a current State certified Contractor's License and a current Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board (PCCLB) card or a competency card from the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.      

Permit Fee Schedule - One & Two Family Dwellings 

 Total Valuation   Fee  Fee
$1,000 and less

$50.00 minimum fee shall be charged.

$1,000 to $50,000

$50.00 for first $1,000 valuation plus $5.75 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof up to and including $50,000.

$50,001 to $100,000

$331.75 for the first $50,000 valuation plus $4.75 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof up to and including $100,000.

Over $100,000

$569.25 for the first $100,000 valuation plus $3.75 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof.

Electrical, Plumbing, Gas or Mechanical Permits. 

$.04 (four cents) per square foot with a minimum fee of $50.00.

   

Permit Fee Schedule - Other than One & Two Family Dwellings

 Total Valuation   Fee  Fee
$1,000 and less

$50.00 minimum fee shall be charged 

$1,000 to $50,000

$50.00 for first $1,000 valuation plus $7.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof up to and including $50,000.

$50,001 to $500,000

$393.00 for the first $50,000 valuation plus $6.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof up to and including $500,000.

Over $500,000

$3,093.00 for the first $500,000 valuation plus $3.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof.

Electrical, Plumbing, Gas or Mechanical Permits. 

$.04 (four cents) per square foot with a minimum fee of $50.00.

Fire Plan Review & Permits

Plan Review ($0.025) Two & 1/2 cents per square foot with minimum fee of $50.00, permits (0.025) Two & 1/2 cents per square foot with minimum fee of $50.00

 

*Plan Review is 1/2 the Permit Fees

Technology & Enhancement Fee Schedule Permit Cost Fee

 Permit Cost  Fee
$50.00 Additional $2.00 fee shall be charged 
$50.01 to $100.00 Additional $5.00 fee shall be charged
$100.01 to $1,000.00 Additional $10.00 fee shall be charged
$1,000.01 and over Additional $20.00 fee shall be charged
 

  

 


*Payment of fees may be made in the form of cash, personal checks, credit cards or money orders.

FAQ List 



Q: How long does it take to get a permit? 

A: Permit issuance periods vary. Some projects, such as reroofs, water heaters, fences, sheds, etc. may be fully permitted over the counter, meaning a return trip won't be needed. Other projects, however, require that plans be left for additional review. Most projects can be plan reviewed within ten working days.

  FAQ List


 
Q: What about inspections?  

A: It is your responsibility to insure inspections at specific times during construction are requested. You may have your contractor make the call, but it is still your responsibility, as the property owner, to make sure the inspections are made. 

During the construction phase, inspections by the City Staff are required. These inspections are required to insure that the construction is proceeding according to the approved plans and/or that all current code standards are being met.

All inspection requests must be made at least one working day in advance. Periodic inspections must be requested until the project is completed and final approval is given by the City.

You can call the permit inspection line at (727) 369-5834 to request an inspection. 

    Building Inspection Guidelines

  1. Urban Forestry - Environmental Inspection
    Sites which contain trees and Florida native plant or contain environmentally sensitive areas near or within the area to be built upon or altered, must be inspected prior to the commencement of any site clearing. Following the inspection, and upon approval and issuance of a tree removal or grubbing permit, site clearing may commence provided that other concerned agencies, such as DEP and SWFWMD.

  2. Building - Footing Inspection
    Inspect depth, width, reinforcement, electrical bonding, footing not on fill dirt, unless properly compacted and setbacks. This could be a monolithic pour of footing and slab. If so, inspections #2, #3, and #4 would pertain. Compare the work done to the approved building plans and applicable codes.

  3. Plumbing - First Rough Inspection 
    Inspect sanitary drain pipes for proper fall, size, test for leaks, and if all fittings are the right type. Water piping - check for leaks, and if pipes are protected from cement and different types of metals. Check piping for right size for the amount of fixtures. Compare the work done to the approved building plans and applicable codes.

  4. Building - Slab Inspection 
    Inspect soil treatment under living area, compaction of fill dirt (if over 24" of fill, a compaction test will be required), vapor barrier under living area, wire mesh, unless fiber mesh is used, and reinforcement is in place. Compare the work done to the approved building plans and applicable codes.

  5. Engineering - Utility Installation Inspection (If Applicable) 
    Required for extension of all dedicated sanitary sewer and water line facilities. DER permit verifications, pipe installations, pressure testing, bacteriological testing, deflection testing, infiltration/exfiltration testing and televising of utilities. Review specifications and permits for compliance.

  6. Building - Tie Beam / Lintel Inspection 
    No inspection will be made without a survey with finished floor elevations and all setback measurements shown at the job site. Inspect reinforcement from footing through tie beam / lintel steel, length of reinforcement lap, size and type of reinforcement. Check if inspection holes in block are cleaned out. Compare the work done to the approved building plans and applicable codes.

  7. Electrical - First Rough Inspection 
    Inspect wire run for size, amount of circuits, amounts of wires in each box, wire staple spacing, box holes patched, smoke alarm location, exterior lights, spacing of outlets, IC rating of recessed lighting fixtures, fan boxes, and nail plates. Compare the work done to the approved building plans and applicable codes.

  8. Building - Sheathing Inspection 
    Inspect sheathing on roof and walls and nailing if applicable.

  9. Plumbing - Second Rough Inspection 
    Inspect for leaks in tub, shower pan, shower drain, vent stacks, and water piping. Inspect tub for level, water piping for strapping, tub and shower valves for stops, and check if vent stacks are through the roof with flashing. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  10. Mechanical - First Rough Inspection 
    Inspect duct work for size and location. Dryer vents, bath fan vents, and range hood vents. Check lines to equipment, plenums for sealing, and check proposed location of equipment. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  11. Rough-In Inspection and Pressure Test 
    NOTE: GAS INSPECTION, WORK AND TEST MUST BE DONE BY A CERTIFIED PERSON. Inspect piping size and location, venting of appliances--15 pounds per square inch - pressure test with gauge no larger than 30 pounds per square inch, tagged and left for 24 hour test. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  12. Building - Framing Inspection 
    Inspection made only after inspections #7, #8, #9 and #10 are approved. Inspect type of studs, spacing, and protection of untreated wood against concrete, block, or metal. Inspect roof rafters, ceiling joists or trusses for spacing, size and bracing. Check sheathing on floor, walls and nailing. Check floor joists for size, notching and spacing. Check connections: straps, buckets, bolts; nails for size and quantity and to plans. Check header size, furring strips, spacing and nails. Check fire blocking and draft stopping. Truss engineering shall be available to inspector. All holes, top plate and exterior walls shall be sealed. Compare the work done to the approved building plans and applicable codes.

    Note:  Roofing must have a Dry In inspection.

  13. Building - Drywall Inspection 
    Inspect all drywall before any finishing is started. Check drywall for right type and thickness, and amount and spacing of screws or nails. Ceiling drywall shall be 1/2" ceiling drywall or 5/8" on ceiling joists of 24" on center. All bathroom walls exposed to water shall be M.R. (moisture resistant) drywall.

  14. Plumbing - Sewer and Water Service Inspection 
    Inspect size of pipe, type material, leaks, the right fittings for different type pipes. Check the amount of fall for sewer line, and clean-out locations. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  15. Electrical - Final Inspection 
    Inspect outlets, switches, lighting, GFI outlets, arc fault circuits required in bedrooms, trim, appliances, trim, appliances, panel breakers, panel labeling, and fans. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes. 

  16. Plumbing - Final Inspection 
    Inspect sinks, faucets, tubs, showers, water heaters with relief valves to pan draining outside, hose bibs with vacuum breakers, and no leaks, all holes filled through walls and cabinetry. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  17. Mechanical - Final Inspection 
    Inspect equipment including location and rating label, if heat shields are in place and condensate line draining to exterior with trap. Check location of exterior equipment to make sure it is not in building setbacks. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  18. Gas - Final Inspection 
    Inspect connection and location of equipment, safety devices installed. Proper type of connector and shut off. Check for proper type of flue and connection. Compare the work to approved building plans and applicable codes.

  19. Engineering - Rough Grading and Paving 
    Inspect all sub-grades and final grades for proper drainage not affecting abutting property. Base inspections of asphalt/concrete paving including materials testing. Sidewalk and driveway form inspection.

  20. Final Landscape Inspection 
    Inspect trees and landscaping for compliance to Land Development Code Requirements (number and size of trees, species, setback requirements, spacing of trees and shrubs). Inspect seeding or sodding requirements and irrigation or sprinkler system regulations. Inspect for compliance to required preservation and protection of existing vegetation or environmentally sensitive areas.

  21. Engineering - Final Grading, Paving and Utilities 
    Final inspection and verification of pavement quantities. Verification of all utility installations including record drawing submittals and final grading inspection subsequent to landscape installation. Final permit review for compliance with DEP, SWFWMD, PPWMD, FDOT and Pinellas County Engineering.

  22. Building - Final Inspection 
    Inspect complete building to verify everything is complete and all inspections are finalized. Verify address numbers are displayed, verify exterior equipment is not in building setbacks, and the building is ready for occupancy.

  23. Certificate of Occupancy 
    All inspections must be finalized, and all red tags and transportation impact fees paid. Final survey is required.

NOTE:  If you receive a RED TAG with a fee and request for re-inspection, the fee must be paid and work corrected BEFORE the re-inspection will be done. If you receive a RED TAG with a request for re-inspection (no fee), work must be corrected prior to re-inspection.

The above inspections are not the only aspects of construction the Building Development Division inspects and is only a guide when to call for inspections when needed. To request inspections, call (727)369-5834 and give all information asked by the recorder.

FAQ List 



Q: Can I do the work myself or do I have to hire a contractor? 

A: Only owner occupied single family residence may do work requiring permits on their own property. The residential property owner will also need to fill out an "Owner/Occupant Affidavit" statement prior to the issuance of a permit.

FAQ List 



Q: How do I verify if a contractor is licensed?
  
A: Contractors are required to be licensed by the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board (PCCLB). You can verify a contractors' license complaints by calling:

PCCLB at (727) 582-3100
Pinellas Park Building Development Division at (727) 369-5647       
The Better Business Bureau at (727) 535-5522       

FAQ List 



Q: What if I have a permit but never called for inspections? 

A: Generally, permits expire after 180 days if no inspections have been made. In order for the project to be complete, it must pass final inspection. If a permit expires before final inspection, the project is in violation of City codes.  If this is the case, call (727) 369-5647. We will help you to reactivate the permit or apply for another permit with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing your project is complete, including final inspection.

FAQ List 



Q: How do I determine the value of the job?  

A: What it would cost to hire a contractor to do the work. 

 

 FAQ List