Frequently Asked Questions
When do I need a permit? Please see Section 108.1 of the Uniform Statewide Building Code which is available elsewhere on this site.
Can a person who is not a contractor get a permit? The property owner (or tenant) can obtain a permit. If the property owner gets the permit, the property owner may do the work himself, or hire a licensed contractor to do the work. It is a violation of State regulations for the property owner to obtain the permit, and hire an unlicensed contractor to do the work. Read Section 108.3 of the Uniform Statewide Building Code, available elsewhere on this site, for additional information on this subject. If the property owner does obtain the permit, instead of a contractor, the property owner is required to sign an affidavit taking responsibility for meeting all Code requirements for the permitted work. Do not sign this document, and do not obtain the permit yourself if you are unwilling to accept this responsibility.
What work in a new home is not covered by the Building Code? In general, sidewalks, driveways, paint, interior trim, kitchen cabinets, carpet, floor tile, landscaping, interior doors (except for bathrooms and the door between the garage and living space), and TV and computer wiring and cable are not covered by the Building Code.
I am having problems with my contractor, what should I do? See Problem Solving elsewhere on this site.
I am having problems with Building Safety and Permits Division, what should I do? See Problem Solving elsewhere on this site.
I am just putting a little addition on my house, why do I need a soil test? Beginning in 1994, JCC Building Safety and Permits Division started requiring soil tests for new homes and residential addtions. This was an outcome of an soil task force responding to foundation problems caused by expansive soils. Some types of minor additions may be exempted from this requirement on a case by case basis. If you feel you should not be required to obtain a soil test, please discuss your concerns with a staff member.
Can I move into my new house before it is completely finished? The Building Safety and Permits Division does try to work with citizens who need to occupy a home which is not completely finished. A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) is the administrative tool used to accomplish this. Customarily, a TCO will not be issued if there are code-related items which create safety concerns. No two situations are identical. Please contact a staff member to discuss your particular situation. Building Safety and Permits Division does not encourage homebuyers who are having problems with their contractor to obtain a TCO without very careful consideration.