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Repairs, Remodels & Maintenance

Do You Need a Permit?

If you are doing any work on your home, you will likely need a permit - even for minor work like repairing a fence or changing out a window. And, there may be requirements or fees that apply to your project. Make sure you have the full scope of your project before you start.

There are several departments that might be involved in the permitting.

The Fire Marshal oversees all fire protection system installations including sprinklers and alarms.

The Public Works & Utilities Department oversees utility connections and requirements as well as work done on / in public property, i.e., sidewalks, curbs, and curb cuts, streets etc.

Planning oversees work on the exterior of your property.  Changes to the windows, additional square footage and some equipment may need to be reviewed by them.  Also, if you are changing the way a property is used, such as remodeling a retail space into a restaurant, you may also need a permit and may also trigger additional requirements.

The Building Department issues building permits, reviews plans and coordinates your projects with other departments.  They also do inspections and final approval of your project.

The best way to know for sure is to ask our staff - 707-778-4301 or or in person at 11 English Street, Petaluma, CA 94952.

Repairs & Maintenance

If you are installing a new roof, repairing a fence, or changing out windows, you may need a permit. Check out this list of things that need a building permit.


Remodeling your house is exciting and expensive. Changing out plumbing fixtures, moving walls, and changing your lighting are all things that require building permits.

Building Handouts

Construction & Demolition Debris Recycling Form PDF (247 KB)
Building Inspection Procedures PDF (92 KB)
Plan Review Info PDF (185 KB)
Garage Conversion to Living Space PDF (108 KB)
Accessibility Requirements Commercial Additions/Alterations PDF (90 KB)
Projects Requiring a Building Permit PDF (186 KB)
Fence Permit Application Form PDF (289 KB)
Water Use Efficiency Improvements PDF (187 KB)
Trellis/Patio Cover Information PDF (104 KB)
Tankless Water Heater Handout PDF (106 KB)
Swimming Pool, Spa, and Hot Tub Barriers – Requirements for PDF (107 KB)
Special Inspector Application PDF (116 KB)
Special Inspection and Testing Procedure PDF (357 KB)
Special Inspection Approved Agencies PDF (121 KB)
Smoke Detectors Locations PDF (139 KB)
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Self Verification Form PDF (108 KB)
Smoke Detector Requirements for Realtors PDF (129 KB)
Retaining Wall Detail – Standard PDF (154 KB)
Residential Stairs and Handrail Information PDF (422 KB)
Residential Permit Checklist PDF (102 KB)
Residential Lighting Standards PDF (221 KB)
Residential Construction Information PDF (257 KB)
Residential Addition/Remodel Information PDF (119 KB)
Photovoltaic (Solar) Requirements PDF (81 KB)
Non-Residential Lighting Testing Requirements PDF (53 KB)
New PEX Use Requirements PDF (93 KB)
Lead Abatement Information PDF (472 KB)
How to Get a Building Permit PDF (218 KB)
Guidelines for Plan Organization and Sheet Identification PDF (96 KB)
Gas Pressure Tests – Information PDF (188 KB)
Furnace and Air Conditioning Replacement Requirements PDF (182 KB)
Cool Roofs Requirements PDF (221 KB)
Commercial Tenant Improvement Information PDF (237 KB)
Commercial Permit Checklist PDF (199 KB)
Commercial Grading & Drainage Information PDF (183 KB)
Commercial Handrail Information PDF (220 KB)
Permit Application-Owner/Builder PDF (150 KB)
Permit Application-Contractor PDF (44 KB)
Encroachment Permit Info Sheet PDF (127 KB)
Outdoor Firepit, BBQ, and Fireplace Requirements PDF (33 KB)
Planning Fee Schedule PDF (185 KB)
Fence Permit Info Sheet PDF (668 KB)
SPAR Trash Enclosure Standards PDF (386 KB)
Sewer Lateral Replacement Application PDF (242 KB)
Residential Deck Permit PDF (206 KB)
Residential Bathroom Remodel Permits PDF (427 KB)
Kitchen Remodel Permits PDF (451 KB)
photo of remodeling

You should make sure you get all the permits you need before you start your project.  Some projects may trigger fees are upgrades that will cost money.

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