Building Permits

A graphic of a building

A Building Permit is a legal document that gives you permission to start construction of a building project at an agreed upon location, within a set time frame, in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. It also gives lending institutions the assurance that the contractor is licensed, insured and has a legal right to build the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a building permit?

Generally, when any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, a permit is required.
When purchasing a home or property, it is in your best interest to ensure that all structures have been properly permitted. You are legally responsible for any un-permitted structures. Use our Permit Search to verify that the structures on your property have a valid permit.

When is a permit not required?

Generally, Redecorating and minor repair jobs do not require a building permit. This includes replacing cabinets, replacing floor covering, painting and decorating, repairing drywall (under 10 sqft), replacing plumbing fixtures (if you are not altering the plumbing system), and replacing light fixtures and appliances (if you are not altering or replacing wiring).
If you are uncertain if you need a permit, call the Building Division staff at 352-374-5243, we will be happy to answer your questions.

If I get a permit, can I do the work myself?

Yes, you may perform work on a home that you own and occupy. It cannot be offered for sale or lease for one year after final completion of the project.

What are the benefits to getting a permit?

One of the major benefits of obtaining a permit is having technical resources at your side, the certified building inspectors and plans examiners. Your Alachua County certified building inspectors and plans examiners, with years of trade experience and code training, can work with you during your project. They can answer questions, provide guidance before you start your project, and save you time, money, and frustration.

Is there a fee?

Yes. The fees vary and are based on the value of the project. You can estimate the permit fees from the fee schedule, or call us and we can give you an approximate cost over the phone.

What will I need to obtain a permit?

That depends on the nature of the project. For example, you will need to submit a site plan if you want to build a driveway, construction drawings if your building an addition, a whole set of construction documents if your building a new home, and any other documents as required by the Building Division. Please call us, or come by and explain your project to us and we can go from there.

How long is a permit valid for?

Building permits are valid for a period of 180 days. Construction must commence within that 180 day window.

  • Building Division
  • Building Division
  • County Annex Building, 1st Floor
  • 10 SW 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, Fl 32601
  • Phone: 352-374-5243
  • Fax: 352-491-4510
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 8:00 am-4:00 pm
  • Hours: Friday 8:00 am-1:00 pm
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