PERMIT QUESTIONS - FAQ
► When do I apply for a Building and Safety Permit?▼ When do I apply for a Building and Safety Permit?
PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE FOLLOWING:
- New Detached Buildings (Residential and Non-Residential) greater than 120 square feet
- Tenant Improvements
- Solar Installation
- Patio Covers (Solid and Lattice)
- Enclosed Patios
- Electric Charging Station
- Additions and Alterations
- Pools and Spas
- Sheds and other Detached Accessory Structures greater than 120 square feet
- Carports, Garages and Barns
- Fences over 6 ft. in height
- Retaining Walls over 3 ft. in height
- Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical and Structural Repairs
- Re-roofing (Residential and Non-Residential)
- Temporary structures such as a modular unit, recreational vehicle/trailer.
- Onsite Grading
- Erosion Control
- Other types of construction activities, not listed here, may require a permit. All building setbacks must be maintained, whether a building requires a permit or not. Please contact a representative of the Building and Safety Division at (909) 387-8311 or (760) 995-8140 (desert area) for any questions or to verify whether a permit will be required for your project.
INSPECTION PROCESS - FAQ
► I have obtained my building permit. At what stages of construction do I need an inspection?
▼ I have obtained my building permit. At what stages of construction do I need an inspection?
In general, an inspection will be required prior to covering up or concealing any completed work.
The following is a list of typical construction inspections and the general sequence in which they should occur. All required erosion control measures shall be in place, inspected and approved prior to commencing any building construction activity.
- UNDERGROUND/UNDER SLAB PLUMBING: Prior to any footing or foundation inspection, rough underground waste plumbing to be in place and a water test provided (cap all ends and openings and provide a 10 foot head of water).
Measurements from building forms to property lines will be verified at this time to ensure the approved building setbacks are maintained. Setback certification (if required) shall be provided to the inspector.
- FOUNDATION INSPECTION, CONCRETE SLAB GRADE OR UNDER-FLOOR: To be made after all ground plumbing has been approved and backfilled. All required reinforcing bars, hardware, and holdowns are in place. This inspection must be performed and approved before placement of concrete slab or floor sheathing.
- ROOF SHEATHING AND SHEAR WALL INSPECTION: To be made after all roof sheathing is in place and nailed as per the approved plans, but before any roofing materials are applied or loaded on the roof. All required plywood shear panels on exterior walls must also be nailed per the approved plans and inspected before being covered by exterior finish materials. Roof Framing and Truss systems will also be checked for compliance with the approved plans.
- COMBO INSPECTION (ROUGH ELECTRICAL, MECHANICAL, PLUMBING, & FRAMING INSPECTIONS): To be made after all framing and roofing is completed (tile roofing need not be complete if the roof has been made substantially weather tight, but tile must be loaded on roof). All rough plumbing (including fire sprinkler piping, if required), mechanical and electrical installations must be in place. Water supply piping (hot and cold) shall be under pressure and any second story shower and/or tubs shall be filled with water along with all drain, waste and vent piping below the overflow level of the tubs. Shower pans are built/installed and filled with water for testing. Fireplaces must be installed. Stucco paper & lath must be in place and nailed as per approved plans. Window frames and exterior door frames must be in place and properly flashed.
Note: Fire Department rough inspection must be approved prior to Building & Safety’s Combo inspection.
- INSULATION INSPECTION: To be made after all required insulation is in place, openings caulked and required sealing done. Vapor barrier on walls and ceiling to be in place in climate zones 14 & 16 (Mountain & Desert regions).
- DRYWALL INSPECTION: To be made after all drywall (or interior lath) and all attachments are fastened in place per the approved plans. To be approved before scratch-coat is applied and before any drywall mud is applied.
- SEWAGE DISPOSAL & WATER SERVICE FROM METER TO HOUSE INSPECTION: To be made after trenches are dug, piping is in place and the appropriate test is applied. The general contractor is responsible for supplying the inspector with an accurate as-built drawing showing locations of these lines. This inspection must be done before any piping is covered or trenches back filled. Septic tank and disposal fields (leach field or seepage pits) must be complete and exposed for inspection. Septic tanks are to be filled with water for leak testing.
- GAS LINE AIR TEST: Indoor, Outdoor, and Underground gas lines must be under an air test using a maximum 15lb gauge and not lose any pressure for 15 minutes. This inspection can be completed after cabinets and molding are installed in the building.
- FINAL INSPECTION: To be made when structure is ready for occupancy. This shall include proper lot drainage, post construction erosion control measures, permanent address posted, all plumbing fixtures connected and operable, all electrical fixtures and devices in place and electrically connected, insulation certificate posted, structure clean of debris or stored materials, wall finishes complete per approved plans, HERS Rater report on-site, etc.
Please be advised that all final inspections must be cleared (in writing) before utilities are released and a Certificate of Occupancy is issued. This includes final clearance from not only the Building & Safety Division but also Planning, Land Development, Public Works Roads, Fire Department and Solid Waste Construction Waste Management Plan, (CWMP) Clearance. All outstanding fees owed to these departments must be paid prior to approving a final inspection and granting a Certificate of Occupancy.
Note: The general contractor/owner-builder or his duly authorized representative is responsible for verifying that all work is complete before requesting an inspection. This authorized representative shall also be responsible for walking with the inspector on all inspections and for coordinating all of his/her subcontractor duties relevant to correction items cited by the inspector. Re-inspections will be made as requested after all corrections have been made.
Please provide a sufficient temporary address so that the inspector can easily identify your property.
► How do I schedule an inspection?
▼ How do I schedule an inspection?
► What is a Virtual Inspection?▼ What is a Virtual Inspection?
Inspections can be scheduled by calling our Customer Service Unit at (909) 387-8311 or (760) 995-8140 (desert area). Please have your permit number available for scheduling.
Inspection requests received by 3:00 pm will be scheduled for the following work day. When the schedule is full for the next day, the inspection will be scheduled for the next available day. Note: Due to the remote nature and low volume of requests, some areas of the County have limited inspections available during the week. Please check with a representative from the Customer Service Unit to verify when inspections are available in your area.
A Virtual Inspection (VI) is an inspection performed by utilizing a smartphone or tablet. The major benefit of utilizing VI is the ability to schedule a precise inspection time, thus eliminating the 2-4 hours of wait time.
For more information on Virtual Inspections please visit the following website:
► I have a question; can I speak with my inspector?▼ I have a question; can I speak with my inspector?
Inspectors are available to discuss inspection issues or to arrange special inspection times in our offices between 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. They can be reached by phone or in person during these times.
► What needs to be on the job site to complete an inspection?▼ What needs to be on the job site to complete an inspection?
It is required that the County approved plans and job card be on-site at all times during the construction process and available for the building Inspector. Also, an adult should be on-site during the inspection.
► My project is complete, what do I do with my plans and job card?▼ My project is complete, what do I do with my plans and job card?
It is recommended that these documents be kept as permanent record of the work performed. These items may be needed in the future for validation during a real estate transaction or insurance appraisal.
HOMESTEAD/RECREATIONAL CABIN - FAQ
► What is a homestead/recreational cabin?▼ What is a homestead/recreational cabin?
As a means to distribute disposable public land, the federal government enacted laws such as the Small Tract Act of 1938. The law made it possible for a citizen to obtain certain public land, typically in the desert areas, at a minimal cost, as long as a structure was built on the parcel. No water or power was required and the structure could be relatively small. The County Assessor’s Office classifies these structures as a “Rec Cabin”.
► How do I know if I own a Rec Cabin and not a home?▼ How do I know if I own a Rec Cabin and not a home?
Factors that indicate the structure is a Rec cabin:
- The County Assessor’s office will list the structure as a Rec cabin.
- The structure was not permitted with electrical or plumbing.
For County Assessor information please visit the following website:
For permit research please contact Building and Safety at (909) 387-8311 (valley) or (760) 995-8140 (desert area), and request permit research on your parcel.
► Can I live in a homestead cabin?▼ Can I live in a homestead cabin?
Any structure used as a dwelling must comply with the current California Building and/or Residential Codes, as well as the County Development Code. If the existing structure meets the minimum requirements within these codes, the cabin may be occupied. Please contact a licensed architect or engineer to determine if the proposed structure complies.
► I would like to live in my homestead cabin, but it does not meet the minimum code requirements. What can I do? I would like to live in my homestead cabin, but it does not meet the minimum code requirements. What can I do?
If you would like to alter a homestead cabin in order to meet the minimum code requirements to live in the structure, please consult with a design professional for the preparation of building plans, submit the plans to Building and Safety for review and approval, and obtain the necessary building permits prior to construction. Once the structure is approved by Building and Safety, the cabin can be occupied.
Please note, that other departmental fees or requirements such as transportation fees and fire sprinklers may be applicable to a permit to create a residence from a homestead cabin. For more information related to living in a homestead cabin, please contact Building and Safety at (909) 387-8311 (valley) or (760) 995-8140 (desert area).
► I don’t currently have water service; can I haul water to the site?▼ I don’t currently have water service; can I haul water to the site?
Per the San Bernardino County Development Code, all dwellings are required to connect to public water if available. If public water is not available, a well approved by County Environmental Health Services may be utilized. Hauled water is not allowed.
For more information regarding water service, please contact County Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit the following website:
► Do I have to connect to a public sewer?▼ Do I have to connect to a public sewer?
Per the San Bernardino County Development Code, all dwellings are required to connect to a public sewer if the parcel is within 200 feet of a sewer line. If public sewer is not available, an Environmental Health Services/Building and Safety-approved septic system may be utilized.
For more information regarding septic systems, please contact County Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit the following website:
► Can I add on to or alter my cabin?▼ Can I add on to or alter my cabin?
Additions (adding square footage) to a rec cabin will not be approved without the structure meeting the current minimum code requirements for a dwelling/unit. Repairs can be made to the existing structure.
For more information please contact Building and Safety at (909) 387-8311 (valley) or (760) 995-8140 (desert area), and request permit research on your parcel.
► Do I need inspections? Do I need inspections?
Inspections are required for all work permitted by the County.