Do I Need A Permit?

Do I Need A Permit?

house and tools The Long Beach Development Services Building and Safety Bureau works to safeguard public health, safety, and property through the plan check, permit, and inspection processes. To ensure that the minimum safety requirements and standards are met, most construction activities, including alterations, replacements, and repair work in dwellings require permits and inspections. The following minor installations, repairs, or replacements may be exempt from obtaining construction permits, as determined by the Building Official. Additional requirements may apply in historic districts and coastal zones, in accordance with the City's Zoning Regulations.



Building permits not required:

  • Detached accessory structures used as tool or storage sheds, children's playhouses, or similar uses. Structures should not exceed 120 square feet and 8 feet in height from floor to roof; and should not include any plumbing, electrical, or mechanical installations.
  • Wood, vinyl, wrought iron, or similar fences up to 6 feet and six 6 inches in height.
  • Retaining walls or planter boxes up to 4 feet in height, not supporting a surcharge or sloping earth.
  • Private concrete pathways, driveways, and decks up to 30 inches above adjacent ground level.
  • Application of hot or cold paint on a roof of a building or structure.
  • Application of roofing up to 500 square feet on an existing building or structure within any 12-month period.
  • Painting, wall treatments, floor and wall coverings, and similar minor interior decoration.
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of tiles on floors, countertops, or walls up to 48 inches in height.
  • Plaster/drywall patch or repair up to 90 square feet in totality of the building.
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of window awnings that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of wall veneer less than 48 inches in height.


Electrical permits not required:

  • Low voltage installations, such as doorbells, sprinklers, and thermostats.
  • Repair or replacement of garbage disposals, trash compactors, bath exhaust fan motors, battery operated smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors; light receptacles, lighting dimmers and fixtures, but not the outlet. Items must be of the same type and rating in the same location. All repairs and replacements shall meet California Energy Code Requirements.
  • The provisions of the foregoing exceptions shall not apply to any repairs or replacements of electrical devices, apparatus, or appliances which were originally installed without a permit when such permit is required for the original installation, or when energized by, or which is a part of any hazardous or illegal wiring system.

Plumbing permits not required:

  • Repair of leaks or basic defects (i.e., value stem, cartridge, angle stop, etc.), provided no new installation of any additional materials are required.
  • Repair of a water heater (i.e., thermocouple or igniter) other than its vents, provided that the water heater is connected.
  • Replacement of exposed traps serving fixtures, provided approved traps are used and properly installed.
  • Replacement of defective or unapproved ball cocks in water tanks, provided anti-syphon ball cocks are used and properly installed.
  • Replacement of defective or unapproved faucets serving sinks, lavatories and bathtubs, provided approved type faucets are used and properly installed.
  • Repair of an electric water heater, providing the rough plumbing is not altered.
  • Any gas piping out more than 6 feet in length between an approved gas outlet and any gas-fired appliance, provided that any such gas-fired appliance is in the same room as the gas outlet.

Mechanical permits not required:

  • Use of any listed and approved portable heating, ventilating, or cooling unit/appliance.

Please note that certain DIY projects, such as the construction of patio covers or gazebos; installation of replacement windows; and the replacement of sinks, toilets, or dishwashers require permits to ensure occupant safety.

Prior to beginning any project on a property located within a Historic District, contact the Planning Bureau at (562) 570.6194.

For additional information regarding building permit requirements and exceptions, please refer to Long Beach Municipal Code Section 18.04, or contact us at (562) 570.LBDS (5237).