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Buying or Leasing Commercial Space
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City of Jacksonville
Planning and Development
Building Inspection Division
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS OF OPERATION?
The Building Inspection Division is open for business from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Field inspectors normal hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Building Plan Examiners are available for consultation with the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily on a first come first serve basis.
WHY DO I NEED A BUILDING PERMIT?
A building permit is required by law to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING OR LEASING A COMMERCIAL BUILDING OR SPACE?
Before buying or leasing space, it is strongly advised that a potential new tenant/owner check with the Building Inspection Division to confirm that their intended use of the building or space is the same as the classification in the Building and Fire Codes. There are multiple use/occupancy classifications in the codes. It is important to note that just because a property is zoned properly for your organization or business that does not necessarily mean that the building/space has the proper occupancy classification. If your intended use of the building or space does not match the use/occupancy classification, a building permit for Converting Use will be required. Please note also that if you have a new business, your business is expanding, or you are changing the use of your commercial building or space, you must submit an Application for Certificate of Use (COU).
HOW DO I OBTAIN A PERMIT FOR CONVERTING USE?
In order to ensure the safety of the occupants, a building permit for Converting Use is required whenever the use/occupancy classification (as determined by the Building and Fire Codes) of the building or space is changed. A building permit for Converting Use will require, at a minimum, a life safety plan and code summary provided by a Florida-licensed design professional. The design professional’s review of the space will determine if other changes to the space are required. These changes could include, but are not limited to, requiring the installation of a fire sprinkler system, fire alarm system, additional exit doors, additional restrooms, and changes to the electrical or mechanical systems.
WHEN IS A PERMIT REQUIRED?
A building permit is required for any construction that physically changes or adds structures to your property or for work regulated by local codes or ordinances such as:
Additions – room additions, patio covers, swimming pools, etc.
Alterations – re-roofs, garage conversions, exterior stucco, etc.
Repairs – replacement of water heaters or other plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems, air conditioning units, new electrical service, rewiring, etc.
Moving or demolishing a building
Change of use of structures
Installation of heating equipment, such as wood stoves, central heat, wall heaters and wood burning or gas fireplaces
WHEN IS A PERMIT NOT REQUIRED?
Replacement of plumbing fixtures after the stop excluding water heaters
Stopping of plumbing leaks
Clearing drain stoppages provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures
Connection of portable equipment such as portable heating appliances, portable ventilation equipment, portable cooling units and portable evaporative coolers
Any steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the code
Replacement of any part within a single piece of equipment
Any self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of one horsepower or less
WHEN IS A NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT REQUIRED?
A Notice of Commencement is required on most jobs over $2500.
WHO ARE THE ENFORCING AGENCIES FOR PERMITTING?
Building Codes and Enforcing Agencies
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WHAT DO I NEED TO REGISTER AS A CONTRACTOR TO PULL PERMITS?
Completed New Contractor Registration Form.
Construction license from the State of Florida
Picture ID card
Proof of workers compensation insurance or exemption
Two Business Tax Receipts - One for the company from any county in the State of Florida and one for the qualifying agent from the City of Jacksonville City ID card signed by qualifying agent. The qualifying agents signature can be notarized if they cannot appear in person. If a person who is licensed by the State of Florida (Chapter 489 Contracting, Florida Statutes) as a general, building or residential contractor wants to apply for a building construction permit, he/she shall first receive an identification number from the Building Inspection Division at (904) 630-1100. In order to receive the ID number, a certificate holder shall appear in person.
HOW MUCH DOES A PERMIT COST?
For the purpose of determining fees for building or construction permit fees, floor area shall be the gross overall, outside dimension floor area of a building at each story including all portions under roofs. When a building permit fee is paid for a new building or addition, separate permits and fees shall not be required for fences, walls, dwelling, awnings, masonry fence walls or other components normal to building construction. Separate fees shall be paid for electrical, plumbing, mechanical, miscellaneous or other permits shown elsewhere in this schedule.
CAN I APPLY FOR A PERMIT OVER THE INTERNET?
Yes! You can apply for a permit over the Internet. Please see our
New System FAQ.pdf
Electronic Plan Submittal page
HOW LONG ARE PERMITS GOOD FOR?
WHAT CODES ARE CURRENTLY BEING ENFORCED?
The City of Jacksonville Building Inspection Division is currently enforcing the Florida Building Code 7
Edition (2020). This includes:
Florida Building Code, Building
Florida Building Code, Fuel Gas
Florida Building Code, Mechanical
Florida Building Code, Plumbing
Florida Building Code, Accessibility
Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation
Florida Building Code, Existing Building
For Electrical provisions, the current code is the NFPA 70 – NEC 2017.
For Fire prevention provisions, the current code is the
Florida Fire Prevention Code
WHERE CAN I GET A COPY OF THE CURRENT CODES?
An online copy of the current Florida Building Code is available by visiting
Code Books can be purchased from many sources.
Local sources include AAA Construction Bookstore at 7402 Atlantic Boulevd., Jacksonville, FL (904) 722-9994
Sources on the internet include:
Building Officials Association of Florida Online Store
International Code Council Online Store
For local zoning code information, contact the
in the Development Services Division of the Planning and Development Department at (904) 255-8300
Ed Ball Building
214 North Hogan Street, Suite 300
Jacksonville, FL 32202
WHERE DO I SUBMIT MY PLANS AND WHAT WILL BE REQUIRED?
Two complete sets (all disciplines) of plans, drawings and specifications together with the building permit application shall be submitted and logged in at the Plan Review Counter, Ed Ball Building; 214 N. Hogan Street, Room 280;
Jacksonville, Florida 32202.
The sets will be reviewed by all disciplines including the fire marshal. Once the review is completed, you will be notified of any comments.
Note: make sure all plans are complete (mechanical, electrical, plumbing - MEP). If this is a renovation project and you are not revising one or more of the MEP trades, indicate that very clearly on your plans. Many plans are returned for more information simply because we do not know the extent of your work. See complete details on our website.
DO I HAVE TO HIRE A LICENSED ARCHITECT OR ENGINEER TO PREPARE MY PLANS?
In many circumstances, yes. No permit may be issued for any building construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair or addition unless the applicant for such permit provides to the enforcing agency that issues the permit any of the following documents that apply to the construction for which the permit is to be issued and which shall be prepared by or under the direction of an engineer registered under chapter 471 Florida Statutes:
Electrical documents for any new building or addition that requires an aggregate service capacity of over 600 amperes (240 volts) on a residential electrical system or 800 amperes (240 volts) or more on a commercial or industrial electrical system and that costs more than $50,000.
Plumbing documents for any new building or addition that requires a plumbing system with more than 250 fixture units or which costs more than $50,000.
Fire sprinkler documents for any new building or addition that includes a fire sprinkler system that contains 50 or more sprinkler heads.
A Contractor I, Contractor II or Contractor IV certified under §633.521 may design a fire sprinkler system of 49 or fewer heads and may design the alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if the alteration consists of the relocation, addition or deletion of not more than 49 heads notwithstanding the size of the existing fire sprinkler system.
Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning documents for any new building or addition that requires more than a 15-ton-per-system capacity which is designed to accommodate 100 or more persons or for which the system costs more than $50,000. This does not include any document for the replacement or repair of an existing system in which the work does not require altering a structural part of the building or for work on a residential one-family, two-family, three-family or four-family structure.
Any specialized mechanical, electrical or plumbing document for any new building or addition that includes a medical gas, oxygen, steam, vacuum, toxic air filtration, Halon or fire detection and alarm system that costs more than $5,000.
Engineering Requirements for Residential Plan Submission
If the design professional is an architect or engineer registered in Florida, he/she shall sign and seal the drawings, specifications and accompanying data as required by Florida Statute. This includes one-and two-family dwellings.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT AVERAGE TURN-AROUND TIME FOR PLAN REVIEW?
Our residential (one/two family homes) plan review turn-around goal is five business days or less. Our commercial (including multi-family) plan review turn-around goal is ten business days or less. While we strive to meet these goals, a surge in the volume of plan review submissions can increase our turn-around times. For the most current turn-around times, please contact your plans examiner.
WHEN DO I CALL FOR AN INSPECTION? WHO DO I CALL?
(904) 255-8500 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Inspections can also be requested over the
Building Inspections website
. Prior to any inspection being performed, the permit and the notice of commencement must be posted on the job site. Construction documents must be available on the job site and maintained in a weatherproof container and must be legible.
WHAT PAPERWORK AM I REQUIRED TO LEAVE ON THE JOB SITE FOR THE INSPECTOR?
The complete set of legible permit documents as approved through plan review must be onsite in a weatherproof container at the time of each inspection.
DOES SOMEONE NEED TO BE AT THE JOB SITE FOR THE INSPECTION?
Any occupied home or business must have a representative onsite that is 18 years of age or older and able to provide access to all areas requiring inspection. Inspections for permitted work on unoccupied projects do not require a representative onsite but access must be available to all areas requiring inspection.
WHAT DOES THE INSPECTOR NEED TO INSPECT?
1. Access. Generally, our inspectors have the ability to access a single-story roof. The contractor is responsible to provide access to any location requiring inspection.
2. A complete set of legible permit documents as approved through plan review must be onsite in a weatherproof container for each inspection.
HOW CAN I CONTACT MY INSPECTOR?
Our staff phone numbers and email can be found on our webiste under the ‘
’ menu item. To determine a rough idea an inspector may arrive at your project see our inspectors’
Complaints and Violations
HOW DO I REGISTER A COMPLAINT ABOUT WHAT APPEARS TO BE A BUILDING CODE VIOLATION OR A COMPLAINT ABOUT A CONTRACTOR?
You can call the Citizen Active Response Effort (CARE) office at (904) 630-CITY. They will take your complaint and route it to the appropriate department. Complaints can also be filed with the
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
HOW DO I VERIFY THAT MY CONTRACTOR IS LICENSED?
Call the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (D.B.P.R.) at (904) 727-6530 or the Construction Trades Qualifying Board (C.T.Q.B.) at (904) 630-2657. You can verify State Contractors Licenses and complaints by going to
Generally, the building inspector will need to inspect all aspects of the work before it is covered or concealed from view. These inspections are done to assure that the work has been done to a minimum safety standard and that it complies with the approved plans for the project.
The following is a list of the typical inspections that may be required on a project:
Foundation Slab (prior to pouring concrete)
Plumbing and electrical (rough and final)
Air conditioning and heating equipment
Gas piping and gas equipment
There are many others depending on the type of work being done. The inspector's name and phone numbers are recorded on the issued permit. The inspector can be reached on their cell phone or Nextel number and are listed by trade on our
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