Building Permits

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Building Permit Process Flowchart

What is needed when I submit for a building permit?

Submittal requirements will vary depending on the proposed project.

  • For a water heater, electric service upgrade, re-roofing, furnace, air conditioning unit or similar project, the only requirement is the application for a permit.
     
  • For a deck, shed, attached or detached garage, patio cover or similar project, two sets of the site plan and framing plan are required. Brochures are available at the Permit Center to assist you with a framing plan or you can go to our web page at www.littletongov.org./building for assistance.
     
  • For a new home, two sets of the site plan, the engineered foundation design, the framing plan, the soils report and two sets of architectural drawings are required. During your meeting with Development Services, it will be explained what information is required on the architectural drawings. If you have questions about your application packet or process make an appointment with Development Services for assistance.

When do I need an architect or a structural engineer?

An architect is not required for a residential project; however, if your plan is for a major project such as an addition, adding a second floor or building an entirely new home, an architect can be your best friend. An architect will be familiar with building code requirements and can assist with the design, which can include the floor plan, the exterior wall coverings and the interior finishes and can help select a contractor.

A structural engineer is required for the foundation design and the framing plan when building a new home or an addition. He is also required to prepare the framing plan for a second story addition.

Does a contractor need a license? The city has licensing requirements for contractors. For a new structure or addition, the building, plumbing, electrical and heating contractors have to be licensed by the city. The contractors must prove knowledge of the codes by testing for the license. They are also required to carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Can the city help me find a contractor?

Search for a list of licensed contractors. Once you have selected a few contractors to bid your project, you can call Building and Development Services at 303-795-3751 to find out if there are any negative comments in their file. You can also check references provided by the contractors; find out if the projects were completed on time and on budget; if they worked when scheduled to work and if they were easy or difficult to work with.

Can a homeowner pull a building permit?

Homeowners can pull a permit only if they are going to do the work. If you employ a contractor and provide compensation, that contractor must be licensed by the City. However, the homeowner may act as the general contractor but each contractor the homeowner employs must have a Littleton contractor’s license. Homeowners must occupy the residence to obtain a homeowner's permit.

What building codes are enforced in Littleton?

Effective January 1, 2014, the city is enforcing the 2012 International Building Code, Residential Code, Plumbing Code, Mechanical Code, Energy Conservation Code and the Fuel Gas Code. Also in effect in late 2014 is the 2014 National Electrical Code.

How long does it take to get a building permit?

Over the counter permits are usually issued the same day. Permits that require zoning approval or plan review will take up to fifteen business days.

Does a permit ever expire?

A building permit expires in 180 days if the project has not begun. A permit will also expire if there is a lapse of 180 days between inspections. If there are circumstances beyond your control, the Chief Building Official may grant one extension up to 180 days.

What is the cost of a building permit?

The cost of the permit is based on the valuation of the work. The valuation is established by the estimated cost of the project provided by the applicant on the building permit application. If the city considers the project is undervalued; a cost per square foot equation will be used to establish the value.

Fee Schedules  The fee schedules are located in the left hand column. Besides the building permit fee, if your project also includes plumbing, heating and electrical work, a separate fee is required for each trade. The fees also include a plan review fee, Arapahoe County open space tax and use tax.

What is use tax and Arapahoe County Open Space Tax?

Use tax is sales tax on materials. The city requires that you pay the estimated tax when the permit is issued. So that you don’t pay more tax than is due to the city, it is important that you purchase as many materials as possible from a vendor located in the City of Littleton, or a supplier outside city limits that has a Littleton sales tax license. Once the project is finished, bring all your receipts from Littleton vendors to the Finance Department. You will receive a refund of the excess city tax paid. The Arapahoe County open space tax is used for the preservation of open space, not only in Arapahoe County but also in the City of Littleton.

If you’re having problems calculating the fee, contact Development Services at 303-795-3751 and get an estimated cost.

How about inspections?

To schedule an inspection, call the inspection request line at 303-795-3738.  Inspections called in before 3 pm are generally scheduled for the next business day and are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to schedule the inspection, you will need the permit number and inspection code (see your permit card). A confirmation number and date of the inspection will be stated. Please listen closely for the confirmed inspection date. Please note, inspections are generally scheduled for the next business day, however during peak times of activity, inspection schedules may be booked a few business days out.

The required inspections for your project are sequentially marked on the inspection card that will be given to you when your permit is issued. Inspections are requested when different phases of construction are completed. For example, if you are requesting a rough plumbing inspection, all the piping for the waste and vents, water pipe and gas piping must be installed and tested. The rough plumbing, rough electric and rough heating must be inspected and approved before a rough framing inspection is requested.

Will I have the same building inspector?

Not usually. We have separate inspectors for heating, plumbing, electrical and framing.

Can I make an appointment for an inspection and how long does an inspection take?

Yes, you can make an appointment. For homeowners, we normally can give you an hour window when we will arrive. Most inspections will take not more than 30 minutes, except for a framing inspection which can take up to an hour.

Where do I get help?

Call the Littleton Permit Center or Building and Development Services at 303-795-3751. After your question or problem is identified, you will be directed to the appropriate staff person.