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Building Permit Process Flowchart

***The Building Division remains closed to the public through April 30, 2020. In coordination with third party inspectors, the Building Division will endeavor to continue operations remotely. Remote operations may result in delays in the provision of service, including the performance of field inspections.***

Should you have questions related to electronic permit application submission, please contact Hope Jones at 303-795-3751. For questions related to grouping and scheduling of inspections, please contact Steve Jones at 303-795-3739.  Every effort is being made to maintain previous service levels and your cooperation is valuable in assisting us in providing services. Thank you.

Temporary Building Inspection Policy Changes (4/3/20)

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the Building Division staff and general public, the City of Littleton Building Division will enact, effective April 6, 2020, the following procedural changes to the inspection process:

  1. City staff will maintain social distancing of a minimum of six (6) feet at all times when interacting with the general public.

  2. Inspection of occupied residential dwellings will be conducted as follows:

    a. Inspection of structures, projects and components that are located completely on the exterior of the structure shall be conducted in compliance with standard building inspection procedures. Examples of such structures, projects and components are roof coverings, decks, patio covers, siding, or similar

    b. Inspection of detached residential structures such as garages, sheds, pergolas, etc. shall be conducted in compliance with standard building inspection procedures

    c. Inspection of projects, appliances and components located on the interior of occupied residential structures MAY be conducted virtually through live video, provided that inspectors are able to virtually access all areas and verify all aspects of the project necessary to insure compliance with all applicable codes. Virtual inspection will be conducted using FaceTime or Microsoft Teams applications as follows:

    • The individual or firm requesting inspection is solely responsible for possessing the ability to virtually connect with the inspector(s) through the FaceTime or Microsoft Teams applications.

    • The trade-specific contractor(s) or homeowner will be present and shall conduct the virtual presentation of the items to be inspected, i.e., the plumbing contractor will conduct the virtual presentation of the plumbing systems and components; the mechanical contractor will conduct the virtual presentation of the mechanical systems and components to be inspected, etc.

    • The trade-specific contractor(s) or homeowner shall connect virtually with the inspector upon arrival of the inspector at the project. Inspectors will not enter the premises.

    • The inspector will provide direction to the trade-specific contractor in presenting the items to be inspected and such direction must be fully complied with in order for the inspection to be conducted

    • Any project that is deemed by the inspector to be too complex in its’ scope or for which compliance cannot be verified for any other reason shall not be inspected or approved through virtual procedures 

  3. Inspections of new, unoccupied residential dwellings will be performed only if access is provided and no one is present within the structure at the time of inspection.

  4. Inspections of existing but unoccupied residential dwellings will be performed only if access is provided, no personal belongings are within the structure, and no one is present within the structure at the time of inspection.

  5. Inspection of occupied commercial structures will not be performed unless the structure is vacated a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes prior to the start of the inspection and for the duration of the inspection.

  6. Inspections of new commercial structures will be performed provided that the structure is vacated a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes prior to the inspection and no one is present within the structure for the duration of the inspection.

  7. Emergency inspections, i.e. requests for assistance from emergency service agencies, utility providers, etc., will continue to be provided for all residential and commercial structures.

Any incidence of non-compliance with the above procedural changes will result in non-performance or immediate termination of the requested inspection. Inspectors will exercise their discretion when performing inspections to insure the existence of conditions that provide for their safety and that of the general public and may refuse to perform or terminate any inspection for which unsafe conditions exist. Performance of any virtual inspection is contingent upon the ability of the inspector to insure compliance with applicable codes and ordinances and may be refused or terminated at the inspectors’ discretion. The Building Division will endeavor to maintain its’ performance of next day inspections for those requests that comply with the above policy changes.

Littleton Permit Center

The Permit Center is in the lobby of the Littleton Center and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (See main Building & Inspections page for special exceptions.) The Permit Center accepts applications for building permits, land development applications, Littleton Fire Rescue permits, and processes contractor licenses.  

The Permit Center answers questions on zoning, building codes, and permit submittal requirements. Contact the Permit Center at 303-795-3751 or email permits@littletongov.org.

To schedule an inspection, call the inspection request line at 303-795-3738. The inspection line is open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Inspection requests are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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 the Plans Examiner, 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 the Plans Examiner 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 the Permit Center at 303-795-3751 to find out if they are currently licensed with the City of Littleton. 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 the Permit Center 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 at 303-795-3751. After your question or problem is identified, you will be directed to the appropriate staff person.