Homeowners Building Permits

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Get a building permit for your home improvement project

Building codes are designed to protect the occupants of buildings. They describe requirements that protect the structural integrity of a building and the safe installation of the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems. The codes also specify a safe means of exiting a building in case of an emergency, and requirements for energy conservation.

All too often, when a homeowner lists a property for sale, a prospective buyer will ask if a building permit was obtained for a basement remodel, patio cover or similar project.

If the necessary permit was not obtained, headaches can occur for the seller. The building division routinely receives calls on how to get approval for work done after the fact, and the response is that a building permit must be obtained and the work must pass required inspections. These inspections can normally be done without removing any walls, but rarely, if abnormalities are detected in the electrical system, it can be necessary to remove part of a wall.

The Littleton Permit Center has helpful brochures and information on the website about the building permit process, along with other useful information for homeowners. Visit Permit Center page or call 303-795-3751 for more information.

When does a homeowner need a building permit?

A building permit is required at any time there is an addition, alteration, repair or conversion to the main structure or an accessory structure. Examples would include reroofing, water heater replacement, fences, finishing a basement, decks, and patio covers. Permits are not required for painting, drain cleaning, kitchen cabinets, new floor coverings, gutters, utility sheds less than 120 square feet, and cosmetic improvements. If you have any questions about whether or not a permit is needed, contact the Permit Center at 303-795-3751.

The homeowner as a contractor

As a homeowner you may obtain a building permit to work on your own property without a contractor's license. However, if you employ subcontractors for all or part of the work, they must be licensed by the City of Littleton to perform such work. A building permit will not be issued to a homeowner for work performed by unlicensed contractors. Although homeowners may obtain permits to perform work on their primary residence, they cannot obtain a homeowners permit for rental property.

Note: The Rapid Residential Permit Review window at the Littleton Permit Center can process single-family residential permits for projects such as decks, sheds, detached garages, or almost any type of remodel that is less than 300 square feet. There may be occasions when Rapid Review is not possible due certain circumstances.

Important Notice to Owners

Under Colorado law, suppliers, subcontractors, or other persons providing labor or materials for work on your residential property may collect their money from you by filing a lien against your property. A lien can be filed against your residence when a supplier, subcontractor, or other person is not paid by your contractor for their labor or materials, even though you have already paid the contractor for these items.

Applying for building permits

You may obtain the appropriate permit application form from the Littleton Permit Center. A PDF version is also available for download. Submittal requirements will depend upon the complexity of the project. Homeowners are permitted to draw blueprints for small projects, when the structure elements are not altered. It is suggested that for complex projects, a design professional be employed to provide the blueprints. Typical submittal requirements normally will include a plot plan, floor plan, framing plan, a sectional drawing and elevation drawings. Contact the Permit Center for application information for your project.

Application processing

Once your application is accepted, our goal is to issue your permit as soon as possible. In most cases, for small projects, such as a patio cover, deck or basement finish, your permit will be reviewed and issued in about 15 working days, while larger projects, such as an addition to your home, may take a little longer.

Regardless of the complexity of the application, the building permit fee, which is based on the estimated value of the work being done, is payable when the permit is issued. Make checks payable to the City of Littleton.

Calling for 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.

Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy is normally issued upon proper completion of a new house. However, most other homeowner projects do not receive a Certificate of Occupancy, as it is not necessary. If a lender requires formal certification from the City of Littleton, we will be able to issue a Certificate of Completion.

Work in the public right of way

Very seldom will a homeowner project ever involve working in the street or other public way. However, your project may involve construction of curb and gutter or placing a dumpster in the street. Each of these activities requires a permit. For right-of-way permits contact 303-795-3751. For placing a dumpster or pod in the street, contact public works at 303-795-3865 or fill out the Dumpster/Pod Permit Request Form.

Building Codes

Visit the Building Codes & Requirements page to view which codes have been adopted by the City of Littleton.