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When do I need a permit?
What does not require a permit?
What if my neighborhood has a Homeowners Association (HOA)?
Can a homeowner pull a permit?
How long is a permit valid?
Why do I need a permit?
Has there been any confirmed sinkhole activity near my property?
What if I’m not sure who to call about the permitting process?
How long does it usually take to get a permit?
Do I need an inspection?
Does the City have a building permitting guide?
What is required to pull a permit?
How can I affordably "green" my home?
What if I am having difficulty with the permitting process?
What should I look for when choosing a contractor?
Q: When do I need a permit?
A:

The permitting provisions of the Florida Building Code apply to the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every public and private building, structure or facility or floating residential structure, or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings, structures or facilities.

Q: What does not require a permit?
A:

• Carpet, vinyl or ceramic tile flooring installation.
• Painting, paneling over existing walls or wallpapering.
• Kitchen cabinets without plumbing or electrical work.
• Ordinary minor repairs may be made provided the repairs do not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring systems or mechanical equipment or other work affecting public health or general safety, and such repairs shall not violate any of the provisions of the technical codes.

Q: What if my neighborhood has a Homeowners Association (HOA)?
A:
The property owner is responsible for adhering to deed restrictions and HOA requirements that apply to the subject property.
Q: Can a homeowner pull a permit?
A:

Florida law requires all construction to be done by licensed contractors. One exception to the law allows an owner of property to act as the contractor with certain restrictions. The owner/builder of a single-family dwelling is exempt from some licensing regulations per 489 103(7) F.S. when building for his/her own use and occupancy, and the owner must provide direct onsite supervision. The owner/builder must appear in person for an owner/builder permit to be issued. It is the obligation of the owner to read, understand and comply with the statute. The sale or lease, or offering for sale or lease of said structure for a period of one (1) year after completion of construction is a criminal violation punishable as a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree.
The owner/builder becomes liable and responsible for the employees hired to assist in the construction project. The law may require the owner/builder to be responsible for the following:
• Workers compensation
• Social security tax
• Unemployment compensation
• Liability coverage
• Federal withholding tax
The applicant for a homeowner permit will be required to sign an affidavit as acknowledgement of the State of Florida requirements.

Q: How long is a permit valid?
A:

A permit is valid for 180 days from the date of issuance, or from the last approved inspection date. If the project is dormant for 180 days then the permit is expired. A permit may be extended only by the Building Official with a written request.

Q: Why do I need a permit?
A:

Per Chapter 1 of the Florida Building Code and section 553.79 (1), Florida Statutes: Any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy or occupant content of a building or structure, or any outside area being used as part of the building’s designated occupancy (single or mixed) or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the technical codes, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit for the work. In addition, permitted and inspected work not only protects the homeowners, but also the neighbors, and creates a more storm-resilient community.

Q: Has there been any confirmed sinkhole activity near my property?
A:

Sinkhole activity is not common in Dunedin.  However, in the late 1980’s, as a result of extreme weather conditions subsidence impacted a number of properties in Dunedin.  Subsidence damage can be caused by many factors including, but not limited to, poor compaction during construction, shrink-swell clays, sinkholes, buried organic debris, etc., but local geology and hydrology play a vital part in most property subsidence. 

The Building Division maintains building permit records that include sinkhole and/or subsidence repairs or remediation.  You can search the records online by street address using the Building Permits Online system.

Q: What if I’m not sure who to call about the permitting process?
A:
If you have permit questions, but you’re not sure who you need, you can always call our receptionist at 727-298-3000, and your call will be directed to the appropriate person or department.
Q: How long does it usually take to get a permit?
A:
Typically residential permits take 3 – 5 business days, and commercial take 5 – 8 business days.
The following are same day, over the counter permits:
• Air conditioning/heating – new installation or replacement for residential
• Electrical upgrade
• Garage door
• Gas – all types
• Miscellaneous building – electrical, plumbing and mechanical for one- and two-family dwellings
• Resealing and striping of existing parking lots
• Residential and mobile home demolition
• Residential generators (drawings for stands or platforms that are signed and sealed by an engineer require review)
• Sewer & water line replacement
• Siding/stucco, soffit & fascia
• Tile or shingle roof replace or repairs (metal roof requires review)
• Water heater, new water softener
Q: Do I need an inspection?
A:
Yes, the Building Division must inspect all permitted work before the permit can be closed out. Please call the inspection line at 727-298-3209 to schedule your inspections.
Q: Does the City have a building permitting guide?
A:
Yes, please see our Practical Guide to Permitting.
Q: What is required to pull a permit?
A:

• Completed Building Permit Application.
• Owner/Builder Affidavit or contractor information.
• 2 copies of survey/site plan showing all existing structures on property, proposed construction, setbacks and drainage.
• 2 sets of plans—signed & sealed by a registered Florida architect or engineer.
• 2 copies of Florida product approvals numbers and installation instructions for the components and cladding materials used (form available online).
• Copy of recorded Notice of Commencement for improvements of $2,500.00 or more.
• Permit and plan review fees. Plan review fees must be paid before the review process begins.

Visit the Building Division for more information.

Q: How can I affordably "green" my home?
A:
Please click on our residential "green home" brochure for helpful tips on how to "green" your home - ideas that are good for both your wallet and the environment!
Q: What if I am having difficulty with the permitting process?
A:
Our Development Services Project Coordinator, Lael Giebel, is our ombudsman who advocates for a smooth working relationship between the public, contractors, and developers as they interact with the various departments involved with the permit review process. She is here as a resource if you have questions or need assistance at any point, and can be reached at 727-298-2755 during normal business hours.
Q: What should I look for when choosing a contractor?
A:
Here are a few tips on how to choose a licensed contractor for your next home construction project:
• Ask to see the contractor’s license. Make sure the contractor’s license is current.
• To verify contractor licensing, contact Pinellas County Contractors Licensing Board (PCCLB): (727) 536-4720.
• Please beware of contractors who ask to be paid in cash, or ask for large payments before the work begins.
• Never deal with anyone who solicits or appears unannounced at your home.
• Check with the Pinellas County Department of Justice & Consumer Services, (727) 464-6200, or the Better Business Bureau, (727) 535-5522, to check for any complaints that may have been lodged against the contractor you are considering.
• NOTE: If you obtain a building permit for an unlicensed contractor, you will be held responsible for the work, not the contractor, and you may be prosecuted in court for aiding and abetting an unlicensed contractor.
• Always obtain at least two separate estimates for the work being done.

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