When is a Permit required?

Building permits are required for new Construction, Remodeling and Tenant Improvements for both Commercial and Residential projects. Construction plans and documents are reviewed for compliance with applicable State and local laws and regulations. Mechanical permits are required for installation or replacement of mechanical equipment, such as furnaces, air conditioning units, hoods, boilers and others.

Plumbing permits are required for installation or replacement of plumbing fixtures such as sewer, water and gas lines, water heaters, sinks, water closets and others.

Electrical permits are required for electrical equipment and electrical installations associated with other equipment, such as outlets, lighting fixtures, electrical wiring, electrical panels and services, signs and others.

In addition to the above listed permits, Special permits are required for such activities as Demolition, Occupancy Certifications, Installation of Signs, Mobile Homes, Pools and Spas. In some cases permits may be required from outside agencies such as Santa Clara Health Department, Water Pollution Control Plant, Bay Area Air Quality District, PG&E and others.

When is a Building Permit not required?

A Building Permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
  2. Wood fences not over seven feet high or masonry and concrete fences not over four feet high.
  3. Non-fixed and moveable fixtures, cases, racks, counters, storage shelves and partitions not over five feet nine inches high.
  4. Retaining walls, which are not over four feet in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III A. liquids.
  5. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed two to one.
  6. Platforms, walks and driveways, not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
  7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  8. Temporary motion picture, television and theatre stage sets and scenery.
  9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R-3, and Group U Occupancies when projecting not more than 54 inches from exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 or U Occupancies.
  10. Oil derricks.
  11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one and two-family dwellings.
  12. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 Occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, are installed entirely above the adjacent grade and do not exceed 5,000 gallons.
  13. Residential decks not exceeding 200 square feet in area that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling unit and do not serve the required exit door. Unless otherwise exempted by this Title, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits are required for the above exempted work.

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.03 Building Permits.)

When is an Electrical Permit not required?

An Electrical Permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. Portable motors or other portable appliances energized by means of a cord or cable having an attachment plug end to be connected to an approved receptacle when the Electrical Code permits that cord or cable.
  2. Repair or replacement of motors, transformers and controls within fixed approved appliances of the same type and rating in the same location.
  3. Temporary decorative lighting.
  4. Repair or replacement of current-carrying parts of any switch, contactor or control device.
  5. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets therefore.
  6. Replacement of any overcurrent device less than 1200 amps of the same capacity in the same location.
  7. Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers of the same size and capacity for signs or gas tube systems.
  8. Taping joints.
  9. Removal of electrical wiring.
  10. Temporary wiring for experimental purposes in suitable experimental laboratories.
  11. The wiring for temporary theatre, motion picture or television stage sets.
  12. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
  13. Low-energy power, control and signal circuits of Classes II and III as defined in the Electrical Code.
  14. A permit shall not be required for the installation, alteration or repair of electrical wiring, apparatus or equipment or the generation, transmission, distribution or metering of electrical energy or in the operation of signals or the transmission of intelligence by a public or private utility in the exercise of its function as a serving utility. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.05 Electrical Permits.)

When is a Mechanical Permit not required?

A Mechanical Permit shall not be required for the following excepting that a permit is required for vertical and structural support and anchoring of permanent equipment and overhead pipes:

  1. Any portable heating appliance.
  2. Any portable ventilating equipment.
  3. Any portable cooling unit.
  4. Any portable evaporative cooler.
  5. Any closed system of steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the Mechanical Code.
  6. Replacement of any component part of assembly of an appliance, which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of the technical codes.
  7. Any refrigerating equipment, which is part of the equipment for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the requirements of the technical codes.
  8. Any unit refrigerating system as defined in the Mechanical Code. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.06 Mechanical Permits)

When is a Plumbing Permit not required?

A plumbing permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. The stopping of leaks in drains, soil, waste or vent pipes, provided, however, that should any concealed trap, drainpipe, soil, waste or vent pipe become defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, the same shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be procured and inspection made as provided in this title.
  2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, nor for the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.04 Plumbing Permits.)

How can I get an Estimate for the Building Permit Fees?

You need to provide us with the following information:

  1. Project Address;
  2. Name of the Project;
  3. Applicant and contact person information including Name, Phone Number and Postal or Email address;
  4. Project description, including the square footage and brief explanation of the scope of work;
  5. Construction Valuation;
  6. Occupancy Classification (indicating the use of the building);
  7. Type of construction (indicating wood, steel or concrete).

Building & Safety Permit Center will respond to your request within 24 hours. If you have any question, please contact us at (408) 586-3240.

Which fees do I have to pay at submittal time and also after my plans are approved?

Generally the fees you need to pay are categorized as indicated below:

  1. Plan checking Fees: need to be paid at the time of submittal before the review has started.
  2. Inspection Fees: need to be paid after permit application approval.
  3. Miscellaneous fees including Imaging fee, Seismic fee, Additional Hourly Plan Check fee and Additional Hourly Inspection fee (applicable in some situations).

You can request an estimate of your Permit fees prior to submittal of permit application package. Please refer to question “How can I get an Estimate for a Building Permit Fees”.

Which Permits can be obtained online, (E-Permits)?

Water heater and furnace replacement, bathroom and kitchen remodels, re-roofs and others are available Online

Which Permits can be obtained over the counter?

Interior modifications or alterations of office spaces up to 4,000 square feet, retail spaces up 1,500 square feet, industrial spaces up to 5,000 square feet without use or storage of hazardous materials may qualify for over the counter review.

Can I setup an appointment for reviewing my plans?

Yes. You can call (408) 586-3240 and request Plan Check by Appointment. Prior to calling for an appointment, please make sure that your project meets Plan Check by Appointment requirements. Please review the Plan Check by Appointment guidelines.

Can I request "overtime" (after hours) plan check?

Yes. Building & Safety Department is offering such service for an additional fee upon availability of the staff. Please study the After Hour Plan Check (Over Time) Guideline.

What will happen after I submit my plans for review?

After you submit your permit application package, your drawings will be routed to City Departments for review and approval. Please refer to Building Permit Process guidelines.

How long does it take to review my plans?

The Plan Check Turn Around time is based on the scope of work indicated and type of the use such as Commercial or Residential submittal. Please refer to Plan Check Turn Around Time Guideline for more information.

Who can obtain a Building Permit after the plans are approved?

Property owner may obtain permits for any work performed. Licensed Contractors may obtain permits for the specific work allowed by their license.

Can I do a work before obtaining building permit, if plans are already submitted for review?

No. Any work can commence only after obtaining of the Building Permit.

What are the applicable codes used by City of Milpitas, Building & Safety?

Applicable Codes:

California Building Code (CBC)
California Electrical Code (CEC)
California Mechanical Code (CMC)
California Plumbing Code (CPC)
California Energy Code
California Fire Code (CFC)
California Green Building Code
Milpitas Municipal Code (MMC)

What are the design wind load and wind exposure that must be used for structures constructed in the City of Milpitas?

On the Valley Floor, basic wind speed is 85 mph (3 second Gust). On the Hillside Area, basic wind speed is 95 mph (3 second Gust) and exposure C.

How can I schedule an inspection?

As your construction project progresses, inspections by the City of Milpitas Building and Safety inspectors are required. It is the responsibility of the person performing the work authorized by the building permit to contact the Building and Safety Department to schedule an inspection. Inspections are requested and scheduled by calling the Inspection Request Line, which is open 24 hours each day.

The telephone number of the Inspection Request Line is: (408) 586-3259

Please refer to Building Inspection Procedure for more information.

Can I schedule an inspection online?

Yes. Please click on the link below to go to online inspection scheduling.
http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/etrakit

What are the Building & Safety Department Contacts and Hours?

We are located at 455 East Calaveras Boulevard, Milpitas, CA 95035.
Contact telephone number is (408) 586-3240.
We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00

How can I Cancel or Reschedule an inspection?

If the work is not be ready for inspection or if you need to cancel an inspection for any other reason, call the Inspection Request Line (408) 586-3259 BEFORE 8:30 am on the day of the scheduled inspection. Rescheduling an inspection is the same process as scheduling a new inspection. Please refer to Building Inspection Procedure.

How much is a re-inspection fee and when is the re-inspection fee applicable?

Re-inspection fee is $112.00 and may be charged when inspections are requested and:

  • Permit cards and/or approved plans are not available at the job site at the time of inspection
  • There is a failure to provide access to the work site including the lack of proper ladders
  • Work for which the inspection was requested has not been completed
  • Corrections to the work called for by the inspector have not been made
  • Construction does not conform to the approved plans and requires submission of revised plans

When is a Permit required?

Building permits are required for new Construction, Remodeling and Tenant Improvements for both Commercial and Residential projects. Construction plans and documents are reviewed for compliance with applicable State and local laws and regulations. Mechanical permits are required for installation or replacement of mechanical equipment, such as furnaces, air conditioning units, hoods, boilers and others.

Plumbing permits are required for installation or replacement of plumbing fixtures such as sewer, water and gas lines, water heaters, sinks, water closets and others.

Electrical permits are required for electrical equipment and electrical installations associated with other equipment, such as outlets, lighting fixtures, electrical wiring, electrical panels and services, signs and others.

In addition to the above listed permits, Special permits are required for such activities as Demolition, Occupancy Certifications, Installation of Signs, Mobile Homes, Pools and Spas. In some cases permits may be required from outside agencies such as Santa Clara Health Department, Water Pollution Control Plant, Bay Area Air Quality District, PG&E and others.

When is a Building Permit not required?

Building Permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the projected floor area does not exceed 120 square feet and provided such structures are not located within required yard setback areas.
  2. Wood fences not over 6 feet high or masonry fences not over 4 feet high.
  3. Movable cases, counters, storage shelves and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches high.
  4. Retaining walls, which are not over 4 feet in height, measured from grade to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impound flammable liquids.
  5. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed two to one.
  6. Platforms, walks and driveways, not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
  7. Painting, papering and similar finish work.
  8. Temporary motion picture, television and theatre stage sets and scenery.
  9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R, Division 3, and Group U Occupancies when projecting not more than 54 inches.
  10. Prefabricated swimming pools which do not exceed 24 inches in height accessory to a Group R, Division 3 Occupancy in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5000 gallons provided that barriers around such swimming pools per Chapter II-9 of this code must nevertheless be installed. Unless otherwise exempted by this Title, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits are required for the above exempted work. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.03 Building Permits.)

When is an Electrical Permit not required?

An Electrical Permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. Portable motors or other portable appliances energized by means of a cord or cable having an attachment plug end to be connected to an approved receptacle when the Electrical Code permits that cord or cable.
  2. Repair or replacement of motors, transformers and controls within fixed approved appliances of the same type and rating in the same location.
  3. Temporary decorative lighting.
  4. Repair or replacement of current-carrying parts of any switch, contactor or control device.
  5. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets therefore.
  6. Replacement of any overcurrent device less than 1200 amps of the same capacity in the same location.
  7. Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers of the same size and capacity for signs or gas tube systems.
  8. Taping joints.
  9. Removal of electrical wiring.
  10. Temporary wiring for experimental purposes in suitable experimental laboratories.
  11. The wiring for temporary theatre, motion picture or television stage sets.
  12. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
  13. Low-energy power, control and signal circuits of Classes II and III as defined in the Electrical Code.
  14. A permit shall not be required for the installation, alteration or repair of electrical wiring, apparatus or equipment or the generation, transmission, distribution or metering of electrical energy or in the operation of signals or the transmission of intelligence by a public or private utility in the exercise of its function as a serving utility. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.05 Electrical Permits.)

When is a Mechanical Permit not required?

A Mechanical Permit shall not be required for the following excepting that a permit is required for vertical and structural support and anchoring of permanent equipment and overhead pipes:

  1. Any portable heating appliance.
  2. Any portable ventilating equipment.
  3. Any portable cooling unit.
  4. Any portable evaporative cooler.
  5. Any closed system of steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the Mechanical Code.
  6. Replacement of any component part of assembly of an appliance, which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of the technical codes.
  7. Any refrigerating equipment, which is part of the equipment for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the requirements of the technical codes.
  8. Any unit refrigerating system as defined in the Mechanical Code. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.06 Mechanical Permits)

When is a Plumbing Permit not required?

A plumbing permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. The stopping of leaks in drains, soil, waste or vent pipes, provided, however, that should any concealed trap, drainpipe, soil, waste or vent pipe become defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, the same shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be procured and inspection made as provided in this title.
  2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, nor for the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures. (Ord. 65.125 (part), 9/17/02)

(Milpitas Municipal Code, II-1-17.04 Plumbing Permits.)

Do I need a permit for replacing the Water Heater in a Residential Building?

Yes.
You need to get a Plumbing Permit for Water Heater replacement. This Permit can be obtained over the counter, by Fax or Online. You can obtain all required information on page Water heater installation.

Do I need a permit for adding or replacement of Air Condition (AC Units) in a Residential Building?

Yes.
You need to get a Mechanical Permit for AC unit replacement. For new AC unit installation, you will need to get Electrical Permit as well. These Permits can be obtained over the counter, by Fax or Online. However, if you are installing both new Furnace AND new AC unit, you will need to submit a complete set of drawings and Title-24 Energy calculations. You can obtain all required information on pageResidential – Air Conditioning Installation.

Do I need a permit for replacing the Furnace in a Residential Building?

Yes.
You need to get a Mechanical Permit for a furnace replacement. The furnace should be the same size and at the same location as existing furnace. Such permit can be obtained over the counter, by Fax orOnline. However, if you are installing a new Furnace (which means that your residence doesn’t have a furnace currently installed) you will need to submit a complete set of drawings and Title-24 Energy calculations. You can obtain all required information on page Residential – Furnace Installation

Do I need a permit for Kitchen Remodel?

Yes.
You need to get a Combination Permit for Residential Kitchen Remodel. Combination Permit will allow construction work for the kitchen, including Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical work. These Permits can be obtained over the counter, or Online. You can obtain all required information on page Residential – Kitchen Remodel.

Do I need a permit for Bathrooms Remodel?

Yes.
You need to get a Combination Permit for Residential Bathroom Remodel. Combination permit will allow any construction work for the Bathroom including Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical work. These Permits can be obtained over the counter, or Online. You can obtain all required information on pageResidential – Bathroom Remodel.

Can I convert the Garage in my house into a Habitable space like a Bedroom or a Family Room?

Yes.
Note that prior to Building permit approval by Building and Safety Department you will need to get approvals from Planning and Engineering Land Development Departments. Once you have obtained approval from all Departments for the Garage Conversion, then you can obtain a Residential Garage Conversion Combination Permit. Combination Permit will allow you to perform any construction work for the Garage conversion including Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical work. This Permit (Including Planning and Engineering Land Development Approvals) can be obtained over the counter. You can obtain all required information on page Residential – Garage Conversion.

What type of information do I need to submit for residential remodels and additions?

You can obtain all required information on page Residential – Addition & Remodel Your future Residential Addition and Remodel project may be reviewed over the counter or may be reviewed as standard plan check submittal.

How can I get an Estimate for the Building Permit Fees?

Please select your residential permit type from the Residential Permit Information Select your permit type under the Permit Fees section. The system then will calculate the permit fee automatically. If this option is not available, please contact us at (408) 586-3240.

Which fees do I have to pay at submittal time and also after my plans are approved?

Generally the fees you need to pay are categorized as indicated below:

  1. Plan checking Fees: need to be paid at the time of submittal before the review has started.
  2. Inspection Fees: need to be paid after permit application approval.
  3. Miscellaneous fees including Imaging fee, Seismic fee, Additional Hourly Plan Check fee and Additional Hourly Inspection fee (applicable in some situations).

You can request an estimate of your Permit fees prior to submittal of permit application package. Please refer to question “How can I get an Estimate for a Building Permit Fees”.

Which Permits can be obtained online, (E-Permits)?

Water heater and furnace replacement, bathroom and kitchen remodels, re-roofs and others are available Online.

Which Permits can be obtained over the counter?

Most residential additions and remodels up to 600 square feet, Non-Structural Interior Work, Garage Conversion, Outdoor Spa, Patio Cover and Other minor work such deemed suitable by the plans examiner for Express plan checking may qualify for over the counter review.

Can I setup an appointment for reviewing my plans?

Yes.
You can call (408) 586-3240 and request Plan Check by an Appointment. Prior to calling for an appointment, please, make sure that your project meets Plan Check by Appointment requirements. Please review the Plan Check by Appointment guidelines.

Can I request "overtime" (after hours) plan check?

Yes.
Building & Safety is offering such service for an additional fee upon availability of the staff. Please review the After Hour Plan Check (Over Time) Guideline.

What will happen after I submit my plans for review?

After you submit your permit application package, your drawings will be routed to City Departments for review and approval. Please refer to Building Permit Process guidelines.

How long does it take to review my plans?

The Plan Check Turn Around time is based on the scope of work indicated and type of the use such as Commercial or Residential submittal. Please refer to Plan Check Turn Around Time guideline for more information.

Who can obtain a Building Permit after the plans are approved?

Property owner may obtain permits for any work performed. Licensed Contractors may obtain permits for the specific work allowed by their license.

Can I do a work before obtaining building permit, if plans are already submitted for review?

No. Any work can commence only after obtaining of the Building Permit.

What are the applicable codes used by City of Milpitas, Building & Safety?

Applicable Codes:

California Building Code (CBC)
California Electrical Code (CEC)
California Mechanical Code (CMC)
California Plumbing Code (CPC)
California Energy Code
California Fire Code (CFC)
California Green Building Code
Milpitas Municipal Code (MMC)

Do I need to submit Title 24 Energy Calculation for my residential addition?

Yes. Title 24 is the State of California law requiring providing minimum energy efficiency in new construction. More information is available at: www.energy.ca.gov/title24

What are the design wind load and wind exposure that must be used for structures constructed in the City of Milpitas?

On the Valley Floor, basic wind speed is 85 mph (3 second Gust). On the Hillside Area, basic wind speed is 95 mph (3 second Gust) and exposure C.

How can I schedule an inspection?

As your construction project progresses, inspections by the City of Milpitas Building and Safety inspectors are required. It is the responsibility of the person performing the work authorized by the building permit to contact the Building and Safety Department to schedule an inspection. Inspections are requested and scheduled by calling the Inspection Request Line, which is open 24 hours each day.

The telephone number of the Inspection Request Line is: (408) 586-2797

Please refer to Inspection Request Procedure for more information.

Can I schedule an inspection online?

Yes.
Please click on the link below to go to online inspection scheduling.
http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/government/building/inspection_schedule.asp.

What is IVR system?

IVR (Integrated Voice Response) allows customers to schedule inspections, access inspection results, check plan check status and obtain general information. Available 24 hours a day. Click here to obtain more information about IVR.

How can I Cancel or Reschedule an inspection?

If the work is not be ready for inspection or if you need to cancel an inspection for any other reason, call the Inspection Request Line (408) 586-3259 BEFORE 8:30 am on the day of the scheduled inspection. Rescheduling an inspection is the same process as scheduling a new inspection. Please refer to Building Inspection Procedure.

How much is a re-inspection fee and when is the re-inspection fee applicable?

Re-inspection fee is $92.25 and may be charged when inspections are requested and:

  • Permit cards and/or approved plans are not available at the job site at the time of inspection
  • There is a failure to provide access to the work site including the lack of proper ladders
  • Work for which the inspection was requested has not been completed
  • Corrections to the work called for by the inspector have not been made
  • Construction does not conform to the approved plans and requires submission of revised plans

.

How can I get Plans and Records of my Residence?

To request a duplicate of the official copy of the plans for a past project you may fill out a Records Research Request Form and a staff member will locate and process your request normally within 3 business days or sooner. Copies of blueprints are normally copyrighted and may not be copied. You may request authorization/release letter from the registered professional/architect of the record. Contact Permit Center at (408) 586-3245 for further instructions.

What are the Building & Safety Department Contacts and Hours?

We are located at:

455 East Calaveras Boulevard

Milpitas, CA 95035.
Contact telephone number is (408) 586-3240.
We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm..

Can you recommend a good contractor?

No. Building & Safety Department staff will not recommend building contractors due to the conflict of interest. We suggest you refer to local telephone directory or contact family, friends and people you trust for referrals. Many good contractors rely on word of mouth for referrals. Check contractor’s credentials with the California State Contractor’s License Board http://www.cslb.ca.gov/consumers and check other references.