Construction Services FAQ
(Select a Question)
- What type of structure may I build on my property?
- When are plans not required for a construction project?
- Can I get specific questions answered before my plans are submitted for review?
- When must plans be sealed?
- If my plan review is not complete, may I begin work on my construction project?
- What are the fees I could be charged for my project?
- How is the job value for permit and plan review fees determined?
- Can plan review and permit fees be refunded?
- What plans are required and what information needs to be provided for a construction project?
- Do I have to hire a contractor?
- What can I do under a homeowner permit?
- Can a contractor do any type of work?
- What kind of work can a contractor do?
- Do all contractors have to be licensed?
- What if the contractor fails to do the work?
- How do I know if the work is done correctly?
- What inspections are required?
- How do I schedule an inspection?
- Can I call the City if something is wrong with my building?
- What if I have questions during construction?
- How soon can I get the power connected?
Certificate of Occupancy
- Is a Certificate of Occupancy required for all projects?
- How do I obtain a Certificate of Occupancy?
- Which agencies are required to sign off before I can get my Certificate of Occupancy?
- Where can I get a list of the codes that are enforced by the City of Tampa?
- Where can I acquire copies of atlas pages and aerials?
- Who do I call for legal descriptions, ownership, etc?
- Who do I call for sign information?
- How can I obtain an existing site plan of my property?
- Who do I call to report zoning violations?
- Where do I apply for right-of-way permits?
- How do I obtain information related to TECO?
The City of Tampa's Land Development Coordination department provides information on each project in the City and what the Zoning Districts are. The Zoning District sets the permitted land use for property located within the City of Tampa. If you have questions regarding land use and/or Zoning Districts please contact Land Development Coordination.
Plans are not required for minor remodeling work or minor plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical repairs.
Yes, please contact us at (813) 274-3100.
All plans submitted for public record by an Architect or Engineer must be signed and sealed by the Architect or Engineer who created the plans. The following plans must be prepared by an architect or engineer:
- Building Plans: Any commercial construction project greater than $25,000 in cost and all buildings of Occupancy Group A, E, and I intended for public use.
- Electrical Plans: Any construction project designed for public assembly with an area is greater than 5,000 square feet; or an electrical system requiring an aggregate service capacity greater than 400 amperes, or the valuation of the electrical work is greater than $5,000.
- Plumbing Plans: Any construction project designed for public assembly with an area is greater than 5,000 square feet; or a plumbing system with more than 250 fixture units; or with a value greater than $50,000.
- Mechanical Plans: Any construction project designed for public assembly with an area is greater than 5,000 square feet; or a mechanical system exceeding a 15-ton-per-system capacity; or accommodates more than 100 persons; or with a value greater than $50,000.
- Site Plans: If the construction area within the site is greater than 10,000 square feet the plans, the calculations, and the soil report must be signed and sealed by a Florida registered engineer.
To begin work on a construction project before the plan review is complete, an Early Start Authorization may be obtained. All work must be left uncovered. Inspections cannot be scheduled until the permit(s) are obtained. Work done incorrectly must be corrected before the inspection can be approved.
The Construction Services Permit Fee Schedule lists permit fees and rates.
The job value, for the purposes of permit and plan review fees, is based on the values published in the construction valuation table produced by the International Code Council.
Plan review and permit fees are not refundable unless calculated in error or the permit was issued in error. However, a permit fee can, on a case by case basis, be credited towards another permit depending on the circumstances.
The Commercial-Residential Review Guide for construction projects documents the requirements and provides links to the forms to be completed and submitted for a construction project.
You can do the following work without a permit:
- Minor, non-structural repairs, which does not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or any part thereof, with the approval of the building official or his designee
- Repair faucets or valves, and unstop clogged drains and sewer lines
- Install A/C units (less than 3 tons), not connected to ducts
- Painting, cabinets, carpet, vinyl tile, and gutters, and certain types of fences (PDF, 500 kb)
- Removal of trees not on the protected list such as Male Mulberry, Australian Pine, Eucalyptus, Chinaberry, Cherry Laurel, Brazilian Pepper, Monkey Puzzle, and Silk Oak
The following work needs a permit:
- New construction, additions, remodeling of any building or building system
- Demolition work
- New roof covering or the replacement of roof coverings over 500 square feet
- Stucco or siding work over 500 square feet
- Any work associated with changing the occupancy of a building
- Residential accessory building and residential driveways over 150 square feet
- Any gas work
- Any mechanical work except for self-contained air conditioning units three tons or less with a factory-installed cord or plug
- Plumbing work on any building, water/sewer lines, septic tanks, wells and fire lines
- Any electrical work
- Tree removal or trimming
- Grade or fill work
- Site clearing greater than 500 square feet
No. Many projects do not require plan review (e.g. water heater replacement, A/C change-out, roofing, etc.) The permits issued for these projects can be obtained by using our Express Permits service.
If plan review is required and a general contractor obtains the building permit and has picked up the approved plans the sub-contractor permits (e.g. mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc.) can also be obtained via Express Permits.
You must hire a contractor to do your construction work, except under the following conditions.
- You are the appropriate type of contractor
- You are a residential property owner who does the work yourself on your own residence
- You are a commercial property owner who does the work yourself, and the total cost of all work is $25,000 or less, and the property is for your own use and not for resale.
A homeowner can hire laborers to assist them in the work, provided the laborers are supervised by the homeowner and the homeowner complies with the Florida Statutes regarding worker's compensation, insurance and payroll taxes. A homeowner can contract the different areas of the building construction to the appropriately licensed contractor for the different categories of work, but cannot subcontract any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work, for which he or she has obtained the permit.
A contractor can only do the work listed under the scope of their license. Example: A plumbing contractor cannot do electrical wiring or a mechanical contractor cannot construct a building.
Our Contractor Information page provides basic information as to contractor certification and what work they can perform. For additional information please review the Contractor Categories and Contractor License Information documents. If you need further assistance please call us at 813-274-3100.
All contractors must be licensed by either the local jurisdiction or by the State of Florida, if the category is regulated by either the state or local jurisdiction. The contractor must produce a state license or a local competency card from Hillsborough County when requested to do so.
If a contractor fails to do the work properly you can report the contractor to the Construction Hotline by calling 813-274-3100.
Any construction work that requires a permit must also be inspected by the City of Tampa and given a final inspection approval.
OurInspection Information page provides information on the required inspections for the various types of permits, common code violations and a handbook for private providers.
Inspections can be scheduled conveniently online at aca.tampagov.net. Once there, click on "Search" in the top blue banner and select "Building Permits."
A convenient guidance booklet (with screenshots) is provided via the blue link beginning with "Instructions for using the..." This tool is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you feel your building doesn't meet the minimum standards or there is a hazardous/unsafe condition, please contact the Neighborhood Enhancement Division at 813-274-5545 to schedule a minimum standards inspection. If problems are found it is the responsibility of the building owner to correct them.
If you know who your inspector is you can contact him/her directly. If you are not sure which inspector is assigned to the area where your construction project is located ourinspector area maps will assist you in identifying the inspector.
To obtain temporary power for commercial projects prior to the Certificate of Occupancy please follow these steps:
- Submit a written request to the Construction Services Center for a release of temporary power.
- All fees must be paid.
- Building must be relatively weather-tight.
- Electrical panels and rooms must be secure.
- Call for an inspection with "Test Power" in comments.
A certificate of Occupancy is required under the following conditions:
- All new construction
- When the occupancy classification of a building changes.
A Certificate of Occupancy can be obtained from Inspection Services at the Construction Services Center. All permits must have passed their final inspections and all required fees have been paid in full.
Before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued final approval must be issued for all Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, Gas, Fire, Transportation, Landscaping, and Stormwater inspections. Plus, all required impact and connection fees for transportation, water, and sewer must be paid.
Construction Services has partnered with Municipal Code Corporation to provide an extract the ordinances applying to construction projects within the Tampa city limits. The Construction Development Suite of Codes provides a download of the database plus Folio View for searching the database.
You can obtain copies of these documents at the following locations:
Storm sewer atlas - Central Files, City Hall Annex, 5th Floor North Wing.
Sanitary sewer atlas - Sanitary Sewer Customer Service, City Hall Annex, 6th Floor East Wing.
Right-of-Way atlas - Call (813) 274-8405 for information on these.
Zoning atlas - Call (813) 274-8405 for information on these.
Aerials - Central Files, City Hall Annex, 6th Floor North Wing.
Water atlas - Atlas pages are not available to the public. Information regarding city water lines is available at the Construction Services Center or the Water Department, City Hall Annex, 5th Floor East Wing.
Please contact the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd, 16th Floor County Center, at 272-6100.
Contact the Commercial Zoning Examiner at the Construction Services Center, at (813) 274-3100.
If available, they can be obtained from the Construction Services Center, (813) 274-3100.
Please contact the Neighborhood Enhancement Division at 813-274-5545 to report all zoning violations.
Apply for a Right of Way permit at the Planning and Urban Design Division
Please visit TECO's website at http://www.tampaelectric.com/business/construction/.