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?
1. What type of structure may I build on my property?
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.
2. When are plans not required for a construction project?
Plans are not required for minor remodeling work or minor plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical repairs.
3. Can I get specific questions answered before my plans are submitted for review?
Yes, please contact us at (813) 274-3100.
4. When must plans be sealed?
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.
5. If my plan review is not complete, may I begin work on my construction project?
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.
6.What are the fees that I could be charged for my project?
The Construction Services Permit Fee Schedule lists permit fees and rates.
7. How is the job value for permit and plan review fees determined?
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.
8. Can plan review and permit fees be refunded?
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.
What plans are required and what information needs to be provided for a construction project?
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.
10. Is a permit needed for any kind of work?
5-105.2. - Work exempt from permits.
Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code. As provided for herein, the following shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this code:
(a) Permits are not required if exempted by federal or State of Florida law.
(b) Floor covering (carpet, vinyl, tile etc.), painting, wallpapering, cabinetwork, furnishings, decorations, shelving and gutters do not require a building permit regardless of the cost of the work.
(c) Preliminary site investigation such as test borings, test pilings, well points, and soil sampling activities do not require a permit.
(d) Placement of construction trailers on the jobsite once site plans have been approved.
(e) The installation of new roof covering, or the recovering, re-roofing or repairing of an existing roof covering, either of which is five hundred (500) square feet or less.
(f) The application of stucco or siding provided such application covers an area not in excess of five hundred (500) square feet.
(g) The construction of any residential storage shed or the installation of any manufactured residential storage shed which has a gross floor area of one hundred fifty (150) square feet or less, intended for the type of storage associated with a residential building.
(h) Maintenance work and minor electrical work performed by a maintenance supervisor regularly employed by an owner, occupant or tenant of a commercial building.
(a) Portable heating appliance.
(b) Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
(a) The repair of leaks, unstopping of sewers or waste pipes, repairing faucets or valves or cleaning of a septic tank where such work is located within the property lines, or for the stopping of leaks in drains, soil waste or vent pipe; provided, that should any trap, drain pipe, soil waste or vent pipe be or become defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new materials in any part or parts, the same shall be considered as new work.
(b) The clearing of stoppage, or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, when such repairs do not involve or require the replacement of fixtures.
(a) Any portable heating appliance;
(b) Any portable ventilation equipment;
(c) Any portable cooling unit;
(d) Any steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code;
(e) Replacement of any part which does not alter its approval or make it unsafe;
(f) Any portable evaporative cooler;
(g) Any self-contained refrigeration system containing ten (10) lb. (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of one (1) horsepower (746 W) or less; and
(h) The installation, replacement, removal, or metering of any load management control device.
5-105.2.1. Emergency repairs. Where equipment requirements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.
5-105.2.2. Minor repairs. Ordinary minor repairs or installation of replacement parts may be made with the prior approval of the building official without a permit, 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; additionally, ordinary minor repairs shall not 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.
5-105.2.3. Public service agencies. Reserved.
(Ord. No. 2009-27, § 3, 2-19-09)
11. Do I have to come to the City offices to pick up my permits?
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.
12. Do I have to hire a contractor?
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.
13. What can I do under a homeowner permit?
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.
14. Can a contractor do any type of work?
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.
15. What kind of work can a contractor do?
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.
16. Doall contractors have to be licensed?
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.
17. What if the contractor fails to dothe work?
If a contractor fails to do the work properly you can report the contractor to the Construction Hotline by calling 813-274-3100.
18. How do I know the work has been done correctly?
Any construction work that requires a permit must also be inspected by the City of Tampa and given a final inspection approval.
19. How can I find out what inspections are required?
Our Inspection Information page provides information on the required inspections for the various types of permits, common code violations and a handbook for private providers.
20. How do I schedule an inspection?
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.
21. Can I call the City for an inspection if I feel there is something wrong with my building?
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.
22. What if I have questions during construction?
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.
23. How soon can I get the power connected by the utility company?
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.
24. Is a Certificate of Occupancy required for all projects?
A certificate of Occupancy is required under the following conditions:
- All new construction
- When the occupancy classification of a building changes.
25. How do I obtain a Certificate of Occupancy?
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.
26. Which agencies are required to sign off before I can get my Certificate of Occupancy?
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.
27. Where can I get a list of the codes that are enforced by the City of Tampa?
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.
28. Where can I acquire copies of atlas pages and aerials?
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.
29. Who do I call for legal descriptions,property ownership and folio information?
Please contact the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd, 16th Floor County Center, at 272-6100.
30. Who do I call for sign information?
Contact the Commercial Zoning Examiner at the Construction Services Center, at (813) 274-3100.
31. How can I obtain an existing site plan of my property?
If available, they can be obtained from the Construction Services Center, (813) 274-3100.
32. Who do I call to report zoningviolations?
Please contact the Neighborhood Enhancement Division at 813-274-5545 to report all zoning violations.
33. Where do I apply for permits to construct within the right-of- way?
Apply for a Right of Way permit at the Planning and Urban Design Division
How do I obtain information related to TECO?
Please visit TECO's website at http://www.tampaelectric.com/business/construction/.