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About Residential Building Permits in Los Angeles County

What to Know About Residential Building Permits in Los Angeles

Rooftop pool and lounge chairs overlooking the LA skyline.

Much like the city that shares its name, Los Angeles County can be overwhelming and intimidating—particularly when it comes to residential building permits. Countless building codes paired with a long and sometimes difficult permit process are off-putting for many looking to build their dream home or add space and functionality to their current residence. 

Here’s what LA residents should know about building and garage conversion permits before pursuing their next home renovation project. When you’re finally ready to get started, simplify the process by contacting A-List Builders. We’re here to help with permitting, designing, building, and more. Book your free consultation in just minutes.

Interior vs. Exterior Renovations

If your dream home makeover plans require adding exterior structures to your home, chances are Los Angeles County will require a residential building permit. The Public Works Department is required to inspect construction plans that could pose potential flood or storm drain issues later on. If a hazard is discovered, your petition for a building permit may be declined by LA County and your plans will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Collection of open paint cans and brushes.

Superficial renovation plans like painting your home typically do not require a permit, but always check with your HOA for any additional restrictions there. Similarly, most interior remodeling jobs don’t require permits. Opening your kitchen floor plan or revamping your bathroom doesn’t need special permissions unless features like plumbing or electrical are involved.

Remodel vs. New Construction

If you’re building a new house from the ground up or remodeling your garage or basement, the depth of work required to actualize your plans will affect whether you’ll need a residential building permit from LA County

Permits are necessary for work involving:

  • Heavy construction equipment
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • Roads, driveways, and walkways

A significant remodel like converting an old existing structure into an accessory dwelling unit will require a series of permits, particularly if you want to make the space livable with HVAC, power outlets, or running water. For example, a garage conversion permit is a must in Los Angeles when transforming your old garage into a fully-functional guest house.

Completely new constructions require a slew of permissions before work can begin. The amount of time it takes to get your residential building permits approved by Los Angeles County can also be impacted by the location you wish you build on. Water accessibility, historical landmark status, zoning guidelines, and other environmental factors play a major role. 

Be Safe, Not Sorry

If your project involves remodeling the structure of your residence in any way, your project needs to be approved by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. LADBS can inform homeowners of necessary building permits in LA County before you get too invested in your remodel. 

Electrical box with a “high voltage” warning.

Err on the side of caution by contacting LADBS to avoid costly legal issues later. Unpermitted work can lower the value of your home or result in increased fees. If the work later needs to be removed or adjusted, the county will do so at the homeowner’s expense.

Additionally, speaking with your HOA is a great idea. No one wants to go through the process of getting a residential building permit from the Los Angeles County office only to find out there are community restrictions that might destroy your plans.

Let Us Help

Starting your next home renovation project is hassle-free with A-List Builders. As a top-rated design-build construction company, we are the experts on building permits for Los Angeles County. Schedule your free consultation through our website or over the phone, and work with professionals who will collaborate with you from concept to execution. Your home is your sanctuary and remodeling it shouldn’t be a stressful inconvenience. Know that when you’re working with A-List Builders, you’re getting quality craftsmanship and customer service. Get in touch today.

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