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The Florida Building Code states that the “code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations”.
A permit shall 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 appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings and/or structures.
The cost of a permit varies depending on the permit type. Building permit fees are determined by the valuation of the project in most instances. Contact the Building Department Permit technician at 407-656-4111 ext. 5136 for specifics and details on permitting cost.
The Building Official will issue a notice to obtain a permit. Once a permit is applied for the cost will be triple the fee for an after the fact permit. If no action is taken, a Notice of Violation will be issued and could result in fines being levied.
You do not necessarily have to have a Contractor, if you own and occupy the house. Florida statutes allow the owner of real property to act as their own contractor. This exemption may only be used if you own and occupy the home. As an owner builder, if you do not complete all of the work yourself, you must supervise the work, and hire licensed trade subcontractors (Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, and Roofing, etc.) in accordance with state law. You will also need to sign and submit an Owner/ Builder Affidavit form as part of your permit submittal process.
Ask for and check references. Ask to see their state license. Check the number on the state web side myflorida.com for any complaints filed with the state. Also ask for a copy of their workers compensation and general liability insurance. If they ask you to pull the permit, “beware”, they may not be licensed, which puts the homeowner totally at risk.
Depending on the workload, and if all required documents are provided and no revisions are required, a building permit can usually be obtained within ten (10) business days.
Minor projects are normally approved, or additional information requests can be issued within five (5) business days. The time may be shorter if all required documentation is submitted correctly.
The list of required inspections is located on the permit placard. Instructions on scheduling these inspections will be provided when a permit is issued.
It is the applicants (Owner Builder/Contractor) responsibility to ensure that all required inspections are made prior to proceeding with work on the project.
For new residential & commercial buildings, once all fees are paid and all required inspections are completed, the Owner/Contractor will be issued a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) or upon request a COC (Certificate of Completion) for smaller projects can be given.
Permits expire and become null and void if work is not started and an inspection requested within 180 days from the issuance date of the permit. After work has begun the permit will expire when work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days. Lack of an approved inspection within this time will serve as validation that the job has been suspended or abandoned. Approved inspections will extend the permit six (6) months. An extension may be granted if a written request is submitted to the Building Division for review.
Permits are submitted and picked up in the Winter Garden City Hall 1st floor, located at 300 West Plant Street, Winter Garden, FL 34747
A construction drawing or plans must be submitted with a complete application. These construction drawings or plans must show all proposed work and details of compliance to building codes and zoning ordinances for most residential projects. Plans that are incomplete will be returned.
No construction is allowed until the permit is issued. Once the permit application and accompanying plans have been submitted, following approval of the plan and payment of fees, the permit may be picked up at the Building Department located downtown in the City Hall Building at 300 West Plant Street. A special request in writing for permission to start early may be submitted to the Building Official on a case by case basis.
The type and number of inspections depends on the project.
If a change is desired to a project, a revised set of plans must be submitted to the building division that clearly shows the revisions in relationship to the approved plans. The revisions must be approved by the building division. Plans Examiner and an approved copy must also be available on the site prior to the next inspection.
Once a permit is issued; construction must begin within 180 days. If this time period is passed, the permit will automatically expire and an extension must be requested in writing.
The City does not require an approval letter from a condominium or homeowners association. This does not relieve the requirement for HOA approval.
Permits are required for exterior projects, such as a new addition, swimming pools, fences, decks, bay window, screened porches/stoops, and hot tubs. All exterior construction projects that require the issuance of a building permit must also meet certain zoning requirements related to height and setback distance. A sediment control or silt fence may also be required if the area under construction is adjacent to a wetland or conservation area. An Impervious Calculation Worksheet may also be required depending on the type of work to be completed. If you have a question call the building division at 407-877-5144.
Impervious calculations are the total area of the lot with a solid pad/ roof area that does not allow water to penetrate through the ground i.e., house foundation, driveways, porches, sidewalks, sheds, pergola, decks, patios and pool areas. Please note that the water surface of pools are calculated as 50% of the total area square footage. Any time a permit is being requested to extend, add on or create a solid base or solid roofed area to existing or additional structure, an Impervious Calculation worksheet must be included showing current solid areas or pavers and what is being added to existing. Each lot/ parcel has an Impervious surface percentage that can not be exceeded. Please check with the Planning & Zoning Department for what the impervious ratio is for a particular lot/ parcel.
Permits are required for interior projects including, but not limited to, new interior walls, removal o interior structural bearing walls, finished basements, finished attics, and new bathrooms. If you have a question call the building division at 407-877-5144.
A mechanical permit is required to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace a mechanical heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system. This includes, but is not limited to, furnaces, heat pumps, and duct work.
An electrical permit must be obtained prior to commencement of any new or added electrical work. It is best to obtain a permit if the work will be valued over $100.00.
A plumbing permit must be obtained prior to commencement of all new plumbing work and most replacement projects. Replacement of an existing sink or toilet, for example, does not require a permit providing that no modification to the water or sewer connections is made.