Building Permits in Pennsylvania

Oct 15, 2020

When are they required?

A building permit is required for work on a residential building or structure that includes:

  • Repairing or renovating an already existing one or two-family home.
  • Building an addition to an already existing one or two-family home.
  • Building a new one or two-family home or additional structure (i.e. garage, gazebo).

What is the permit process?

  1. Application Submission: Application fee, required documents on work type and scope, including the floor plans.
  2. Application Review: Applications and plans are reviewed to ensure code compliance. The applicant will be notified of permit approval or request of revisions.
  3. Issuing of Permit: All requirements and conditions are met (i.e. trade license, any remaining fees).
  4. Permit Inspections: Once the permit is issued, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to schedule the necessary inspections and submit any required documents.
  5. Completion of Permit: Permit scope complete, including all additional inspections and final reports.

How long is a building permit good for in PA?

It is the case that a building permit will often expire if the work outlined in the permit does not commence within 6 months or conclude within one year of the date it is issued. However, time requirements will differ based on city laws. Usually, an expired permit may be extended or renewed but it is best obtain the permit closer to the actual commencement of the work. 

Permit and Inspection Responsibility

When you hire a contractor, they should be responsible for handling all aspects of the permit process, including inspections, and timelines. The permit fees are usually included in the contractor’s bid.


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