Plan Submittal Questions

What do I need to do to get a building permit?

Before a building permit can be issued, it needs to be determined whether construction plans must be reviewed for compliance with applicable State and local building codes. For projects where plans are required, the following (at a minimum) must be provided:

  • Three to six (3-6) sets of plans, which if professionally drawn need to be wet signed/stamped by the architect and/or engineer. All submitted plans must be on sheets no smaller than 11"x17" but preference is 24"x36"
  • Plans should be collated to include architectural, engineering, structural, energy, etc. to create on complete set
  • If fire plans apply to the project (sprinklers, Ansul, alarms) they need to be a separate set of plans, collated. Three plans (3) are required for fire.
  • One (1) application form completely filled out 
  • If owner-builder, one (1) disclosure form completely filled out

What information should be included on my plans and application?

  • The specific work that is being done
  • Applicable code references: typically 2019 CBC, CPC, CEC, etc. This captures all necessary requirements even if not prescribed in the plan set.
  • Drawing Sheet Index so we can tell if the set is complete. This is very important to the inspector as plans are routinely separated in the field.
  • Project Date: APN/ address/ year constructed/ # of stories/ existing sf / new sf/ occupancy type/ Construction type/ fire sprinklers?
  • Name of person who prepared plans. This can often expedite a plan review if possible corrections. 
  • Minimum size is 11 x 17" but must be readable. 24x36" is preferred

Can I submit my fire sprinklers later in the process and not at initial intake?

  • No fire sprinklers are not a deferred or later submittal and need to come in at the time of 1st submittal to the building department.

Is a permit required?

Per the 2019 California Building Code, section 105.2, the following is a list of work that is exempt from permits.  All work, including work exempt from permits, is required to be done in compliance with applicable codes and ordinances.

Building work exempt from permit:

1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet.

2. Fences not over 7 feet high. 

3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.

4. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 925L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2:1.

5. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.

6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.

7. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.

8. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, are not greater than 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground.

9. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.

10. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.

11. Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.

12. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.

Electrical work exempt from permit:

1. Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.

2. Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of this code shall not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power supply and the installations of towers and antennas.

3. Temporary testing systems: A permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.

Mechanical / Gas work exempt from permit:

1. Portable heating appliance.

2. Portable ventilation equipment.

3. Portable cooling unit.

4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.

5. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.

6. Portable evaporative cooler.

7. Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10pounds or less of refrigerant and actuated

by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.

Plumbing work exempt from permit:

1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.

2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

  1. Building Division

    Physical Address
    1600 First Street
    Napa, CA 94559


  2. Inspection Line

    Phone: 707-257-1063 (Automated)

  3. Permit Techs

    General Email

  4. Vincent Caballero

    Building Inspector

  5. Terri Ritchie

    Permit Technician

  6. Taylor Tobler

    Building Inspector

  7. Jason Williams

    Chief Building Official

  8. Trevor Slevin

    Building Plans Examiner

  9. Stephen Dudla

    Building Inspector

  10. Jackson Willoughby

    Building Inspector