Building Permit Process: 6 Steps#
- What do I need to submit?
Do I need a permit?
- Yes in most cases.
- Some work is exempt
How much will a permit cost?
- Some permits have flat fees, others are based on the valuation of the project.
- Permit Fees
Can I do the work myself?
- Homeowners may perform work on their primary primary residence only, if it is a single family, detached, home. Building permits and inspections are required.
Can I hire someone?
- All contractors and subcontractors hired to perform work must be locally licensed for the type work being done and must be insured. This is verified prior to permit issuance. To confirm that your contractor/subcontractors are locally licensed and insured, contact: 970-416-2740
Check the floodplain maps
- Buildings and alterations to buildings located in with a floodplain may have specific requirements and limitations.
A development review process may be required prior to submitting for a building permit for:
- New buildings
- Change of use to land
- Change of use to buildings
Historic Preservation Review
Is your building historically designated? Or, need a commercial/multi-family permit for a building over 50 years old?
Exterior alterations (including siding and windows) on historically-designated property and commercial/multi-family permits require review by Historic Preservation Services. Check out the incentives available for projects in Fort Collins. Not sure if replacing materials is cheaper than repairing what you have? Check out the cost calculator tool.
- What format is needed to submit documents?
- What do I need to submit?
Where do I submit for permit?
- E-mail all required documents to: BuildingServices@fcgov.com
- For Over-The-Counter permit types submit here
- (Typically processed within 72hrs)
- Over the Counter permits are only offered for:
- Electrical work only
- Gas/Wood Burning Appliances
- Lawn Sprinkler Backflow Preventer
- Plumbing only
- Water Heater
- HVAC (Furnace/ Air Conditioner, etc.)
Can multiple structures or units/suites be submitted on one permit?
- Each independent structure requires a separate permit which simplifies inspections and public records.
- Only one address can be assigned to a permit. I.e. commercial units/suites should each have a separate permit unless units are being combined and assigned a new address.
I sent in my submittal. What happens next?
- Projects will be checked for completeness.
- If submittals are incomplete you will be contacted to provide additional information.
- Complete submittals are uploaded into the permit system and routed for review (see next step).
- Projects will be checked for completeness.
Can I start my project as soon as my permit is submitted?
- No. Once your permit is issued and approved, work can start (see step 4).
Poudre Fire Authority Submittal
PFA is a multi -jurisdictional Fire Department. Separate and additional online submittals are required for most commercial and multi-family projects.
1. A submittal will be required for fire code review for all new construction and most commercial tenant finish projects.
2. A separate and additional submittal will be required for any fire systems installations or alterations i.e. sprinkler, fire alarm, hood and duct, etc.
3. When required, City of Fort Collins Building permits will not be issued without PFA issued permits and/or approvals and sign-off.
Larimer County Health Department Submittal
Larimer County Health Department is a multi-jurisdictional Health Department. Separate and additional submittals are required for:
- Food or drink service, preparation, handling, or processing (Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, Restaurants, Commercial Commissary Kitchens, Food Manufacturing/Packaging, Grocery Stores)
- Healthcare Facilities
- Public recreational facilities (Pools)
- Institutions (Nursing home, Assisted Living, Rehab Centers, Hospitals)
- Individual sewage disposal systems (septic and potable water wells).
When required, City of Fort Collins Building permits will not be issued without LCHD approval.
What is a Review? The design, plans and documents you submitted will be checked before the permit is issued and construction begins. Most projects require a review.
Why Review? Reviews address code at the design phase which reduces costly re-construction and failed inspections by reviewing for compliance prior to construction.
Who Reviews? The project is reviewed by many City Departments for compliance with building codes, land use code, zoning, historic, flood plain, and other project specific requirements.
How will I know when the review is complete? The permit applicant will receive an email indicating either:
1. "Resubmittal Requested" (see below)
2. Review is Complete (see step 4)
I received an e-mail that a "Resubmittal is Requested," does that mean I have to submit for a new permit or start from the beginning?
No, your permit has not been denied. This just means that:
- A reviewer may need additional information, clarification, or has questions about your project.
- or document/form or specific drawing or a critical detail required for review may be missing/needed.
- or Plans need to be revised to meet a critical code item.
How do I resubmit my plans/documents?
Follow the resubmittal instructions in the email you received. New documents should be named v2 (v=version #=round of review).
How long will it take to process a resubmittal?
Resubmittals have priority and are typically assigned a two week max turn around after submitted for building code items. You may contact the reviewer directly for questions about their timeline.
How do I check the permit status?#
- Use the Citizen Portal
- Under the Building category, select 'Search permits' (see photo above)
- Enter the address, permit number or stock plan number (i.e. B180xxxx or SP0xxxx), scroll down to click on 'Search'
- Select the permit/project from the list.
- Click 'Record Info' for drop down list of options (top left corner)
- Select 'Workflow Tasks'
- No icon = task has not been activated/routed yet (not complete)
- Hourglass = not completed, in process, or additional items are needed from the applicant.
- Green check mark = completed task
- Click the grey triangle/arrow next to each task to view holds/comments from each reviewer.
When will my permit be Issued?
After all departments/tasks have been signed off, all fees have been paid, and all contractors/subcontractors listed have been verified to be locally licensed and insured, the permit will be issued. To confirm that a contractor is locally licensed contact: 970-416-2740
How will I know it is ready?
Check the permit status on Citizen Access Portal. For most permits types, the applicant will receive an e-mail notification.
Will my permit expire?
Yes, inactive permits will expire after 180 days from the date of last recorded activity including: submittal, issuance, or valid building inspection date. Expired permits will become an open violation on the property.
- When can I start building?
What if I my design changes during construction?
- If you need to revise your plans due to significant changes (new layout, altered scope, etc.), submit a revised set of plans as an addendum for review.
Step 6: Project Closeout#
How do I complete and close out a project, receive a Letter of Completion, or Certificated of occupancy?
1. All inspections must be completed, and passed.
2. Check the permit status to see if any final documents need to be submitted.
3. When submitting final documents, use: Public Records Naming for Final Docs.
3. Use the Project Closeout Guide contact list to send required documents to the correct location.
4. Most projects will receive a Letter of Completion or Certificate of Occupancy indicating a completed project.
5. Uncompleted permits will expire. Expired permits become an open violation on the property.
Footing and Foundation Permits#
Footing and Foundation permits can be requested at the time of building permit submittal, and can only be issued for:
- New Houses Only (Not for: additions, remodels, detached garages, detached habitable space)
- New Commercial Buildings
- New Multi-Family Buildings
In response to National, State, and Local Declarations of Emergency, we are temporarily changing how we provide our services. For more information on the City's coronavirus response, visit fcgov.com/coronavirus.
Development Review Center is open in a limited capacity committed to providing customer service:
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 9am-12 noon; 1-4 p.m. (closed 12-1pm).
- Virtual services are available, and we encourage you to use them if possible.
- NEW: please schedule an appointment for all in-person services (due to rising Coronavirus cases and limited on-site staff). Appointments can be scheduled by contacting a department from the contact list below. For Appointments:
- Enter the building using doors on College Avenue.
- Visitors are asked to follow directional signs posted inside.
- Visitors must wear a mask over the nose and mouth.
- Building Permits | BuildingServices@fcgov.com or 970-221-6760
- Submit permits by e-mail
- 30 min in-person permit application appointments can be scheduled (see hours and instructions above).
- Building Code Plan Review | email@example.com or 970-416-2757
- Zoning | firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-416-2745
- Development Review Coordinators | email@example.com or 970-221-6689
- Historic Preservation | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Planning | email@example.com or 970-416-4311
- Contractor Licensing | please submit electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org; payment will be collected over the phone at the time of processing