City of San Carlos responds to risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Click here for up to date information and resources. 

Notice: Impact to Building Division due to COVID-19 Response

While we’ve simplified the building permit application process, it may still feel complex.  If you don’t find what you need, or still feel unsure about the process, give us a call at (650) 802-4261.

Information Before You Apply for a Building Permit

Before you apply for a building permit, there is information you should know:

  1. Know what type of permit you need.
  2. Review the Forms and Handouts, Frequently Asked Questions, and Adopted Codes pages to help plan your project:
  3. Review our fee schedule to understand building permit costs.
  4. Review the types of building permits available online below to determine if you can apply for the permit you need online.
  5. If you can apply for the permit online, proceed to Apply for a Building Permit.
  6. If you cannot apply for the permit online, you can:
    • Call the Building Division at (650) 802-4261 to discuss your project, or schedule an appointment for your permit application.
    • Visit the Building Division during our 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. counter hours to discuss your project or to submit your permit application. City Hall is closed through April 7 due to COVID-19 response. 

Types of Building Permits Available Online

  • Electric Service Change
  • Electric Miscellaneous
  • Electric New Circuit
  • Electric Sub Panel
  • Electric Temp Power
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station
  • Mechanical Miscellaneous
  • Mechanical New HVAC
  • Mechanical Replace HVAC
  • Plumbing Gas Pipe
  • Plumbing Water Heater
  • Plumbing Miscellaneous
  • Re-roof
  • Window Replacement

What is the Plan Review Turnaround Time?

Plan review turnaround time is based on the following schedules:

 permit  timeline
 Deck  1-2 weeks
 Interior Remodel  1-3 weeks
 Kitchen and Bath Remodel  1-3 days
 New Commercial  4-6 weeks
 Solar Installation  1-3 days
 New Multi-Family  6-8 weeks
 New Single-Family Residence  4-6 weeks
 Recheck for Plan Review  10 days to 2 weeks
 Residential Reconstruction  4-6 weeks
 Retaining Wall  2-4 weeks
 Revisions for Permits Issued  1 week
 Second-Story Addition  3-5 weeks
 Single-Story Addition  2-4 weeks
 Signs and Awnings  1-3 weeks
 Tenant Improvements  2-4 weeks