Ashburn, VA

How Much Does A Building Permit Cost?

$50 – $300 Small Jobs, Plumbing, Electrical, Fence, Deck
$500 – $2,000 Construction, Remodeling, House Building

A building permit costs $50 to $300 for small jobs such as plumbing, electrical, fences, windows, and decks. For large projects, the cost to get a building permit is $500 to $2,000 for construction, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, basement finishing, building a house, or room additions.

Get free estimates from permit services near you or view our cost calculator below.

Building Permit Cost

A building permit costs $50 to $300 for small jobs such as plumbing and electrical and $500 to $2,000 to build a house, construction, or remodeling. Building permit fees are based on a flat rate, per square foot, or construction value. Building permits take two weeks to be approved and issued.

Building Permit Cost Chart

Building Permit Cost
Project Average Cost
Build a House $1,000 – $3,000
Build A Garage $150 – $500
Convert Garage Into Living Space $800 – $1,500
General Construction $500 – $2,000
Room Addition $200 – $600
Electrical $50 – $350
Roofing $150 – $500
Fence $40 – $150
Plumbing $30 – $500
HVAC $45 – $120
Water Heater $20 – $85
Bathroom Remodel $150 – $600
Deck $50 – $150
Shed $50 – $145
Pergola $60 – $150
Basement Finishing $200 – $1,000
Kitchen Remodel $500 – $1,500
Window $50 – $200
Swimming Pool $100 – $300
Demolition $80 – $200
Well Drilling $250 – $600
Scaffolding $100 – $300
Building Inspecting $100 – $500
Crane or Temporary Tower $300 – $600
  • Construction companies typically pull building permits and include any permit fees in their estimates.
  • If a homeowner pulls an owner-builder permit, they assume all code responsibility, financial liability, and insurance risks.
  • Permits can be obtained the same day for small projects, and take around two weeks for more extensive construction.
  • Permit services handle the paperwork, relationships, legalities, inspections, and streamline the process.

Building Permit Cost Calculator

Permits cost 0.50% to 2.00% of the total construction cost on average. Building permit fees are calculated based on the type and size of the project (square footage), the total construction cost, and the city.

Average Cost To Get A Building Permit

Average Cost To Get A Building Permit
National Average Cost $477
Minimum Cost $50
Maximum Cost $6,000
Average Range $150 to $1,500
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Electrical Permit Cost

Electrical permits cost $50 to $350 total or a base of $30 to $50 and $0.50 to $8 per fixture. The permit cost of electrical work depends on the number of circuits, amps, and outlets installed. Electrical permits don’t require plans and are issued the same day for replacing switches, sockets, or ceiling fans.

Plumbing Permit Cost

A plumbing permit costs $30 to $500 to pull or between $7 and $50 per fixture for larger projects. Plumbing permit fees are either per square foot, per room, or per fixture, depending on average plumbing estimates.

Plumbing permits are required for repiping, plumbing installation, drainage and sewer systems, and water heaters. Exemptions include repairing leaks, unblocking drains, or installing a garbage disposal.

Deck Permit Costs

A deck permit costs $50 to $150 on average. Covered deck permits cost more. Permits may not be required for decks detached from the house, under 200 square feet, under 30” above grade, not served by the main exit door, no electricity or plumbing, or not in a floodplain. Contractors include permit fees in the total cost to build a deck.

Construction Permit Cost

Construction permits cost $500 to $2,000 on average, depending on the project's total value or square footage. Permit costs to build a house are $1,000 to $3,000 on average. Permit costs for a room addition is $5 to $21 per $1,000 of project cost or $0.16 to $0.74 per square foot.

Construction Permit Cost By Project Size

Construction Permit Cost
Project Cost Average Permit Cost
Less than $25,000 $30 – $250
$25,000 – $50,000 $200 – $650
$50,000 – $100,000 $400 – $1,000
$100,000 – $500,000 $1,000 – $3,000
$500,000 – $1,000,000 $3,000 – $6,000
More than $1,000,000 $5,000 – $10,000+
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Garage Building Permit Cost

A building permit for a garage costs $150 to $500 on average. Permits for attached garages are more expensive than detached structures. Garage building permits cost $800 to $1,500 when converting a garage into a living space, which includes HVAC and electrical. Contractors include permit fees in the cost to build a garage.

Garage Building Permit Cost
Type Average Cost
General Building $150 – $500
Conversion Into Living Space $800 – $1,500

Roofing Permit Cost

A roofing permit costs $150 to $500 for replacement. Building permits for new homes or porches already includes roofing. Some cities don’t require permits for re-roofing or provide exemptions if replacing under specific sizes. Contractors typically cover the cost of a roof permit in their estimate.

Fence Permit Cost

A fence permit costs $40 to $150 on average and is typically issued the same day. Fences under 6' tall usually do not require a permit. Consult with your contractor to ensure they included permit fees in their fence installation cost estimate.

Water Heater Permit Cost

A water heater permit costs $20 to $85 on average. Permit fees are often included in the contractor's cost to install a water heater. In some cities, permits are not required for replacement. Permits ensure building codes cover seismic strap requirements, temperature and pressure release valves, location, and venting to address risks from explosion and fire.

Bathroom Remodel Permit Cost

A bathroom remodel permit costs $150 to $600 on average. Additional permit costs and site plans are required if walls are added or altered. Bathroom permits are typically not needed for projects lower than $1,000 or for replacing fixtures. Additional fees may occur if the home is in a historic neighborhood.

Adding a new bathroom to a home requires a more expensive general building permit. Contractors typically include permit fees in bathroom renovation costs.

Basement Finishing Permit Cost

A basement finishing permit costs $200 to $1,000 on average. Some cities charge 1% to 2% of total construction costs. Additional permits fees for electrical, plumbing, or heating and cooling may be added to the cost to finish a basement.

Kitchen Remodel Permit Cost

A kitchen remodel permits costs $500 to $1,500 and is typically based on the project's value. Kitchen remodeling permits are required for demolition, structural, electrical, plumbing, or changing the layout or size.

Permits may not be required for projects below a set cost or projects such as painting, flooring, counters, cabinets, or fixtures. Make sure the contractor's quote includes permit fees when calculating kitchen remodeling costs.

Window Permit Cost

Window permits cost $50 to $200 each, while a permit for multiple window installations cost $400 to $600 total. Some cities only require permits for windows if the replacement requires structural changes to the wall. Window permits may not be necessary if the window is the same size.

Swimming Pool Permit Cost

A swimming pool permit costs $100 to $300, not including the site plans or drawings. Above ground pool permits are cheaper, and some cities do not require permits for pools under a specific size. Many cities also require plumbing and electrical permits for swimming pools. Most contractors include the permit fees into the total cost to build a pool.

HVAC Permit Cost

HVAC permits cost $45 and $120 for repairs and replacement, while new installations throughout a home cost $500 and up. Contractors typically include permit fees into HVAC cost estimates. Rough-in and final inspections are required by licensed contractors.

Shed Permit Cost

Small 8'x10' sheds don’t typically require permits. Sheds over 200 square feet require permits costing $50 to $145 or more if adding electricity and plumbing or attaching to a home. Sheds that qualify as livable spaces may require a general building permit for $500 to $2,000.

Shed Permit Cost
Type Average Cost
Small Sheds (< 100 SF) $0
Sheds (> 200 SF) $50 – $145
Livable Sheds With Plumbing & Electricity $500 – $2,000

Pergola Permit Cost

A pergola permit costs $60 to $150, depending on if it's freestanding or attached. Although, permits for a pergola are typically not required. Local building codes dictate where a pergola can be located, and it's dimensions. Permit plans may require proposed location, existing structures, setbacks, and easements detailed.

Demolition Permit Cost

A demolition permit costs $80 and $200 on average. Some cities include demolition permits as part of an overall building permit. Demolition permits are required to either demolish an entire building or removing a wall when remodeling a room.

Building Inspection Fee

Home and building inspection fees are $100 to $500, and some municipalities include inspections in permit fees. The process can require multiple inspections by local building inspectors before, during, and after construction. Work that fails inspection requires a re-inspection that costs $40 to $100.

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Residential vs. Commercial Building Permit Fees

Typically, residential permit fees cost less and may be flat rate, while commercial permits are calculated by the building size or project value.

Commercial Building Permit Cost

Commercial building permits cost $0.15 to $0.84 per square foot or 1% to 5% of the project's value. Fees depend on the building size, construction type, and occupancy classifications (industrial, business, residential, educational, high hazard).

Commercial Building Permit Cost
Building Size (SF) Average Permit Cost
5,000 $750 – $4,200
10,000 $1,500 – $8,400
25,000 $3,750 – $21,000
50,000 $7,500 – $42,000

Residential Building Permit Fees

Residential construction refers to single-family homes and condos. Residental building permit fees average $0 to $400 for small projects and repairs and $600 to $3,600 for structural work, remodeling, and new construction.

Residential Building Permit Fees
Project Cost Range
Fence, HVAC, Deck, Water Heater, Windows, Doors $0 – $100
Manufactured Home, Excavation, Demolition $100 – $450
Foundation, Pergola, Remodeling, New Construction $600 – $3,600
After the fact / As Built $2,000 – $8,000

Building Permit Posted On Residential Home

Building Approval Fees

Some projects have unexpected application fees and building approval fees. Additional fees may include scanning, revisions, Certificate of Occupancy fees, investigation fees, and Certificate of Appropriateness. Check the city's permit fee schedule for more details.

Additional Building Approval Fees
Source Potential Impact
Technology Fee 3% of permit fee
Planning Surcharge 5% of permit fee
Financial Recovery 1% of permit fee
State Surcharge 1 – 3% of permit fee
Zoning Permits $120 or up to 13% of permit fee
Permit Renewals or Extension $60 – $550 or 25% of permit fee
Plan Reviews / Checks $90 – $1,000 or 25% – 80% of permit fee
Phased Permitting $195 per phase or 10% – 50% of permit and plan review fees
Express Plan Examination $600 – $1,000+ per permit
Historic Alterations or Demolition +50% surcharge on permits fees
Transportation Impact Fee $6,500
Sewer Connect Fees $500 – $10,000
Unpermitted work 2 – 16 times permit fees
After Hour inspections 2 – 3 hour minimum, up to $450
Park Development Fees $2,000 to $3,500
Flood Control Development Impact Fees $1,500 to $2,500
State Surcharge +12%
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Average Cost of House Building Permits By Location

Some cities and states have specific requirements when it comes to building permits.

House Construction Permit Cost
State Average Cost
Arizona $2,100 – $3,700
California $1,200 – $3,000
Idaho $1,700 – $3,100
Illinois $2,000 – $3,000
Oregon $950 – $1,800
Texas $1,000 – $3,000
  • California – Permit fees considers structure use, cost, square footage, and construction type. Permits to build a house range from $1,200 to $3,000 on average, depending on the city. Other fees include submission, inspection, sewer, zone check, water, park, architectural services, and transportation development impact.
  • Oregon – ePermitting delivers new construction and renovation permits for 3% of construction costs, including plan review fees. Some cities allow 3rd party permit reviews for quicker results.
  • Idaho – Permits to build a house in Idaho cost $1,700 to $3,100 on average, excluding plan review fees. The state provides online permit processing.
  • Arizona – House building permits cost $2,100 to $3,700 on average, and can be processed, tracked, extended, and have virtual reviews or inspections scheduled online. Permits and plans are required for most projects, but exemptions may include painting, flooring, or roofing, depending on the city. Plus, architects or engineers aren’t mandatory on all residential plans.
  • Illinois – New construction permits cost $2,000 to $3,000 on average and are based on square feet with a minimum. Permitting takes about 80 days and can be completed online. Permits are not required in some cities on projects, including replacing sinks, toilets, flooring, kitchen cabinets, stairs roofing shingles, or exterior siding.
  • New York – New York City has a more complex and stringent permit process than most cities. The NYC buildings department advises consulting with a contractor, architect, or engineer to discuss permitting fees for new construction or renovations.

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What Is A Building Permit?

A building permit is a legal document required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, improve, remove, convert, move, or demolish a building or structure. Cities, counties, or towns issue permits, and requirements vary between jurisdictions. Call 3-1-1 to learn whether your project needs a permit.

Why Are Building Permits Needed?

Building permits are needed to ensure public health and safety, structural safety and quality, and protect home resale value. Building permits are mandated, so projects follow local building, construction, and zoning codes. Safe and proper construction reduces risks and ensures contractors don't cut corners.

What Happens If You Build Without A Permit?

Building without a permit can lead to fines, having the project shut down, or even having to tear out the work. Applying for permits after the fact may double or triple permit costs. It's critical to get a permit before building.

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When Do You Need A Building Permit?

Building permits are typically needed for building a house, room additions, bathroom or kitchen remodeling, structural changes, fences, decks, and electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work. Small projects may not require a permit. Check with your local building department for permit regulations.

New Construction

New construction to enlarge, alter, move, change building occupancy or require greater strength, or demolish a structure requires permitting. Anything from detached sheds to building a new house is included. Possible exemptions include some retaining walls, small decks, and low fences.

Room Addition Permit Cost

Room addition permits cost $5 to $21 per $1,000 of project cost or $0.16 to $0.74 per square foot. Permits for additions include adding a room or new story, converting a garage, adding a sunroom, or installation an enclosed patio or deck.

Major Renovations

Permits for major renovations include kitchen, bathroom, and garage remodeling, reframing walls, replacing subflooring, and electric panels. Remodeling projects require site plans and often include changing a layout and require multiple permits for demolition, construction, and moving utilities.

Structural Changes

Structural changes requiring permits include removing, changing, adding, or fixing load-bearing elements like walls, attic, basement, or foundation. These permits cover demolition, roofing, decks, installing new doors or larger windows, fireplace, chimney, or attached sheds.

Electrical, Plumbing, and Mechanical Work

Electrical, plumbing, and mechanical projects require permits costing $30 to $500. These permits cover wiring, lighting, fixtures, appliances, plumbing, drainage, water heaters, HVAC, and ductwork. Some cities don't require electrical permits on work under $100.

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How To Get A Building Permit

Typically, the contractor, architect, designer, or permit service obtains the building permits and manages the project to completion.

The steps to get a permit are:

  1. Fill out a building permit application. Available from city offices or online
  2. Prepare a site plan. Extensive construction projects require professional drawings that meeting building codes.
  3. Schedule an appointment for plan approval. The plan may be approved the same day, require changes, or undergo additional review.
  4. Get the permit. This process takes about 2 weeks.
  5. Schedule inspections throughout the construction process.
  6. Finish the project and get final city approval.

What Is A Permit Service?

A permit service manages the permit application process on behalf of a homeowner or contractor. Permit expediting services cost $300 to $2,000, excluding permit fees. Permit services handle the paperwork, relationships, legalities, inspections, and streamline the application process in half the time.

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Building Permit Requirements

Building permit requirements vary by location. Permits may require detailed plans and drawings, such as:

  • Plot Plan / Site Plan
  • Foundation plans
  • Floor plans
  • Framing plans
  • Section Drawing

Certain permits require additional plans or documentation to be submitted including:

  • Grading or topographical plans
  • Exterior elevations
  • Soils report
  • Structural calculations
  • Plans for sprinkler or fire alarm systems
  • Energy and disabled access compliance
  • Public street dedication and improvement requirements
  • Conceptual landscaping and irrigation plan
  • Acoustical analysis
  • County assessor building construction records
  • Preliminary title report
  • Licensed land survey
  • Stormwater BMPS
  • Other details studies, reports, plans or materials

Additional requirements may include:

  • Zoning / Land use permit required before applying for a building permit
  • Preliminary reviews required before submitting a permit application
  • Project ID finalized before submitting permit application
  • Copies of closing documents If the property was sold recently
  • Copy of executed lease if an application is submitted by building tenant
  • The property must be current on all taxes
  • The building is a 1-2 family home not needing plumbing or electrical permits for the new work
  • Work is done by a contractor or building owner who wither lives in the building, proves they can do the job, or passes a test
  • Contractors must have current license and insurance, and be current on all city taxes

Where To Get A Building Permit?

The county or city issues building permits for repairs, remodeling, or new construction. Permits are available at town hall or city hall from the Building Safty and Permit Department. Most building departments also have the forms available online for download.

Getting A Building Permit After The Fact

For non-permitted work done, it's possible to get a retroactive building permit after the fact. Permit departments require an inspection before finishing the work for projects such as plumbing, wiring, framing, ceilings, or foundations. After-the-fact permits take longer and cost $2,000 to $8,000.

Some cities allow up to 4 years to re-open the permit and may work with homeowners to bring the property into compliance without penalties. If selling a home with unpermitted work, it can be listed "as is" with full disclosure.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Apply For A Building Permit?

A homeowner or an official representative such as a licensed contractor, attorney, permit processor, architect, or designer can apply for a building permit. If the owner pulls an owner-builder permit to save money, they assume the legal responsibility and financial risk.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Building Permit?

Building permits take two weeks on average for the application to be approved and a valid permit issued. Small residential building permits are approved the same day for projects such as windows, fences, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, decks, and roofing. Commercial building permits take four weeks for approval.

Time It Takes To Get A Building Permit
Job Type Average Time
Windows, Drywall, Fencing, HVAC, Siding, Roofing, Water Heater, Plumbing, Mechanical, Fireplace Insert, Deck, Patio, Trellis, Fire Damage Repair, Garage Conversion, Small Repairs Same day
New Homes and Structures, Home Additions, Home Remodeling, Foundation Repair, Pools and Spas, Retaining Walls, Solar 2 weeks
Commercial Construction and Remodeling 4 weeks

Can A Homeowner Pull A Building Permit?

A homeowner can pull an owner-builder permit to do their own plumbing, electric, mechanical, or remodeling work. If you pull a building permit, you’re the contractor, and you assume all code responsibility, financial liability, and insurance risks for the project.

What is an Owner-Builder Permit?

Owner-builder permits are needed if you plan to do or oversee construction at your property. With this permit, exemption from standard license requirements is granted, and the owner assumes all the responsibility both legally and financially.

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Hiring A Permit Service

Licensed contractors typically obtain building permits and include any fees in their estimates. Contractors may use a permit service to expedite the process. Before hiring a permit service, be sure to:

  • Get multiple estimates to compare.
  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for longer than five years.

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