Welcome to the frequently asked questions section of the building safety Web site. Each question below will link you to the appropriate answer or information. Click on the links below to drop down to a specific category of questions.
Who may apply for a building permit?
Property owners, licensed contractors or authorized agents may apply for a building permit. Contractors must be licensed by the Arizona registrar of contractors and provide their license number. They must also have a city of Glendale business license prior to doing work in the city. Residential property owners doing their own work will be required to sign verification stating that they are actually doing their own work .
Now that I have my building permit, how do I proceed?
Click here to download a PDF document detailing our guidelines for building permits.
How do I call in for inspections?
Click here to download a PDF document detailing the procedure for calling inspections.
How long is a permit good for?
Permits will expire if the work authorized by the permit is not begun within 180 days from the date of issuance. You must call for and pass one inspection within a 180-day period in order to keep your permit active. If you have no inspections, or if you have inspections but none of them are approved, the permit system will expire your permit.
How do I keep my permit active?
You must call for and pass one inspection within a 180-day period in order to keep your permit active. If you have no inspections, or if you have inspections but none of them are approved, the permit system will expire your permit. There is a 2-year maximum time limit to complete your project. This mandate can be found in city ordinance number 2448.
What is an “approved” inspection?
An inspection is "approved" when a city building inspector inspects construction or equipment installation and finds the work in compliance with the related codes. If the inspector does not approve the work, he or she writes a correction notice indicating what needs to be done to correct the violations. Work cannot continue until the work is "approved" by a city inspector. An approved inspection happens when the inspector visits your project and gives you a green tag on a completed phase of your project.
What do I need to do to request an extension?
If your permit has not expired, you may send a letter to the building official and request that your permit be extended. After a review of the request, a decision will be made as to whether or not an extension can be granted. If the renewal is granted, you will need to come to the development services counter and renew the permit. The fee for extending the permit is 50 percent of the original permit fee.
What happens if I let my permit expire?
If your permit expires, you will need to come to the development services counter and renew your permit. If your permit has expired within the code cycle that your plans were originally approved under, you may not have to pay for another plan review. However, you will be charged additional fees in order to renew your permit and the fee is 100 percent of the entire permit fee. If your plans were approved under a different code than the currently adopted codes, you will be asked to submit new plans and begin the process over again. All fees will be charged at the current adopted rate and new permits will be issued.
What happens if I don’t get my final inspection prior to the expiraton of the permit?
You may need to submit new plans and apply for a new permit. You would also need to pay additional permit fees depending on how much work still needed to be done on the project. If your permit expired prior to final inspection and new codes were adopted, the work may need to be done to the current code. However, if the work authorized under the permit was nearly complete, and only minor work is needed to be done, your permit may be reinstated. Contact the building safety department at (623) 930-2800 and speak with a representative to determine how you would need to get your specific project reinstated.
Special inspections, what are they?
The codes require that specific items be placed under special inspection. In most cases, the architect or engineer for a project will comply with the code by specifying on the plan, the items that are required to be under special inspection.
What if I don’t have an architect or engineer for my residential project?
If any part of your project requires special inspection, you will be given forms to have prepared by an engineer prior to your permits being issued. You will need to employ an engineering company to provide this service for your project.
What kinds of items could require a special inspection?
Steel construction, welding, soils investigations, high strength bolting, and concrete that exceeds the typical strength, some types of masonry construction, some site preparation work and several others. You can find a complete list in the IBC and IRC in chapter 17.
Once I know I need a special inspection, what do I do?
The plan technicians who assist you with your project will provide a form to you that you will have filled out by the engineer of record. That engineer will seal the form and provide to us the resumes of the people that they have selected to do the inspections. Once those inspectors have been approved, the city will provide an approval signature and return the form to you. You must post that form, or a copy of it (and keep the original in a safe place) on the job at all times. Your city inspector will need to see that form before he provides inspections to you. At the end of the project, you will be asked to have the engineer responsible for the inspections, seal the form again, and you will be asked to provide that form back to your inspector, before you can receive a certificate of occupancy for your project.
Do these inspections take the place of regular city of Glendale inspections?
No, you will be expected to call for all city inspections on the items that the special inspector is looking at. The adopted codes require this.
What kinds of items could require a special inspection?
Steel construction, welding, soils investigations, high strength bolting, concrete that exceeds the typical strength, some types of masonry construction, some site preparation work, electrical equipment rated 1000A and over, and several others. You can find a complete list in the IBC and IRC in chapter 17 and in city amendments by clicking here.
Do I need a permit to…
Replace the windows in my house?
Only if you are making structural changes. For example, changing the size of the window. Wall openings, such as door and window openings require having structural items looked at to ensure the structure remains sound. Changing the size of a window could require a larger header over the opening. Minor reductions in the clear opening dimensions of replacement doors and windows that result from the use of different materials is allowable. There are specific code requirements regarding the size of the opening and locking mechanisms and sill height. Depending on the location of your window, the glass may be required to be tempered for extra protection.
Replace the glass when a neighborhood kid throws a ball through the window?
No, a permit would not be required. However, you need to check to see if the glass is now required to be safety glass (tempered). Safety glazing is designed to break into very small pieces that would not pose a serious or life threatening injury should someone run into the glass. For specific requirements, see the international residential code section.
Extend an electrical circuit and add electrical outlets?
Yes. Proper wire size and types, proper connections and wiring methods are critical to your fire and electrocution protection. We recommend you employ a licensed professional for this work if you are not certain of your abilities in this field
Replace a loose electrical plug receptacle?
No permit is required. None of the wiring issues above are affected by this.
Replace the pipes, which drain the sinks and toilets?
Yes. Proper materials and installation are important for the smooth operation of your drain and waste system and to prevent contamination of the drinking water system.
Install, replace or extend a gas pipe?
You bet! It is very important to your safety that your gas pipes do not leak and are installed to prevent developing future leaks. Additionally, the sizes of your gas piping plays a very important part in the efficient operation of your gas appliances and will be checked when you apply for your permit.
Add or replace a heater/air conditioner or water heater?
A permit is required. There are important electrical, gas piping, pressure relief and seismic issues that must be addressed in the installation of heaters, air conditioners and water heaters.