Building Permits

Do I need a permit?

Building Permits are required for all new buildings and existing buildings or structures which are to be altered, repaired, enlarged, improved upon or converted, or where any change in the size of a room takes place or any electrical or plumbing work is involved.

Access online permit counter via eTRAKiT. Note: The online permit counter is currently a soft launch for Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing contractors only.

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  1. Building


    Physical Address
    10890 San Pablo Avenue
    El Cerrito, CA 94530

    Phone: 510-215-4360


No deferred submittal of fire suppression and fire alarm systems.  Fire sprinkler and alarm permits need to be applied for and submitted at the same time as the building permit application is submitted. 


Examples of projects requiring building permits:
  • New Buildings
  • Room Additions
  • Interior Remodels
  • Window/Door Installation
  • Drainage Systems
  • Decks
  • Spas/Swimming Pools
  • Foundation Repairs
  • Driveways
  • Termite Repairs
  • Roof Replacement
  • Water Heater Installation
  • Electrical Upgrades
  • Siding Installation
Examples of "over-the-counter" permits:
  • Water heaters
  • HVAC
  • Furnaces
  • Reroofs
  • Se4rvice panel upgrades

Examples of projects that should be discussed with the Planning Division prior to applying for a building permit:

Single Family Houses

  • Any addition that increases the footprint or building height or floor area (including basement conversions)
    • Note: second or third story additions require Planning approval
  • Increase in the number of rooms (kitchens, bedrooms, offices, studies, etc.)
  • Change to the number of covered parking spaces or garage dimensions
  • New or modified fencing
  • New or modified decks
  • Accessory Dwelling Units

Duplexes and Multifamily Buildings

Note: Most changes should be reviewed first by the Planning Division unless they are extremely minor

  • Any alteration affecting the exterior appearance of the building or site (including signage, fencing, landscaping, etc.)
    • Note: this requires Planning approval first
  • Increase in the number of rooms (kitchens, bedrooms, offices, studies, etc.)
  • Changes to open space (balconies, exterior common areas, backyards, etc.)
  • Changes to the number of covered or uncovered parking spaces
  • Accessory Dwelling Units

Commercial Buildings

Note: Most changes should be reviewed first by the Planning Division unless they are extremely minor

  • Any alteration affecting the exterior appearance of the building or site (including signage, fencing, landscaping, exterior paint colors, windows, etc.)
    • Note: this requires Planning approval first
  • New business (for Planning to confirm the land use is permitted)
  • Change to the number of covered or uncovered parking spaces

Contact the Planning Division at planning@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.



Building Permit APPLICATION SUBMITTALS

Please complete the permit application and submit it and any required documentation to buildingapplications@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

Building Permit Application Form - Cover form for all building permits

Plan Submittal Checklist - Checklist listing submittal requirements for most building permits.


Owner-Builder Information


Owner-Builder Web Page and Form
Additional form if the project is being completed by an owner-builder.

Solar Permit Applications

For Solar Projects, Electrical Upgrades Associated with Solar Permits & New Powerwalls – Please send to pickup@4leafinc.com

Instructions for first time users.

For more information, please visit the Solar System Permits page.

Special Study Map


Slide Zone or Seismic Zone Special Study Map
Map showing areas of the city that are subject to additional study. Please see Checklist for more information.
Before commencing construction it is recommended that you contact the City Building Division to make certain that a building permit is required and for information on Building Division requirements for residential and commercial buildings including new dwellings, additions, remodels, alterations, and repairs.

Additionally, before a building permit can be issued by the Building Division, information concerning zoning regulations must be obtained from the Planning Division and adhered to for those projects requiring zoning clearance prior to a building permit being issued (new dwellings, additions, fences, decks, carports, garages, etc.) Zoning regulations include but are not limited to minimum distances or setbacks from the property lines for buildings/accessory structures, fences/decks as well as maximum height restrictions.