Apply for Permits

A building permit is issued by the authority having jurisdiction which authorizes performance of a specified activity and allows the Building Official to protect the occupants of buildings by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety and welfare. The Building Official shall receive applications, review construction documents and issue permits for the installation and alteration of buildings and structures, inspect the premises for permits that have been issued and enforce compliance with the provisions of the adopted Code.

Applications may be submitted in person to the Douglas County Building Division, Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., with the exception of holidays. Applications received after 4:00 p.m. will be post dated to the following business day.

Please refer to the list below for specfic project type submittal requirements:


Barn/Garages/Storage Buildings

Submittal Requirements For Detached Barns, Garages, or Storage Structures The following are required when submitting for a detached barn, garage or shed (greater than 200 square feet)
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application. If contractors are being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
  2. One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction drawings.  All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink. This is to include floor, framing and elevation drawings.
  3. One site plan showing dimensions to property lines.
  4. Complete DESC submittal (DESC Application, Erosion and Sediment Control Drawing, Lot Specific Drainage Plan, and DESC Plan Standard Notes and Details). Any questions related to DESC Plan design requirements, DESC Plan submittal and permitting process, or DESC inspection requirements should be directed to the Douglas County Engineering Services Division 303-660-7490.
  5. Letter from Architectural Control Committee.  If you do not have this letter, please be advised that your permit will be placed on "hold" for approximately 10 working days so that we may inform them in writing, unless you obtain the approval letter prior to the release of the permit.
Zoning Regulations will need to be met, regardless of the structure size. Contact a Site Development Administrator at the Douglas County Building Division 303.660.7497 prior to the start of construction to verify the Zoning requirements. You can use our accepted foundation designs on a one-story wood frame detached structure ONLY.  Any structure more than one story, including storage areas or larger than described under the Building Guide (see below) in square footage requires a stamped Engineered foundation. Pre-fabricated steel buildings require a stamped-engineered foundation and building design. Floor load for the second floor storage area is 125 pounds per square foot.    Roof loads are figured at 30-pound snow load at 5,999 feet.  For each 500 feet change in elevation the snow load increases 5 pounds. Wind load is figured at 85 miles per hour using exposure "C", 105 mph, 3 second gust.   Frost depth is 36" below finished grade. The following items are specific to Douglas County Building Division requirements:
  • One set of floor plans is required
  • One set of plot plans is required
  • Douglas County has very specific criteria for foundations (detached or attached), dependant upon the square footage, number of stories and wood frame verses steel frame. A determination will be made by the Douglas County Building Division staff if the Building Division's pre-engineered specifications can be used OR and Engineered stamped foundation is required.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about barns, garage or storage structures

  • Q. When do I need a permit for a barn, garage or storage structure? A permit is required:
    • if it is attached to another structure
    • if it is greater than one story in height
    • if it is heated or cooled
    • if it has plumbing, electric
    • or any other utility housed in it
    • or if it is greater than 200 square feet of floor area
    • If the structure is 200 square feet or less in floor area and used as a tool and storage shed, a playhouse, or similar use; then it does not require a permit.
  • Q. What do I need to submit for a barn, garage or storage structure? Permit Application – Please complete all applicable areas of the application including the total square footage that is to be finished and listing any subcontractors that you will be using.
    • One Set of Plans – On the plan show an exterior wall cross section from the foundation through the roof. Douglas County has foundation designs that are accepted for wood frame structures up to 1,000 square feet for slab construction and 3,000 square feet for footers or pole barns. For structures over these footages, or for structures that have been engineered, then the foundation will have to be engineered. Engineered foundations are also required for two-story structures and steel frame structures
    • One Site Plan – The site plan will need to show the location of the structure on your property and the distances to the property lines. You will need to show all other structures that are on the property.
    • Driveway Permit - If you do not have a County approved access point, then a driveway will be required. A second site plan will be required showing the proposed access location.
    • Architectural Control Committee - If you have an architectural control committee then a copy of their approval letter should also be submitted. You can submit without a letter, but in required areas we will hold the permit for ten working days.
  • Q. How long will it take to process my application? If the permit application is complete and there are no problems with the plans, it will take approximately seven to ten working days. Turn around times are estimates only and may vary depending on workload.
  • Q. How long is my permit good for? As long as work and inspections continue the permit will be valid. If the project is abandoned or inspections are not requested for a period of 180 days or more, the permit will expire. A new permit will have to be issued before work can be resumed.
  • Q. Do I need to have my permit issued for me to start working? The Code states that you must have a permit in your possession before starting any work. If there are any problem found during the plan review, you may have to demolish what has been done, and start over to meet Code requirements.

Basements / Remodels

Submittal Requirements For Basement Finish The following are required when submitting for a basement finish permit:
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application. If contractors are being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal. If this is a homeowner permit, then the homeowner must be listed for each trade at the time of submittal.  Complete all sections that are applicable.
  2. An original scaled drawing (¼” = 1’) of the basement floor plan.  The drawing must show all existing windows and sizes, doors, furnace, water heater and stairs.  All rooms must be labeled as to their intended use.  The plans must show any area that is not being finished.
  3. If your home is sprinklered you will need to include written approval from the Fire District since sprinkler systems are required in finished basements.
  4. If you are on a septic system we will need an approval letter from Tri-County.  This is required only if you are adding any sleeping areas in the basement.
  5. All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink.
Over-the-Counter Basement Finish Permits are available, for more information please visit Over-the-Counter Plan Review Process.

Additional Resources

Frequently asked questions about basement finish.

  • Q. When do I need a permit for finishing my basement? When any walls are constructed or electricity is added to the basement.
  • Q. What do I need to submit for a basement finish permit? Sumbit a Douglas County Building Permit Application. If contractors are being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal. If this is a homeowner permit, then the homeowner must be listed for each trade at the time of submittal.  Complete all sections that are applicable.
    • An original scaled drawing (¼” = 1’) of the basement floor plan.  The drawing must show all existing windows and sizes, doors, furnace, water heater and stairs.  All rooms must be labeled as to their intended use.  The plans must show any area that is not being finished.
    • If your home is sprinklered you will need to include written approval from the Fire District since sprinkler systems are required in finished basements.
    • If you are on a septic system we will need an approval letter from Tri-County.  This is required only if you are adding any sleeping areas in the basement.
    • All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink.
  • Q. How long does it take to process my application? If the permit application is complete and there are no problems with the plans, it will normally take 7 to 10 business days to complete the entire permitting process. Turn around times are estimates only and may vary depending on work load.
  • Q. How long is my permit good for? As long as work and inspections continue the permit will be valid. If the project is abandoned or inspections are not requested for a period of 180 days or more, the permit will expire. A new permit will have to be issued before work can be resumed.
  • Q. Do I need to have my permit issued for me to start working on my basement? Yes, you must have a permit in your possession before starting any work. Failure to do so may result in fines being assessed to the project.
  • Q. How much will my permit cost? We do not have a set fee for basement finish permits. The valuation of your job is based on the square footage that is being finished. We then use the permit fee schedule that is in table 1-A of the 1997 U.B.C. We have provided a fee estimation worksheet to assist you in obtaining a approximate calculation of what your basement permit fees will be.
  • Q. If my basement was finished without a permit, is there a way that I can still get a permit? Yes. You would still need to follow all of the above procedures for obtaining a building permit. You will be assessed an investigation fee for the initial inspections that will be performed on your basement. During these first inspections for framing and electrical, the inspectors would assess the work that was already completed. If they discover any difficulties they will discuss with you what will be needed to correct the problem.

Commercial

Building And Addition Application Requirements
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application - The general contractor, electrical, plumbing and mechanical must be listed on the application.  The contractors must be registered with Douglas County and listed prior to issuance of the building permit.
  2. Site Plan - Must show the building location as shown on the approved SIP, and handicapped units if multi-family.
  3. Construction Plans - Submit (1) complete set of plans on white paper in blue or black ink that are stamped by a licensed Colorado Engineer or Architect.  A Colorado Engineer must stamp the plumbing, mechanical, structural, and electrical plans.
  4. Construction plans must include building use, construction type, type of occupancy, Energy Compliance path, and if fire sprinklers are installed.
  5. Foundation Plans - Submit (1) complete set of engineered plans.  Include one copy of the structural calculations and project manuals.
  6. Water and Sewer - Submit a letter from the governing districts for that area if required.
  7. Deed - A copy of a recorded warranty deed or lease agreement.
  8. Architectural Control Committee approval if applicable.
  9. Soil Report - The report, to be completed by a licensed Colorado Engineer, is for the area of proposed construction.
  10. Fire Department - Approval has to be received before the permit can be issued.  The submittal of the plans to the governing fire department is the responsibility of the General Contractor or Owner.
  11. Health Department - Submittal to Tri-County Health Department is required, if a food service, prior to the permit being issued.
  12. The Disclosure - Notice of Zoning Review form must be completed, signed and dated.
You may NOT submit for a permit, until Community Planning and Sustainable Development has given approval in writing.  This letter must be included with the permit submittal.For more information visit Tenant Finish

Decks

Permit Requirements for Residential Decks The following are required for submitting a deck permit:
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application. If a contractor is being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
  2. One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction drawings.  All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink. This is to include floor framing plans with size and species of joists, beams and posts to be used. Can be drawn by the owner or contractor.
  3. Elevations (side view) showing guardrails and stairs.  Guardrails must be a minimum of 36” in height and arranged such that a 4” sphere can not pass at any point.
  4. One site plan showing dimensions to the property lines.
  5. Letter from ACC Architectural Control Committee (check your local covenants).  If you do not have a letter, please be advised that your permit will be placed on "hold" for approximately 10 working days so that we may inform the ACC in writing, unless you obtain the approval letter prior to the release of the permit.
Depth of caissons must be a minimum of thirty-six inches below finished grade. Treated post shall be used or caisson shall extend 6" above grade. Open Hole Inspection is required prior to placement of concrete. A 40-pound live load is required for decks.  If a hot tub is supported by the deck, the drawings will need to be stamped by a Colorado Registered Professional Engineer or designed to a 100-pound live load. Measuring to Grade - Is your deck project less than 30” inches above grade? How to measure the height of the deck - Elevation shall be measured to an imaginary point three (3) feet out horizontally from the edge of the deck. If any point within this cross-hatched area measures greater than 30", then the deck shall be considered over 30" above grade.

If your deck project is LESS than 30” inches above grade, as determined in accordance with this diagram, there will be NO PERMIT FEES or PLAN REVIEW FEES. Due to statutory requirements, Use Tax must be collected. Additional Information All decks and patio covers constructed under a valid Douglas County Building permit shall be attached to the structure with minimum 1/2" inch diameter by 5 1/2" inch long lag bolts with washers. Spacing shall not exceed 16" inches on center configured in a staggered pattern. Carriage bolts may be installed in lieu of lag bolts in a staggered pattern not to exceed 16" inches on center equal diameter with a length to allow a nut and washer to be attached the full depth of the nut. Backing shall be of sufficient integrity design as to provide equivalent support of a standard 2x4 structurally rated stud as placed in a frame wall. Ledgers attached to concrete shall be treated wood or approved wood of natural resistance to decay and security with minimum 1/2" inch diameter expansion anchors at 16" inches on center with a length to provide a minimum of 3" inches of penetration into the concrete. Any alternate method or material for attachment will require a design by a registered Professional Engineer, and be submitted to the Douglas County Building Division for approval.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about decks

  • Q. When do I need a permit for building a deck? All decks require a permit.
  • Q. What do I need to submit for a deck permit?
    • Douglas County Building Permit Application. If a contractor is being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
    • One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction drawings.  All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink. This is to include floor framing plans with size and species of joists, beams and posts to be used. Can be drawn by the owner or contractor.
    • Elevations (side view) showing guardrails and stairs.  Guardrails must be a minimum of 36” in height and arranged such that a 4” sphere can not pass at any point.
    • One site plan showing dimensions to the property lines.
    • Letter from ACC Architectural Control Committee (check your local covenants).  If you do not have a letter, please be advised that your permit will be placed on "hold" for approximately 10 working days so that we may inform the ACC in writing, unless you obtain the approval letter prior to the release of the permit.
  • Q. How long will it take to process my application? If the permit application is complete and there are no problems with the plans, it should take only 7 - 10 business days. The site plan will be reviewed by Douglas County Zoning for compliance to set-backs. Turn around times are estimates only and may vary depending on work load.
  • Q. How long is my permit good for? As long as work and inspections continue the permit will be valid. If the project is abandoned or inspections are not requested for a period of 180 days or more, the permit will expire. A new permit will have to be issued before work can be resumed.
  • Q. Do I need to have my permit issued for me to start working on my deck? The Code states that you must have a permit in your possession before starting any work.

Demolition Permit

A Demolition Permit is required whenever a building or structure is to be permanently removed. The information contained in the Demolition Permit is then forwarded to the Douglas County Tax Assessor. This ensures that the owner of the building or structure will no longer be assessed taxes for the building or structure that has been removed.
  • Before any work may commence, the applicant must provide a Demolition Application Review Formor be waived from the requirement by the Douglas County Historic Preservation Board or Chief Building Official.
  • An application of “Demolition Notification” to the Colorado Department of Public Health Air Quality Control Division 303.692.3150 must be made and proof of said application provided to Douglas County when applicable.
  • A site plan must be provided per the currently adopted International Building Code or International Residential Code.
  • All utilities must be properly abated and the provider notified.
  • Demolition Permit fee of $47.00 per structure will be charged.
  • Additional fees may be assessed dependent on scope of the project and include, but are not limited to:
    • A Plan Review Fee
    • Administrative or other processing fees
    • Inspection Fees (2 hour minimum) per each
 

Driveway

Submittal Requirements For Driveway  Prior to the issuance of a building permit, properties are evaluated for driveway access requirements, building site location, building materials, and defensible space/wildfire mitigation requirements. When an application for a driveway permit is submitted, the address for the property must be posted; and the centerline of the driveway and the corners of the home site must be staked. This should be completed within 24 hours of submitting the application. Failure to post and stake the property will delay processing of the permit application. In areas where driveway permits are not required but wildfire hazards do exist, structures are evaluated for location and defensible space requirements. If your project is determined to be in a wildfire hazard area as determined by an on-site assessment by the wildfire mitigation staff, a $120.00 fee will be assessed to the permit fee for the required inspections. Both preliminary and final inspections are completed prior to receiving a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Driveway Permits For Existing Structures Driveway permits are required on existing residential structures for work in the County right-of-way such as paving an existing gravel drive.

Additional Resources

Electrical Permit

An Electrical Permit is required when a homeowner or electrical contractor desires to install, enlarge, alter, or repair, convert or replace all or part of an electrical system. An electrical system is not only power and lighting, but also includes fire alarm, security and data/communication systems. The Douglas County Building Division is currently enforcing the 2011 National Electrical Code for all installations including residential. As a homeowner you are permitted to perform electrical work on your primary residence without an electrical license. All other installations require an electrical contractor that is licensed through the State of Colorado and registered with Douglas County. Douglas County has an all-in-one permitting system in-place that allows an electrical contractor to be listed as a sub-contractor on a building permit and the electrical work to be included in the building permit fee. A construction meter permit, if needed at the job site would be the only additional electrical permit that would be required in addition to the building permit. Electrical Permit Fees for other installations are based off of square footage or the valuation of the project. Applications may be submitted in person, mailed with a check or faxed with credit card information.

Mechanical Permit

New eSubmittal Permit for Basic Mechanical Permits

This online application allows contractors and homeowners to obtain “basic” mechanical permit(s) in a single transaction using a credit card or e-check. Requirements to use the eSubmittal Permit Application:
  • Residential mechanical permit applications only
  • Residential property in unincorporated Douglas County
  • Replacement work that does not require a plan review or any additional documentation for the permit application, for example a furnace, water heater or air conditioner.
For other types of mechanical permits please contact the Building Division at 303-660-7497. **Please note registration with Douglas County is required to use the online application. ** Registered users may login using existing credentials at  https://apps.douglas.co.us/building/eSubmittals/Login.aspx New users may create an account at https://apps.douglas.co.us/apps/building/initCreateContractorAccount.do
A Mechanical Permit is required when an owner, authorized agent or contractor who desires to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace a mechanical system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause such work to be done, shall first make application to the code official and obtain the required permit for the work. Exception: Where equipment and appliance replacements or repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day of the department of mechanical inspection. Each application for a permit with the required fee, shall be filed with the Code Official on a form furnished for that purpose and shall contain a general description of the proposed work and its location. The application shall be signed by the owner or an authorized agent. The permit application shall indicate the proposed occupancy of all parts of the building and of that portion of the site or lot, if any, not covered by the building or structure and shall contain such other information required by the Code Official. Permits shall not be required for the following:
  • Portable heating appliances
  • Portable ventilation appliances and equipment
  • Portable cooling units
  • Steam, hot water or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances regulated by code.
  • The replacement of any minor part that does not alter the approval of equipment or an appliance or make such equipment or appliance unsafe.
  • Portable evaporative coolers
  • Self-contained refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower or less
  • Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid
Applications may be submitted in person, mailed with check or faxed with credit card information.

Patio Covers

The following are required when submitting for a patio or deck cover:
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application. If contractors are being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
  2. One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction drawings.  All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink. This is to include framing plan indicating how it is going to be constructed.  This must include the spans for the rafters and beams. All trusses shall be engineered.
  3. A side view section to include how the posts are going to be supported and the type of roofing materials that is being used.
  4. A site plan indicating where it is going to be located in relationship to the side and back property lines including distance to property lines.
  5. Letter from Architectural Control Committee.  If you do not have this letter, please be advised that your permit will be placed on "hold" for approximately 10 working days so that we may inform them in writing, unless you obtain the approval letter prior to the release of the permit.
A permit is required when the cover is of solid construction.  Any type of slatted or open construction would not require a permit. Roof loads are figured at 30-pound snow load at 5,999 feet.  For each 500 feet change in elevation the snow load increases 5 pounds. Wind load is figured at 85 miles per hour using exposure "C"(105mph 3 second gust).   Frost depth is 36" below finished grade.  All post holes are required to comply with this building regulation.   The following items are specific to Douglas County Building Division requirements:
  • One set of construction plans is required
  • One plot plan is required
  • All decks and patio covers constructed under a valid Douglas County Building permit shall be attached to the structure with minimum 1/2" inch diameter by 5 1/2" inch long lag bolts with washers. Spacing shall not exceed 16" inches on center configured in a staggered pattern. Carriage bolts may be installed in lieu of lag bolts in a staggered pattern not to exceed 16" inches on center equal diameter with a length to allow a nut and washer to be attached the full depth of the nut. Backing shall be of sufficient integrity design as to provide equivalent support of a standard 2x4 structurally rated stud as placed in a frame wall. Ledgers attached to concrete shall be treated wood or approved wood of natural resistance to decay and security with minimum 1/2" inch diameter expansion anchors at 16" inches on center with a length to provide a minimum of 3" inches of penetration into the concrete. Any alternate method or material for attachment will require a design by a registered Professional Engineer, and be submitted to the Douglas County Building Division for approval.

Additional Resources

Photovoltaic Permits

Important:  Other than a Dwelling Unit, an electrical engineer’s signature and seal is required for any photovoltaic (PV) system to be installed. A structural engineer’s signature and seal is required for PV modules to be installed. If the letter states that the trusses need to be structurally reinforced to handle the additional weight then a Building Permit is required, if no reinforcing is required then a Building Permit can be submitted and only electrical inspections will be performed. PV system submittal must include all of the following:
  • Manufacturer’s specs for ALL PV equipment, including listing, nameplate short-circuit current (Isc) and open-circuit voltage (Voc) for modules, and direct current (DC) listing for fuses and circuit breakers used in DC circuits.  NOTE: Fuses and circuit breakers listed for use in Automobile, Marine, or telecom applications are NOT acceptable.
  • Calculations:  Conductor ampacity = Module nameplate Isc X 156% X the temperature derating factor from National Electrical Code (NEC) table 690.31(C).  NOTE:  Temperature derating shall apply to all conductors installed in areas with high ambient temperatures (such as rooftops or in attics).  For conductors in conduit and cables connecting PV modules assume an ambient temperature of 65°C where there is cooling air available at the back of the modules (minimum of 6” clearance to rooftop) and 75°C where clearance is less than 6”.
  • Fuses and circuit breakers shall be sized @ Isc X 156% and shall be used in 1 amp increments up to 15 amps.  Devices exceeding 15 amps shall use the next standard size.  NOTE: In no case shall the overcurrent protection (OCP) device rating exceed the calculated conductor ampacity.
  • One-line Diagram:  Shall include all of the following:
    • Conductor sizes and types
    • Conduit sizes and types
    • Fuse and circuit breaker ratings
    • Inverter rating
    • Ground fault protection device rating
    • AC and DC disconnect ratings
    • Electrode conductor size
    • Equipment grounding conductor size
  • Weight Roof Framing: Please provide by the Structure Engineer.
    • Dead Load
    • Snow load
    • Wind load  105 mph, 3 second gust, exposure C
    • Type of hardware to attach Modules/Racks

Residential - New Home Construction

Residential - New Home Construction Permit Requirements In order to obtain a building permit for a residential structure, the following must be submitted to the Douglas County Building Division:
  1. Permit Application: Complete all applicable areas of the application, except the lower right corner, including square footages (1st floor, 2nd floor, basement and garage), number of bedrooms, and bathrooms. Since Douglas County Building requires that contractors be licensed, these areas need to be completed at the time of submittal.
  2. Site Plan including elevation: Submit two sets showing the dimensions from the structure to the property lines. Location of any body of water within 100 feet of the structure must be shown. The drawings must be to scale and show the location of the driveway, septic system or sewer lines, utility easements and the USGS elevation at top of foundation.
  3. Complete DESC submittal (DESC Application, Erosion and Sediment Control Drawing, Lot Specific Drainage Plan, and DESC Plan Standard Notes and Details). Any questions related to DESC Plan design requirements, DESC Plan submittal and permitting process, or DESC inspection requirements should be directed to the Douglas County Engineering Services Division 303-660-7490.
  4. Construction Plans: Submit one set of drawings on white or blue paper in blue or black ink, showing labeled floor plans (including basement plans), location of all windows and doors, floor framing plans and roof framing plans. At least one cross section, from the foundation to the roof, has to be included along with all four elevations.
  5. Engineering Structural Framing Plans:  One set of structural framing plans, stamped and signed by a State of Colorado registered engineer.
  6. Engineered Foundation Plans: One set of foundation plans with each page stamped and signed by a State of Colorado registered engineer.
  7. Proof of Sewer and Water: Proof of water and sewer availability must be submitted with the application. If you are within a metro district, you will need a letter of availability or a tap fee receipt. Where septic permits will be required, a copy of the application and septic permit need to be included with your submittal. Septic permits may be obtained from the Tri-County Health Department 303.663.7650. Well permits may be obtained at the Colorado Division of Water Resources 303.866.3581. If you are located within the Front Range, or the Pike/Rampart Range areas, proof of adequate water supply will be required before a building permit can be issued. This can range from demonstrating ownership of the water rights to a 4-hour well test. If the flow is less than one gallon per minute, a cistern shall be required.
  8. Proof of Ownership: A recorded warranty deed under the applicant’s name is required at the time of submittal.
  9. Soil Report: A copy of the soil report, stamped and signed by a Colorado Engineer, for the property has to be included. In areas that may contain a geological hazard, additional engineering by a State Licensed Geological Engineer will be required.
  10. Driveway Permit: A driveway permit, when required, can be applied for at the same time as the building permit and must include a site plan.
  11. Architectural Control Committee: If you are building in a subdivision, there maybe an active Architectural Control Committee for that area. An approval letter should be submitted at this time. As a courtesy, we will contact the Architectural Control Committee if a letter is not included with the application. This building permit will be held for ten working days if there is no approval. Lack of Architectural Control Committee approval will not cause a delay in reviewing your plans or issuing the permit.
Any incomplete information will cause a delay in reviewing the plans or issuing a building permit. If you have any questions about submitting an application, please contact one of the plan examiners in our office. Individual permits for electrical, plumbing and mechanical are not required since the general permit covers them. However, construction meters require a separate permit.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Building Permits for Custom Homes

  • Q. What will happen if I am missing some of the submittal items? Missing items will cause a delay in the review and issuance of your building permit. The importance of the missing item will determine how far we can proceed with the process. Additional items, may be requested at the time of review, that are specific to an area, such as a grading permit or Fire Department approval.
  • Q. How long will it take to process my permit application? We strive to process custom home permits in 2 ½ to 3 weeks. Once again, this is based on a complete submittal. The more items missing the longer it may take before you get your permit. Turn around times are estimates only and may vary depending on work load.
  • Q. How much will my permit cost? Douglas County does not have a set fee for building permits. We take the total square footage of the residence to get a job valuation. With this valuation we go to the permit fee schedule that was adopted by Douglas County. There is also a plan review fee that will be charged for reviewing the plans. This can range from 30% to 65% of the permit fee. Use tax will be figured at half of the valuation times 1%.
    • Driveway permits are $40.00 if applicable and there may be additional fees if you are building in the Cherry Creek basin area or the E470 corridor.
    • Wildfire Mitigation Fee - $120.00 Flat Fee
    • Drainage Erosion Sediment Control Fees [43KB]
  • Q. Can I excavate before my permit is issued? Part of the review process for your permit is approval of your site plan. Setback and building envelope limitations may mean an adjustment in your proposed building site. Therefore no excavation can take place until the final approval of your building permit.
  • Q. Is there any way my permit can be expedited? No. All permits are processed in the order received. The best way to insure that your permit will move through smoothly is to submit a complete package. Every effort is made to get your permit approved as quickly as possible.
  • Q. Why do I have to have a driveway permit if I am on a private road? All driveways must be inspected for minimum access requirements. In addition, NFPA 299 requires that all residences be evaluated for wildfire hazard mitigation.

Residential Additions

The following are required when submitting for residential additions:
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application - If contractors are being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal.  Complete all sections that are applicable.
  2. One full set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction drawings. All plans must be submitted on white paper in blue or black ink. This is to include detailed framing, floor and elevation drawings.
  3. One set of foundation drawings.  Drawings may be stamped by Colorado registered engineer or architect.
  4. One site plan showing dimensions to property lines.
  5. If you are on a septic system we will need an approval letter from Tri-County.  This is required if you are adding any sleeping areas in the addition.
  6. Complete DESC submittal (DESC Application, Erosion and Sediment Control Drawing, Lot Specific Drainage Plan, and DESC Plan Standard Notes and Details). Any questions related to DESC Plan design requirements, DESC Plan submittal and permitting process, or DESC inspection requirements should be directed to the Douglas County Engineering Services Division 303-660-7490.
  7. Letter from Architectural Control Committee.  If you do not have this letter, please be advised that your permit will be placed on "hold" for approximately 10 working days so that we may inform them in writing, unless you obtain the approval letter prior to the release of the permit.
Additional Information The following items are specific to Douglas County Building Division requirements:
  • One set of floor plans is required
  • One set of plot plans is required
  • Foundation plans are required to be designed and stamped by a licensed Colorado Engineer.
  • Insulation must comply with the currently adopted building code by Douglas County.

Additional Resources

Retaining Wall

A building permit for a retaining wall is required when the wall is over 4 feet in height measured from the top of the wall to the bottom of the footing or if supporting a surcharge. The following is required for submitting a retaining wall permit:
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application. If contractors are being used they must be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
  2. One set of Engineered Drawings, stamped and signed by a State of Colorado registered engineer.
  3. One site plan showing dimensions to the property lines.
  4. Letter from Architectural Control Committee.  If you do not have this letter, please be advised that your permit will be placed on "hold" for approximately 10 working days so that we may inform them in writing, unless you obtain the approval letter prior to the release of the permit.
  5. Retaining Wall permit fees are determined by the project valuation.
Final Building Inspection requirement - Once the building permit is issued and the retaining wall construction is complete, you will be required to provide Douglas County with copies of the Engineer's (hired by the permit holder) inspection of the retaining wall to finalize your Building Permit.

Roofing Permits

Ladder Safety Requirements

The permit holder shall provide a ladder, secured for safe access to the roof, on the day the inspection is requested to be performed.

New eSubmittal Permit for Basic Residential Roofing

This online application allows contractors and homeowners to obtain "basic" residential roofing permit(s) in a single transaction using a credit card or e-check. Requirements to use the eSubmittal Permit Application:
  • Residential roofing permit applications only
  • Residential property in unincorporated Douglas County
  • Existing roof type is asphalt composition or masonite product or metal
  • Replacement roof type must be asphalt composition or metal
For other types of roofing permits and roofing material please contact the Building Division at 303-660-7497. **Please note registration with Douglas County is required to use the online application. ** Registered users may login using existing credentials at  https://apps.douglas.co.us/building/eSubmittals/Login.aspx New users may create an account at https://apps.douglas.co.us/apps/building/initCreateContractorAccount.do
All roofing systems will be inspected to the 2012 International Codes and the manufacturers installation specifications. Douglas County does not require roofing materials or the attachment of roofing materials to meet high wind or severe climate conditions. Roof systems shall not exceed 600 lbs per 100 sq ft. without analysis by a Colorado registered Professional Structural Engineer. Roofing inspections requested before 3:30 p.m. will be performed the following business date from the date of the inspection request, understanding that workload and or severe climate conditions could possibly delay the inspection process. Mid-roof inspections will be performed within 24 hours of the requested inspection. A Mid-roof inspection is required on tile, slate or any roofing material that requires the use of battens. Wood shakes and wood shingles are not permitted in red zones identified on the Wildfire Hazard District Overlay Map. Where permitted, all wood shakes or wood shingles shall be minimum Class “C” fire resistance rated. Proof of the Class “C” fire resistance rating must be provided for the inspector at the time of inspections (tags on shingles or shakes, purchase order, etc.)
  • Please see the General Requirements section on the Roofing Permit application for additional installation requirements.
Applications may be submitted in person, mailed with check or faxed with credit card information.

Frequently Asked Questions about Roofing Permits

**The permit holder shall provide a ladder, secured for safe access to the roof, on the day the inspection is requested to be performed. **

  • Q.  Do I need a permit for roof repairs? For minor repairs or replacing less than one (1) roofing square (100 square feet) of the roof, a permit is not required.
  • Q. What Code edition is Douglas County using? 2012 IBC, IRC
  • Q.  What inspection(s) need to be scheduled for my roofing permit? Roofing –  Final Inspection, required for all roofing permits. Drip Edge – A Drip Edge inspection is required for asphalt/composition roofing materials. MidRoof  -  A Mid-roof inspection is ONLY required for tile, slate, stone coated, steel or any roofing system that requires the use of battens.  This inspection is to be performed when the roof is 25 to 50 percent complete.  DO NOT proceed beyond 50 percent complete until the inspection is performed.
  • Q. Do your roofing inspectors carry ladders? No, the permit holder shall provide a ladder, secured for safe access to the roof, on the day the inspection is requested to be performed.
  • Q. What is the maximum number of layers of asphalt shingles permitted? One layer is permitted.  Asphalt shingled roofs shall not be overlaid with an additional layer of asphalt shingles.
  • Q. What is the minimum wind speed rating for asphalt shingles in Douglas County? Asphalt singles shall be listed in accordance with ASTM D 7158: The minimum speed wind rating for asphalt shingles for elevations 7000 feet or less shall be 90 mph Class D. The minimum wind speed rating for elevations above 7,000 feet shall be 120 mph Class G
  • Q.  Are cedar shake re-roofs permitted Yes, but only in designated areas and shall be minimum Class “C” fire resistive .  Wood shakes and wood shingles are prohibited within the boundaries of the Wildfire Hazard Overlay District.
  • Q.  Is an ice barrier required at the eaves? Ice barrier underlayment is required for elevations above 7,000 feet. Ice barrier shall extend from the lowest edge of all roof surfaces to point at least 24 inches inside the exterior wall line of the building.
  • Q.  Is drip edge flashing required on the eaves and rakes? Yes, minimum size 4 inch by 2 inch on eaves and 2 inch by 1 inch or D style edge metal on rakes.
  • Q.  Does Douglas County require high wind nailing? Yes, but only in areas above elevations of 7,000 feet.

Tenant Finish Plan Review (Non Over-the-Counter Permits)

Tenant Finish Plan Review (Non Over-the-Counter Permits)
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application - The general contractor, electrical, plumbing and mechanical must be listed on the application.  The contractors must be registered with Douglas County and listed prior to issuance of the building permit. Valuation of the project must be listed on the application.
  2. Construction Plans - submit one (1) complete sets of plans on white paper in blue or black ink that are stamped by a Registered Colorado Engineer or Architect.The Engineer must stamp:
    • Electrical plans
    • Plumbing plans
    • Mechanical plans
    • Structural plans
  3. Construction plans must include building use, construction type, type of occupancy and if fire sprinklers are installed.
  4. Fire Department - Approval has to be received before the permit can be issued.  The submittal of the plans to the governing fire department is the responsibility of the General Contractor or Owner.
  5. Tri-County Health Department approval is required, if a food service, prior to the permit being issued.
  6. The Disclosure - Notice of Zoning Review form must be completed, signed and dated.

Tenant Finish Plan Review Over-the-Counter (OTC)

Simple tenant finishes, on a case by case basis, under 1,000 sq ft. that are within office, retail and storage uses and require an appointment, to schedule your appointment please complete and submit the Online Apointment Request Form. Some applications due to the nature of the construction may require additional review by the Planning Division and may prevent an OTC issuance as additional examination time may be required. Other types of OTC permits include basement finishes, fire repairs, fireplaces, hot tubs, simple Interior remodels, structural repairs and Simple tenant finishes, on a case by case basis, under 1,000 sq ft. that are within office, retail and storage uses.
  • The Over-the-Counter service is available weekday mornings between 9:00 a.m. and Noon, on a first come first served basis.
  • Incomplete submittals or submittals arriving after 12:00 Noon must follow the regular permitting process.
  • One project per day per applicant will be accepted.
  • Additional information may be required upon review.

Over-The-Counter plan review applications must include (if applicable):

  • Completed permit application to include all subcontractors with current Douglas County registration
  • Fire department approval
  • Tri-County approval
  • Two sets of architectural plans drawn to ¼” = 1ft scale or other identified standard scale
  • Engineer stamped structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing plans
  1. Douglas County Building Permit Application - The general contractor, electrical, plumbing and mechanical must be listed on the application.  The contractors must be registered with Douglas County and listed prior to issuance of the building permit. Valuation of the project must be listed on the application.
  2. Construction Plans - submittal of two (2) complete sets of plans on white pager in blue or black ink. The plans must be stamped by a Registered Colorado Engineer or Architect.The Engineer must stamp:
    • Electrical plans
    • Plumbing plans
    • Mechanical plans
    • Structural plans
  3. Construction plans must include building use, construction type, type of occupancy and if fire sprinklers are installed.
  4. Fire Department - Approval has to be received before the permit can be issued.  The submittal of the plans to the governing fire department is the responsibility of the General Contractor or Owner.
  5. Tri-County Health Department approval is required, if a food service, prior to the permit being issued.
  6. The Disclosure - Notice of Zoning Review form must be completed, signed and dated.

Additional Resources

Window / Door Replacement

New eSubmittal Permit for Window & Door Replacement Permit This online application allows contractors and homeowners to obtain Window & Door replacement permit(s) in a single transaction using a credit card or e-check. Requirements to use the eSubmittal Permit Application:
  • Residential Window & Door replacement applications only
  • Residential property in unincorporated Douglas County
  • Replacement work of windows and doors that does not involve the alteration of framing
  • For other types of Window & Door replacement permits please contact the Building Division at 303-660-7497.
Please note registration with Douglas County is required to use the online application. Registered users may login using existing credentials at https://apps.douglas.co.us/building/eSubmittals/Login.aspx New users may create an account at https://apps.douglas.co.us/apps/building/initCreateContractorAccount.do
    Permit Supplement Complete questions 1-5 of the Permit Application Supplement and submit with your Building Permit Application. Permitting Requirements
  1. Egress At least one window in each bedroom is required to meet egress requirements of 5.7 sq. ft. of operable area.  The window must meet a minimum net clear opening width of 20 inches, a minimum net clear opening height of 24 inches and shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches measured from the finished floor to the bottom of the clear opening (Section R310, 2012IRC).
    Exception:  Windows located such that the sill height of the opening is not more than 44 inches above or below the finished ground level adjacent to the opening, shall be permitted to have a net clear opening of 5 square feet.
  2. Safety Glazing is required if replacing in hazardous locations as defined in section 308.4of the 2012 IRC.  Call the Building Division if uncertain at 303.660.7497. 
  3. Fall protection, where the opening of an operable window is located more than 72 inches above the finished grade or surface below, the lowest part of the clear opening of the window shall be a minimum of 24 inches above the finished floor of the room in which the window is located.  Glazing between the floor and 24 inches shall be fixed or have openings through which a 4-inch-diameter sphere cannot pass.
    Exceptions:
    • Windows whose openings will not allow a 4-inch-diameter sphere to pass through the opening when the opening is in its largest opened position.
    • Openings that are provided with window guards or a control device that complies with ASTM F 2090.
  4. U-factor is a measure of the energy performance of windows, doors and skylights.  A smaller U-factor number is better - a window rated at .34 has better energy performance than a window rated at .35 (the minimum allowed by code).
  5. Carbon Monoxide detectors are required to be located within 15 ft. of all bedroom entrances and will be verified at final building inspection.
Inspections
  • Rough Frame (Insp. #29) This inspection is required if the wall framing is altered during installation and must be performed before this alteration work is concealed.
  • Fenestration (Insp. #106) This inspection is for replacement glazing including windows, skylights, sliding doors etc. Factory labels must remain on the glazing that show fenestration, solar heat gain and air leakage as required in Section 402.3 and Section 402.4.2, 2009 IECC.  The Fenestration inspection may be performed prior to, or at the same time as the Final Building inspection.
  • Final Building (Insp. #108) Installers should complete all exterior work including siding, flashing and caulking prior to requesting this inspection.  Installation of carbon monoxide detectors will be verified.  The Fenestration inspection may be performed prior to, or at the same time as the Final Building inspection.
Inspections may be scheduled electronically or by calling 303 660-7497.  Have your permit number available.  Requests made before 3:30 p.m. will be scheduled the following business day.  A two hour estimated time window for the Building Inspector to arrive can be provided to you by calling our office the morning of the inspection after 8:30am.  The inspector will make every effort to arrive within the estimated time window provided.