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.