Building Division

Purpose

The Building Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of adopted California Code of Regulations Title 24 to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare.

The Building Division:

  • Seeks correction of building code violations through an active code enforcement program
  • Maintains related records
  • Reviews plans for and inspects construction of new buildings and building renovations.  

Location

The Building Division is located on the second (main) floor of City Hall at 333 90th Street.

Hours and Telephone Numbers

The counter is open to the public to obtain permits and information from 8 AM to 5 PM with the exception of Wednesdays, when the counter opens at 9 AM. The counter is open during the lunch hour.

We can be reached by telephone at (650) 991-8061 or by facsimile (fax) at (650) 991-8070.

Adopted Codes

Effective January 2011, Daly City adopted and enforces the 2010 editions of the California Building, Residential, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, and Energy Codes, and the 2009 edition of the International Property Maintenance Code with references to the California Health and Safety Code, with Daly City amendments. A Green Building Program for New Residential Building was adopted and has been recently approved by the California Energy Commission. Specific Daly City amendments can be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office located in City Hall or may also be viewed on-line under our Municipal Code Title 15 Building and Construction by clicking here.

Permits Required

Permits are required to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish any building or structure in Daly City.

This includes:

  • Garages, or construction of rooms therein (including secondary units)
  • Kitchen or bathroom remodel
  • Accessory buildings over 120 square feet
  • Patio enclosures
  • Decks
  • All types of plumbing, mechanical and electrical installations, including fixture replacement and installation
  • Lawn sprinkler installations
  • Gas piping and gas appliance installation (including water heater and furnace replacement)
  • Roof, siding and/or window replacement, garage door, furnace, and water heater
    • Tankless water heater installation requires a schematic diagram of the natural gas pipe layout to assure adequate fuel supply for the unit
  • Retaining wall
  • Porch enclosure
  • Additions

If your have a question as to whether your project requires a permit, call the Building Division during normal business hours at (650) 991-8061.

Obtaining a Permit

Permits may be obtained in person or by mail or fax. Daly City requires that the permit be issued t a licensed contractor or bona fide owner of the building who will be doing the work.

California law requires that all home improvement projects valuated at more than $500 for labor and materials be performed by a licensed contractor.

Simple building maintenance permits are issued over the counter, or by mail or fax, the same day. Daly City issues approximately 5,000 such permits annually. This accounts for 90% of the permits issued. The other 10% of permits require that plans be prepared and submitted for review. Plans need to be submitted on projects for new buildings, additions, remodeling involving moving walls, adding habitable space in garages, patio covers and decks, and retaining walls.

To obtain a permit, a building permit application must be completed and check in the amount of the permit fees must be provided. Licensed contractors are required to present a copy of a valid worker’s compensation insurance policy.

Construction & Demolition (C&D) Debris Recycling Program

Daly City implemented their C&D program effective April 16, 2007. Projects covered under Daly City's Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Ordinance (DCMC  15.64) require a payment of a refundable deposit at time of permit issuance.  Click here to review Daly City's program and its requirements (click here for refund request form).

A bona fide owner of the building who intends to apply for an Owner-Builder Permit is required to fill out a "Disclosure and Forms for Owner-Builder Applying for Construction Permits" form.  It is highly recommended you check the risks of being an owner-builder by clicking here.

Fees

Division fees are assessed and collected in an amount to cover the cost of the service provided. The fee schedule is available on-line or by calling our office at (650) 991-8061

The on-line fee schedule effective date is October 28, 2013.

Building Maintenance Permits

Building maintenance permits include replacement of roofs, furnaces, water heaters, garage doors, windows, siding, termite work, electrical service upgrade, and other similar replacement work.

To obtain a permit in person, visit the Building Division on a normal business day by 4:30 PM. Customers are served on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits applied for in person are normally issued within a few minutes.

To obtain a permit by mail, include a completed application, check and copy of the valid worker’s compensation insurance. To determine the permit fee, either telephone the Building Division during normal business hours or request a fee schedule.

To obtain a permit by fax, payment must be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). A credit card application must be completed and on file prior to obtaining a permit. Thereafter, a permit may be readily obtained by faxing a completed application and copy of the valid worker’s compensation insurance policy.

Permits Involving Plans

A project requires plans when it is necessary to provide a greater level of detail to demonstrate compliance with adopted codes and ordinances.  (Click here for a checklist of Daly City's plan notes.) Building additions, remodeling involving moving walls, adding habitable space in garages, patio covers and decks, and retaining walls require plans.

In general, plans do not need to be prepared by and architect or engineer, but they must be of sufficient quality to show the scope and nature of the work. Handouts regarding specific information to include on residential and commercial projects are available at the Building Division.

Residential Plan Submittal Requirements Effective June 1, 2012

 

Daly City has a new policy regarding information that is required to be accurately shown on all plans submitted for review.  Designers shall be required to insert the attached notes and dimensions (click here) on the plans whenever the component is altered or added as part of the permit.
 

Initially submitted plans are generally reviewed within ten working days. The plan reviewer will either approve the plans or provide plan check comments. If plans are approved, fees will be calculated and permits will be ready to issue. If plans are not approved, they will need to be revised to address specific plan check comments, and must be resubmitted. In either case, written notification will be provided. Resubmitted plans are generally reviewed within five working days.
 

Express Plan Review for certain relatively simple projects, same day, is temporarily unavailable until further notice.

Express Plan Review (temporarily unavailable until further notice)

Express plan review is available for residential remodeling projects, most commercial tenant improvement work, decks, retaining walls, and single-story residential additions less than 50% of the original gross floor space without substantial structural alteration. Commercial tenant improvement work that is sufficiently complicated, so as to require more time, will not qualify. Examples include projects in excess of 7,500 square feet and projects involving structural calculations.

Express Plan Review requires that plans be submitted between 8 and 10 AM on Tuesdays. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Plans will be reviewed the same day by all affected City divisions and departments. A letter will be mailed that either approves or denies the application. If approved, permit fees will be calculated and included. If denied, specific plan check comments will be provided. Processing of plan review comments or approval of plans

Inspections Required

In general, all work must be inspected before it is covered. Specifically, inspections are to be obtained as required by the California Codes.

It is the responsibility of the individual who obtained the permit to call for, arrange access and obtain all required inspections.

On a typical construction project, normally foundation, framing, blind wall, insulation, dry wall, and final inspections are obtained. At the framing inspection, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical rough-in inspections are also done.

Roofing Inspection

On a permit to install a new roof, generally only one inspection is required—an in-progress inspection. The inspector needs to see the materials being installed. When new wood decking is being installed in conjunction with the roof, an inspection will need to be obtained prior to covering the decking to verify correct nailing.

Final Inspection

For all but roofing projects, a final inspection is required upon completion of the work before use or occupancy of the improvements may occur.

Inspection Scheduling

To schedule an inspection, call (650) 991-8061 at least two days before you need the inspection. Please have your permit number ready when calling. Either a morning or afternoon inspection may be requested. You may call between 8:00 and 8:30 AM the morning of the inspection to ask the inspector for an approximate inspection time or to cancel the inspection. Normal inspection hours are between 8:30 AM and 12 noon and 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM.

For roofing inspections only
, in special circumstances due to weather conditions, inspections arranged by 10AM may be done the same day.

Enforcement

Enforcement action begins when a complaint is received. Complaints are normally received from concerned citizens or City staff.

Cases usually involve illegal secondary units, construction without permits or building maintenance problems.

Enforcement is addressed on a case-by-case basis. Generally, an inspection of the property is conducted with the owner by the Code Enforcement Building Inspector. A letter is then mailed to the owner enumerating the violations, requested action and time periods for compliance. The base enforcement fee for construction without permit is $1,180. The fee will be re-assessed and will increase per the Code Enforcement Fee Schedule if the violation is not abated within 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days.

Should the owner default or otherwise not respond to the action set forth, the case will be forwarded to an Administrative Hearing Board. The Board hearing is an opportunity for a property owner to appeal. The Board may levy penalty fees of up to $10,000.

If resolution is still not obtained, the case may be forwarded to the City Council for a lien and authorization to abate the violations. Criminal charges may also be filed.

For additional Code Enforcement information, contact Code Enforcement at (650) 991-8260.

Seismic Retrofit

The San Andreas Fault extends through Daly City.  It is one of the most active earthquake faults in the world.  For this reason, current building code requirements for lateral design of buildings are stringent in Daly City.

Daly City encourages building owners and homeowners to seismic retrofit their buildings.  Building codes change progressively every three years.  New codes reflect changes in technology and lessons learned.  Today's building codes are considerably more stringent with regard to earthquake design than those in effect when most of our buildings were constructed.  For this reason, older buildings are not as strong.  They present more of a potential hazard and seismic retrofit is encourage. Please note that plans must be submitted to the Building Division and a permit issued before construction or retrofit work is begun.  

Residential Requirements Report (3R)

Daly City Ordinance Number 992 requires an owner of residential property of two units or less to obtain a 3R report prior to entering into an agreement of sale.

The report includes a permit*, enforcement and zoning history of the property. It is a record of what the City has determined to be the legal use of the property. If there are rooms or other improvements which are not shown in the 3R report, it is likely they were constructed without permits. If construction work was not done with permits, it may pose a danger to those who inhabit the areas; and, if a complaint is received, enforcement action will begin.

*Only permits issued after January 1989 will be listed on the 3R. Permits history prior to 1989 may be viewed in the Building Division offices in City Hall.

A 3R request form may be downloaded here, obtained in person at the Building Division counter or by telephone at (650) 991-8061. Once the completed request form with payment is received, a search of City records will be conducted and pertinent information entered onto a 3R. A validated copy of the report will be returned by fax or mail within five working days of receipt. The report is valid for six months from issuance date.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I put a secondary unit (in-law apartment) in the lower level of my house?

To have a secondary unit in a single family dwelling, first, the owner of record must live on site. Second, there must be no less than four (4) off-street parking spaces. A parking place must be at least 19 feet in length. The normal configuration is two, side by side, in the garage and two, side by side in the driveway. Under the current ordinance, houses with tandem, end to end, parking are not able to furnish the required parking; therefore, they are not permitted to have a second unit. If the residence meets the parking requirement, the owner may submit plans and complete the necessary forms to apply for a secondary unit.  For secondary unit information, contact the Planning and Zoning Division at (650) 991-8033 to speak with a Planner.

Who is responsible for the fence between properties?

Fences come under a “good neighbor” policy. The City does not require fences, nor are permits required to build fences as long as they do not exceed the six foot height limit. Ownership, building, or rebuilding is a matter of agreement between property owners. Should a neighbor not desire to help defray the cost or labor, the other owner can do the work on their own.

What needs to be done when I sell my house?

Prior to sale of a house, a3R report must be obtained from the City.

Upon the sale of a house, City ordinance requires the water heater, if located in the garage, to be raised 18 inches from the garage floor to the flame or from the element capable of generating a glow or spark. This work requires a permit.

Battery powered smoke detectors are required to be installed in each bedroom or sleeping area and in the hall leading to the bedrooms. This does not require a permit.

Homeowners, please make sure that your contractor has a permit and obtains the final inspection. Request to see the job card before they start work. The inspector will sign off on the final inspection upon successful completion of the project.  All Daly City inspectors are Combination Inspectors. To serve the our residents better, all trades can be inspected and signed off by the same inspector during one visit to the site.

Building Division Staff
Chief Building Supervisor: Val Mandapat
Building Plans Engineer:    Earl Wong
Inspectors: Steve Carr, Joe Travers, Chris Wilson
Permit Technician:  Omar Guzman
Community Development Assistant: Heather Spooner

Forms

Brochures/Info by Title

Links of Interest to Designers, Contractors and Home Owners

American Concrete Institute
American Institute of Steel Construction
American Wood Council
APA – The Engineered Wood Association
BASMAA - Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association
CASQA - California Stormwater Quality Association
California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
California Building Officials
California Building Standards Commission
California Contractors State License Board
California Department of Consumer Affairs, Consumer Publications, Landlord/TenantCalifornia Department of Housing and Community Development
California Division of State Architect

California Energy Commission

Federal Emergency Management Association
International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
International Code Council

International Code Council - Peninsula Chapter

Mold and Moisture Information from County Environmental Health and EPA
National Fire Protection Association

National Roofing Contractors Association

Peninsula Builders Exchange

Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center
RecycleWorks (a program of San Mateo County) 
San Mateo County Health Department
STOPPP - Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program
Structural Engineers Association of Northern California
State Compensation Insurance Fund
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Western Wood Products Association