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Guide to Commercial Tenant Improvement

A commercial tenant improvement project involves the interior remodeling of an existing office or retail space to upgrade for the present tenant or change to accommodate a new tenant. This handout is to aid owners, designers and architects in the preparation of the plans needed to make application for the necessary permits.


  • The City of Daly City requires three sets of plans for tenant improvement projects.
  • Five sets are required for large projects when review by several departments and divisions is required.
  • A set of plans consists of a plot plan, drawn on a 1/8" to 1' scale, and floor plans, drawn on a 1/4" to 1' scale.
  • The plans are to be accompanied with two copies of Title 24 Nonresidential Energy Calculations.


Plans must be submitted on 11" X 17" or larger paper.

When preparing the plans, be certain you include the following items:

  • Complete floor plans of all levels involved
  • Occupant load
  • Structural framing details
  • Structural calculations
  • Anchorage and bracing of walls and equipment
  • Location and size of all permanent counters, tables and displays
  • Reflected ceiling plans
  • Seismic bracing detail of suspended ceiling system
  • Plumbing, electrical and mechanical plans
  • Provide an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (LTG-1) form and a Mechanical Certificate of Compliance (MECH-1) form on the plans

Details and notes on the plans should address such items as:

  • Disabled access requirements
  • Emergency and exit lighting
  • Seismic code requirements
  • Exiting
  • Occupancy separations and fire walls
  • Light and ventilation
  • Restroom details
  • Any other information necessary to demonstrate compliance with current codes, local ordinances and State regulations

Medical and dental offices and restaurants require additional information.

  • When nonflammable gas cylinders are stored in medical and dental offices, the plans must include details of the storage room with one-hour fire rated walls and proper venting.
  • Medical and dental gas systems require special inspections. Obtain an informational handout at the Building Division counter.
  • Restaurant plans must show details of the cooking hood, grease ducting and roof outlet. Calculations to justify the sizing of the cooking exhaust system will need to be provided. Restaurant applications require a set of plans reviewed and approved by the San Mateo County Health Department.


  • A letter stating the greatest number of employees, which will be present in the establishment at any one time, is also required.
  • The Daly City Fire Department will require a set of fire sprinkler plans. They are normally submitted to the Fire Department after Building permits are issued.


The City maintains a goal of ten (10) working days turn around time on review of plans.

Most Tenant Improvement projects can be processed using Express Plan Check. Express Plan Check is available on Tuesday mornings. Plans submitted between 8:00 and 10:00 A.M. will be reviewed the same day.

  • Following the review of plans, you will receive either a list of plan check comments, which requires revision and resubmittal of the plans, or approval of your project.
  • If approved, permits may be obtained.
  • Permit fees will be provided.
  • An application expires if permits are not obtained within 180 days of initial application.


For additional building plan review or permit information call the Daly City Building Division at (650) 991-8061.

For information regarding fire sprinkler information call the Daly City Fire Department at (650) 991-8138.