Building Permit Questions and Concerns

What is a building permit application?

It is the gathering of building project information needed in applying for a building permit. It consists of completed Building Permit Application forms, a site plan and may require other construction documents such as construction drawings, specifications and calculations. Reference Plan Review Guidelines for more information regarding minimum submittal requirements.

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I know what a building permit application is, I just need a copy of the City forms that need to be filled out.

Access the City Forms page to determine what forms need to be completed.

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What type of work requires a building permit?

Whenever you construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or if you erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, mechanical or plumbing system (the installation of which is regulated by the code), a building permit is required.

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So what type of building project can I do that doesn't require a building permit?

You can do the following without a building permit:
  • Build a one-story detached storage/tool accessory structure not over 200 square feet of floor area. ***Please Note: The structure must be screened from the street and must have a minimum building setback from any adjacent property line in compliance with the City Code and the Zoning Code. In addition, the structure may not obstruct access to or egress from any required emergency escape and rescue opening.
  • Build a retaining wall not over four (4) feet high. The height is measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall.
  • Install playground equipment.
  • Install driveways and sidewalks. Reference the City's Zoning Code for possible restrictions.
  • Install window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall.
  • Re-roof, provided the same roofing materials are used and the roof is not required to be fire-resistive.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, flooring, cabinets counter tops and similar finish work.

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Will the City allow me to change out windows and doors to improve the overall energy efficiency of my residence without obtaining a building permit?

Yes, if the existing window and door opening width and corresponding window/door header does not change. If the window and/or door width opening needs to be increased in width to accommodate the new replacement window/door, a building permit is required. Note also that the fenestration U-factor for any replacement window must be 0.40 or better. Solid exterior wood doors must carry a U-factor of 0.5 or better and insulated exterior metal doors, a U-factor of 0.6 or better. Check with the Building Official to determine if the replacement windows need to meet safety (tempered) glazing requirements.

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What electrical work can I do that doesn't require a building permit?

You can do minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.

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What plumbing work can I do that doesn't require a building permit?

Clearing of stoppages and/or repair of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement and/or the rearrangement of the valves, pipes or fixtures.

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In addition to the building code regulations (currently the "International Building Codes"), are there other regulations that may affect my building project?

The following regulations and reviews may also affect the design and construction of your building project:
  • Zoning Code regulations that include building setbacks, building lot coverage, building height, and number of stories and floor area of the second story.
  • The City's Design Review Board regulates alterations to the building's exterior. If you live within an established homeowner's association (HOA) community, you will also need written approval from your community's HOA board prior to building permit issuance.
  • Local CC&R's also govern building design. CC&Rs are enforce through you local established homeowner's association (HOA) and not by the City.

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Okay, I now know I need a building permit, so how do I apply for it?

You start by filling out a building permit application that can be obtained at the Building Safety Department, 214 West Wigwam Boulevard (between 7 a.m and 2 p.m., M-F) or the Building Permit Application can be downloaded and printed online. ***Please Note: If the project's construction causes alterations to the exterior of the building, the City's Design Review Board (DRB) must review and approve the project before a building permit application can be made. Access the Design Review Board Application form.

If you request a zoning variance on current City zoning regulations, such as building setbacks or lot coverage requirements (as specified in the City's Zoning Code), the City's Board of Adjustment must review and approve the request before a building permit application can be made. See the Variance Application (Board of Adjustment) form.

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If my building project involves different kinds of construction work (such as electrical, plumbing, mechanical, structural, etc.), can I combine everything under one single permit?

Yes. We encourage you to apply for all needed permits under a single combined buidlng permit application.

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How long will it take to get a building permit?

From time of receiving the building permit application (after the Design Review
and/or the Board of Adjustment have concluded their review and approval), the following permit processing timelines can be expected:

Express permits:                                                                       1 business day (issued over counter)
Drop off permits:

Commercial tenant improvement:                                              5 – 10 business days
New commercial building shells:                                                20 – 30 business days
New commercial non-building structures:                                  5 – 10 business days
Commercial remodels and additions:                                         0 – 20 business days
Commercial electrical / mechanical /plumbing improvement:    5 – 10 business days
New Residential buildings:                                                         5 – 15 business days
Residential remodels and additions:                                          5 – 10 business days
Residential electrical / mechanical /plumbing improvement:     2 – 10 business days
New residential accessory buildings/structures:                        2 – 10 business days

***Please Note: Substantive reviews such as required second and third reviews for both commercial and residential projects may require additional processing time. On average, two (2) to three (3) added business days are normally required for each substantive review.

***Please Note: The above timelines may vary due to volume and suspensions for delays caused by the need for public hearings, state or federal licenses or approvals from public utilities. Also note that this timeline processing is within the department only (does not include time waiting for client response).

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How much is this building permit going to cost me?

All building permits have a fee cost associated with them, which is determined at the time of the building permit application. For an estimate of the fee costs associated with your construction project, please contact the Building Safety Department at (623) 935-1066. When calling for an estimate, please provide a detailed description of all work involved in the building project and the total valuation of the project upon completion.

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Which building permits require building plan review?

  • Commercial tenant improvements
  • New commercial building shells
  • New commercial non-building structures
  • Commercial remodels and additions
  • Commercial electrical/mechanical/plumbing improvements
  • New residential buildings
  • Residential remodels and additions
  • Residential electrical/mechanical/plumbing improvements
  • New residential accessory buildings/structures
  • Residential pool/spa installations
  • Residential gas piping (interior and exterior)
***Please Note: The above list is only a sample of project types which require building plan review. Please contact the Building Safety Department (623) 935-1066, regarding whether construction drawings and building plan review will be required for your specific project.

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What building codes are presently being enforced in the City?

International Residential Code (IRC), 2012 edition
International Building Cod (IBC), 2012 edition
International Mechanical Code (IMC), 2012 edition
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code, 2005 edition
International Plumbing Code (IPC), 2012 edition
International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC), 2012 edition
International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2012 edition

***Please Note: The International Fire Code (IFC), 2012 edition, is enforced by the City of Goodyear's fire service.

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Where can I reference and/or purchase these building code publications?

The Florence Brinton Litchfield Memorial Library has most of these publications on file for reference purposes. In addition, many local book stores have in stock or can order these technical publications. You may also purchase these publications online.

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Do I need an Arizona State licensed architect and/or Arizona State licensed engineer to prepare my construction drawings in the City?

All commercial work in the City requires a current Arizona State licensed architect and/or Arizona State licensed engineer for all portions of the construction design, depending on the project's scope of work. For residential work, a currently licensed architect and/or engineer may be required by the Building Official to prepare a structural analysis of the building in addressing structural resistance to vertical (gravity) loads and horizontal (wind/seismic) loads. In addition, an engineered soils report may be required by the Building Official for certain building sites.

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What is the structural analysis "design criteria" for a building and/or a structure in the City?

  • Wind Speed: minimum 90 mph (3-second gust wind speed)
  • Wind Exposure Category: Exposure C (Commercial sites must be field verified by the structural engineer of record in determining the proper wind exposure category)
  • Seismic Design Category: B
  • Frost line Depth: minimum 12 inches (unless specified otherwise by an engineered soils report)
  • Ground Snow Load: N/A
  • Flood Hazards: (a) July 9, 1984
(b) July 19, 2001

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Does the City have amendments (changes) to the current building codes that may affect my construction project?

Yes. Prior to preparing any construction drawings and/or construction documents (as well as any construction work), a review of the City's building code amendments (changes) is highly recommended.

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Okay, I have my building permit in hand, how do I arrange a building inspection and when are inspections conducted?

Upon completion of each phase of the project's construction, the contractor simply calls (623) 935-1066 to schedule a building inspection. Refer to the Residential Inspection Checklist for a sequence of the different construction phases and breakdown of the City's building inspection list at each phase. When calling to schedule a building inspection, always give the type of inspection you're requesting, the project's site address and/or lot number, the permit number and the date/time of day you're requesting the inspection. Effective Monday, March 3, 2014, same day inspections will no longer be done. Inspections must be called in the day prior. Inspections are generally conducted between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.

When a scheduled inspection is completed by the City and building corrections are required, the inspected work under the scheduled inspection is "rejected." After the corrections have been made by the building contractor, a re-inspection must be scheduled. All building re-inspections are scheduled the same way as the initial inspection. ***Please Note: After the second re-inspection, and building corrections are still not properly addressed, a "re-inspection fee" will be accessed and paid by the contractor before any further inspections are made.

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