Obtaining Permits for a Dwelling Addition

General Requirements
Prepare a complete set of plans (PDF format) stamped / signed by the architect or engineer (if applicable)
Drawn scale is 1/4 " = 1 '
Paper size must be minimum 24" x 30"
Clarity must indicate the nature and the extent of the work
Basis of design must meet the current California Building Codes

Minimum Contents Within Plans
A complete plot plan showing:
  • Distances between all building(s) and property lines
  • Entire lot
  • Location and footprint of proposed building(s)
  • Location of existing building(s)

A foundation plan and details showing:
  • Anchor bolts
  • A soils report 
  • Reinforcing steel 
  • Sizes

A floor plan showing:
  • Location and sizes of all windows and doors
  • Room dimensions 

A plan showing:
  • Locations and sizes of main electrical service panel
  • Locations of electrical receptacles
  • Locations of electrical switches
  • Locations of electrical sub-panel(s)
  • Locations of furnace or heating appliances
  • Locations of light fixtures
  • Locations of plumbing fixtures 

A roof plan showing:
  • Sizes of all roof components
  • Spacing between all roof components

A framing plan showing:
  • Ceiling framing
  • Floor framing
  • Floor sheathing
  • Insulation
  • Interior finish
  • Location of shear walls
  • Related hardware (such as hold downs, straps, etc.)
  • Roof covering
  • Roof framing
  • Roof sheathing 
  • Sizing and spacing of all beams, joists, studs, headers, and rafters
  • Wall framing 
  • Wall sheathing 

All elevations (views) showing:
  • All construction details (structural and architectural) of the building
  • All cross sections 

Attachment Copies Required with Plans
Provide 2 copies of Energy Compliance forms and calculations (Title 24 Report)

Provide 2 copies of engineering calculations (if applicable)

Provide 2 copies of soils reports
The code requires a soils report for all work that requires a foundation, with some exceptions. This requirement has significant financial implications as related to small residential additions. In researching this, I found neighboring jurisdictions that have policies that address this that make sense for us to consider. As a result, we will be using the following for our policy:
  • Any residential addition not exceeding 500 sq ft with an existing foundation that is serviceable will not need a soils report provided the same style foundation is used for the addition.
  • Any residential addition over 500 sq ft will need a written statement from the designer or owner that the existing foundation is not damaged or failing in any area. If the foundation statement is provided and the foundation is accepted then the same style foundation may be used without the need for a soils report.
  • All new residential foundations (new homes) will require a soils report for plan check.

Please note this policy only applies to residential construction.

Prior Steps Before Submission of Plans
  • Approval and wet stamp of plans by the City of Richmond Planning Dept: 510-620-6705
  • Approval and wet stamp of plans by the Sanitary District serving the property:
    • West County Waste Water District: 510-222-6700, or
    • Stege Sanitary: 510-524-4668, or
    • City of Richmond Waste Water District: 510-307-8091. (Projects within this district may be submitted prior to obtaining approval. Permit will not be issued until sewer district has stamped and approved.)

Step to Do During Plan Check / Approval Review Process
Payment of a School District Fee and Obtaining of a Receipt for Submission
The fee is based on square footage and is levied on all dwelling additions. The school district collects the fee and issues a receipt that must be submitted to the Building Department before permit issuance. Note: This fee shall not be paid until you have been contacted by a City of Richmond Permit Technician and have been informed to do so.