Apply For A Georgia Building Permit

How do I know if I need a building permit in Georgia?

Building permits are how local governments in Georgia regulate construction activity for the safety of the community. While city regulations may vary, generally you will need to obtain a building permit for most construction work such as building a new structure or expanding or significantly modifying an existing structure. Substantial electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work also will normally require a permit. Cosmetic finishing work such as painting, tiling, carpeting, and cabinet installation usually does not require a permit. General repair work can need a permit depending on the scope of the intending work and the overall estimated cost. Permit requirements are established by your local government so it is best to check with them on whether a permit is required prior to starting any significant project.

Who is responsible for issuing building permits in Georgia?

Generally building permits in Georgia are issued by the city where the property is located. The name of the office in charge of permitting can vary, but it is usually the Building Department or the Planning Department within your local city government. In some cities like Atlanta, there are different offices that issue permits depending on whether your project concerns a residential or commercial building. Most of the information on where you should apply can be found on your city’s official website.

What if I don’t live in a town or a city? My property is in an unincorporated area, so where should I go?

In the case of unincorporated areas, it is the Georgia county where the property is located that normally takes on the responsibility of issuing building permits. While it usually involves the same process as applying for a building permit with a municipal government, the specific regulations can be different since they are now set by the county. As with cities, your local county website should have additional information on how and where to apply for your building permits.

Who can apply for the required building permits?

Again, your local government may have different regulations but generally in Georgia it is only the owner and contractor or subcontractors attached to the project that can file the application for a building permit. How long does the permitting process take in the State of Georgia? The amount of time it takes to get your permit depends on the type of project you are undertaking. Building permits for some projects such as re-roofing, window replacement, heating and air conditioning unit installment, and deck construction can be issued over the counter on the same day you file your application. Permits for larger projects, especially commercial projects, will take longer but the exact time frame of review depends on the city where you apply.  


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