Commercial Plan Review

Al Raymond, AIA, CBO, Deputy Assistant Director

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  • The Commercial Plan Review Section is responsible for reviewing building and improvement plans for Houston Construction Code compliance prior to issuance of a building permit.

General Information

Helpful Links


Who needs a permit?


You do if you are in the corporate city limits of Houston and are planning to erect a building or structure and /or adding to existing building or structures. If you have any question concerning exemptions, call 832.394.8810.  For questions regarding permits, CLICK HERE.


Is a license required to obtain permits?


A license is not required to obtain building permits for commercial projects.

However, a license is required for other trade permits such as for fire alarms, fire sprinklers, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work. Additionally, a bond is required for sidewalk/culvert/driveway permits.


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What are the requirements?


Note: Before submitting your building plans for review visit the Planning and Development Department, Subdivisions Section for a development plat review. Additionally, it is advised that you visit the Taps & Meters Section to ensure there is available water and wastewater for your project.

You may contact Planning at 832.394.8849 and Taps & Meters at 832.394.8888 for more information.

To obtain a permit the following documentation is required (but not limited to):

  • Commercial Building Permit Application
  • ComCheck Report
  • Letter of utility availability for water, waste water and storm drainage. Application may be picked up from the Taps & Meters Section.
  • Legal description of property (this may be obtained through the tax office, deeds, closing papers, etc.)
  • Storm drainage plans
  • Development plat approval from the Department of Planning & Development. (Pick up application on the 1st floor)
  • Submit two (2) sets of non-erasable/legible plans including (but not limited to):

          •  Survey

          •  Plot Plan based on Survey

          •  Floor Plan:


               * Structural detail (all details)

               * Electrical (added loads, line diagrams, load analysis)

               * Plumbing plan

               * Heating, ventilation, & AC

  • Engineer's seal (when required)
  • Health equipment details with plan of elevation (food establishments only)
  • Fire alarm systems (when required)
  • Electronic locks (if installed)
  • Soil report

Please click here to download the Commercial Plan Review Prerequisites


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How to apply for a building permit?


  1. Complete a Building Permit Application (Form CE-1263), a Declaration in Support of Application for City of Houston Building Permit (if applicable), and a route slip. Applications are available at our main office and satellite offices.
  2. Please note a separate application and declaration are required for each new structure or remodeled building and/or lease space. Personnel can assist you with the application process.
  3. Submit the plans, application(s), and route slip to the Permits Section. The route slip should be attached to the submittal package and include a contact name, email address, and phone number.
  4. Upon receipt of the items listed above, the Customer Service Representative (CSR) will generate a project number for each structure. Additionally, a sales order will be provided for the plan review deposit fee due (25% of the total permit fee).
  5. Pay the plan review fee at the Cashier’s booth. A receipt with the project number will be provided to you.
  6. Your plans will be assigned to a Senior Plan Analyst who will route the package to all departments required to review the plans. After all departments have finished their review, you will be notified when the plans are ready for pick-up. If there are any deficiencies, a comment correction report will accompany the submittal package.
  7. The person who submitted the plans may retrieve them from the plan library desk on the 3rd floor. Persons other than the one who submitted the plan must provide the numbered receipt.
  8. Once the designer corrects the plans, resubmit the entire package for re-review and approval. The resubmitted package must include all previously approved sheets and previously reviewed sheets that may have been marked for corrections.
  9. The applicant will be notified when the plans are completely approved by all required departments. The building permit may be purchased by the owner, applicant, or contractor.


See our "Example of Standard Commercial Plan Review Process" (flow chart) (.pdf)


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