Residential Plan Review

Al Raymond, AIA, CBO, Deputy Assistant Director

PWE LogoThe Residential Plan Review Section is responsible for reviewing building and improvement plans for Houston Building Code compliance prior to issuance of a building permit.



Important: An unsworn Declaration in Support of Application for City of Houston Permit signed by the owner is required before starting the application process for most residential projects. Click here to download the declaration.


General Information



Special Programs for New Residences



Helpful Links



Para obtener solicitudes o guías en español, oprima aquí.


Who needs a permit?


You do if you are in the corporate city limits of Houston and are doing projects which include (but are not limited to):


  • Construction work on new or existing buildings
  • Remodeling (excluding painting, wallpapering)
  • Building repair work


If you have any questions concerning exemptions call: 832.394.8810.
For questions regarding permits, click here.


Note: Before submitting your building plans for review visit the Planning and Development Department, Subdivisions Section for a development plat review. The Water and Wastewater Division to ensure there is available water and wastewater for your project.


You may also contact Planning at 832.394.8849 and Water and Wastewater at 832.394.8888 for more information.


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Is a license required to obtain permits?


No, a license is not required to obtain structural permits. The City of Houston has a Voluntary Registration Program for roofing contractors. To register, contractors must have proof of comprehensive general liability insurance in the form of a certificate or policy with minimum limits of $500,000 of death or bodily injury and $500,000 for property damage, per occurrence. For more information contact us at 832.394.9494.


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What documents are required to obtain a permit for…?


Residential Repairs

In most cases, to obtain a permit for general repairs, plans are not required. However, a Building Permit Application, and a Residential Repair Spec List must be completed.


Residential Re-roof

To obtain a permit for re-roof or roof repairs, plans are not required. Note: This does not include the replacement of rafters and/or joists.


A Building Permit Application and a Residential Re-roof Worksheet must be completed.


General Requirements for most projects. Note: Some projects may require additional information. Please contact the One-Stop Section at 832.394.8820 for more information or click here to view the One-stop Guideline:







Two (2) sets of non-erasable/legible plans including (but limited to):


  • Survey
  • Plot Plan based on Survey
  • Building Plans:
    • Foundation plan/sections
    • Wall sections
    • Floor, ceiling and roof framing plans
    • Engineer's seal (when required)


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How to Obtain a Permit for New Residences?


Important Note Regarding Deed Restrictions: Before proceeding with any work, make sure your project complies with your subdivision's deed restrictions. Contact your civic club or homeowners' association for a copy of the deed restrictions.

Note: Before submitting your plans for review, you must apply for and receive a Wastewater Capacity Reservation (WCR) Letter from the Impact Fee Administration Section (located on the 3rd Floor). For more information, visit

The building permit application process can be done in person or online. To start the online submittal process, visit the Houston Permitting Center’s eServices Web Portal at

To apply for a building permit in person, visit our office located at 1002 Washington Ave., 1st Floor, and complete the following steps:

  1. Collect the required information listed in the New Single Family Prerequisite Checklist (form CE - 1301) and complete a Building Permit Application (Form CE - 1263), a Declaration in Support of Application for City of Houston Building Permit (Individual or Corporate) and a round slip. The route slip should be attached to the submittal package and include a contact name, email address, and phone number.
  2. Visit the Permits Section. A Customer Service Representative (CSR) will generate a project number and provide a sales order for the plan review deposit fee due (25% of the total permit fee).
  3. Pay the plan review fee at the Cashier’s booth. A receipt with the project number will be provided to you.
  4. Submit the complete set of plans, application(s), and route slip to the Permits Section.
  5. 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.
  6. The person who submitted the plans may retrieve them from the plan library desk on the 3rd floor. Individuals other than the original applicant must provide the numbered receipt.
  7. Once the deficiencies are corrected on the plans, resubmit the entire package at the Plan Library on the 3rd floor 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.
  8. 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.


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How to obtain a permit for Residential Additions, Remodels, Repairs, etc…?


Important Note: Before proceeding with any work, make sure your project complies with your subdivision's deed restrictions. Contact your civic club or homeowners' association for a copy of the deed restrictions.


Most single family residential permits may be obtained through the One-Stop Section, providing that the work falls within the following categories and the review time is 30 minutes or less:


  • Additions to a residence
  • Remodels/Repairs to a residence
  • Garages and Structures for residences
  • Fences over eight feet high
  • Driveways and Sidewalks
  • Residential Swimming Pools


The One-Stop simplifies the permit process. In most cases, your building and improvement plans can be reviewed and a building permit issued within just a few hours.


To begin the process for obtaining a residential building permit through the One-Stop Section, visit our office located at 1002 Washington Ave., 3rd floor and follow these steps:


  1. Complete the Building Permit Application and the applicable Declaration in Support of Building Permit Application (Individual or Corporate).(Applications are located in the 1st Floor lobby).
  2. Once you complete the documents, a Customer Service Representative in the Permits Section will issue a project number.
  3. If applicable, visit the Planning and/or Taps and Meters Sections for the appropriate approvals. Please refer to the table below:
    Project Type
    Taps & Meters
    (If plumbing is added)
    New Garages / Carports
  4. Visit the Residential One-Stop Section.
  5. Present your plans to the Plan Analyst and explain your project.
  6. The Plan Analyst will review your plan. If the plans are approved, you will be able to purchase the building permit at the Cashier's Booth.
  7. If the plans require corrections, a list of comments will be provided by the Plan Analyst. Make the necessary corrections to the plans, and return to the One-Stop Section.


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Special Programs for New Residences




The Master Plan Program is designed for builders and developers who build ten (10) or more units of the same repeat home over a 12-month period.


CLICK HERE to download the Master Plan Program Brochure.




IMPORTANT NOTE: On October 14, 2013, the MDI inspection program was temporarily suspended due to the increased volume of inspections and shortage of staff.

Since we understand the importance of the program and its value to our customers, the program will be reinstated provisionally. We will accept the first 100 new building permit applications. Once this number is reached, the program will be interrupted once again. Please note that we will continue to work on a solution to augment staff levels and reinstate the MDI Inspection Program permanently. We appreciate your patience.

For additional information regarding this temporary change, please contact Drexel Moerbe [email protected].

The multi-discipline inspection program is a voluntary program for one or two-family residential new home builders. The program is administered by the Structural Inspections Section. The objective of the program is to reduce the number of inspections during the different phases of construction.


CLICK HERE to download the MDI Program Brochure.


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