Permits, Inspections and Applications

    General Information regarding Permits and Inspections:

    All permit applications require submittal of plans, specifications and any other additional information required to completely describe the work to be undertaken. In all cases, Planning and Zoning issues should be resolved before applying for a permit. Our department can assist in determining whether your project will require review by the Planning and Zoning department.

    Permit applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis by the Building Official and/or the Fire Marshall for code compliance. State of Texas law requires that all permit applications receive a response within 45 days of submittal. Plan review can be completed as quickly a few days or it can take as long as a couple of weeks. The time plan review will take, depends on the size of the project and the volume of other plans awaiting review. You should probably plan for a minimum of one week for plan review. Review of Fire Alarm and Fire Sprinkler plans typically take approximately 14 business days.

    Kitchen - Health reviews will be completed by our third party Health and Safety manager. We require a cd or pdf of your plan so we can electronically get it to our Health and Safety manager for a plan review. The fee for this review will be reflected on the permit issued.

    You will be contacted should the submittal require revision. Once a permit application is approved, a permit will be issued. We will contact you when the permit is ready for pick up and let you know the permit fee. The permit must be signed and paid for before a permit is considered valid. Our department can assist in determining a permit fee prior to submittal of a permit application so that you are aware of the fee as you begin planning your project.

    Plan Review and Applications Information:residential and commercial

    Time Frame for:

    New Residential Plan Permits 1– 2 weeks
    All Commercial Plan Permits 2 – 4 weeks
    All Other Permits 1 – 2 days

    Hours of Operation:

    M – F 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Closed for lunch between the hours of 12:00 to 1:00

    You may begin your project once you have a valid permit in hand. All types of work requiring a permit must have accompanying inspections. Our office will let you know which inspections will be required when you pick up your permit. You should notify Development Services when your project is ready for an inspection. Once an inspection is completed, your inspection report will be sent to you by email.

    Permits are valid for 180 days beyond the permit issuance date. In some cases, permits may be extended by contacting the Development Services office.

    Can I do the work myself or should I hire a contractor?

    Your project can be done yourself, with no outside contractors needed if:

    • The house you are working on is your own residence and you are living in it with a homestead exemption.
    • The work is done by you yourself and not by anyone else.

    Although doing the work yourself may sound like a great deal, make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. In addition, you should be aware that your home owner's insurance will be responsible for coverage should anything go awry due to your work. If you hire a contractor to do the work, and something goes awry, you have a source of recourse via the contractor's Liability Insurance.

    What Projects require a Permit?

    You may be surprised that many projects require a permit. Some examples are listed below. Feel free to contact the Development Service office if you do not see the type of project you are considering listed below.

    Some examples of projects that typically require a permit:

    • Changing the footprint of the building (addition or demolition of building components)
    • Converting a garage into any other type of room
    • Remodeling or adding new rooms
    • Concrete or Flatwork
    • Roofing
    • Exterior windows or doors if the Structure is changed
    • Garages
    • Carports
    • Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58m) in area, that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point and that are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4, patios and Patio Covers
    • Paving: driveways, sidewalks (replacement of existing - new construction sidewalks and driveways or any extensions of such driveways or sidewalks must have a permit), and patios, etc.
    • Lawn Sprinkler Systems
    • Swimming pools, hot tubs, or spas (this does not include prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep).
    • Water heaters
    • Water Softeners
    • Most air conditioning or heating systems
    • Fences - All fencing Commercial/Residential with new or different footprints or placement must provide a detailed drawing and pull a permit.
    • Fireplaces
    • Demolition
    • Most plumbing work
    • Electrical repair and/or replacement
    • Sheds or other accessory buildings that exceed 120 sq. ft, whether you are building or installing a pre-built shed

      Download Shed Diagram PDF

    • Installation or repair of building, parking lot, or landscape lighting (Electrical)
    • Awnings or Carports
    • Signage: installing new or altering existing

    Projects not usually requiring a permit:

    • Portable heating appliances
    • Installing or replacing any appliance that does not require alterations to the plumbing, gas, electrical, or mechanical systems.(ex. Replacing a stove which does not need a new outlet or new wiring
    • Repairs on any appliance that does not require replacing the appliance
    • Portable Window A/C units, portable heating or ventilation appliances
    • Painting or wallpapering
    • Carpeting or tile work
    • Glass replacement
    • Tuck pointing or cleaning existing masonry
    • Landscaping: Plants, non-permanent pavers/stones, mulch, etc.
    • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
    • Existing fences (City's Subdivision Ordinance only allows new construction fences not to exceed 6 feet in height for residential).
    • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
    • Sheds, playhouses and accessory structures, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet. ANY CONCRETE BASES FOR THESE STRUCTURES WILL REQUIRE A PERMIT.
    • Swings and other playground equipment

    Application Process

    A Permit submittal should consist of:

    • All permit applications are available as fillable pdf's and pdf downloads.
    • Letter from your Home Owners Association indicating approval of any alterations to the exterior of your home or property. This item is only submitted for those properties located within an HOA.
    • Any supplemental information which describes your project. Provide one hard copy of all supplemental information. In addition, provide one electronic version of the supplemental information in the form of a PDF. In some cases, we may be able to create the PDF file for you provided that your submitted information is no larger than an 11x17 size paper.

    To download copies of all applications and forms, please click here.

    Supplemental Information:

    Depending upon the type of permit for which you are applying, the supplemental information might include some, or all, of the following items:

    Plot Plan:

    A plot plan shows property lines, easements, fences, existing structures and all proposed additions and/or removal of structures shall be submitted for planning and Zoning setbacks. Plans shall be to scale and accurately dimensioned.

    Foundation Plan:

    A foundation plan shows measurements, sizes, and locations of footings, reinforcement, attachments to existing structures, elevations and vapor barriers shall be submitted. Engineer stamp, signed and dated will be required on large additions. Cut, removal and replacement for underground plumbing and electric shall require plans and inspections. If a foundation exists with no vapor barrier and conditioned addition will be constructed on said foundation, an appropriate sealing method shall be submitted to prevent all moisture problems.

    Floor Plans

    Floor plans with all dimensions, door and window details, etc. Each room or area shall be identified. Proposed areas shall be identified for future use. Example: “Patio slab to be covered/enclosed at a later date” or “Warehouse to be remodeled for future office space at a later date”.

    Framing/Structural Drawings:

    Framing/structural drawing, showing locations, sizes, wood grades and types, steel grades and types, header sizes, door and window locations, attachment to existing structure, floor joist, roof trusses and hangers, shall be submitted. Pre-engineered floor joists and roof trusses shall have engineer letters and shop drawings.

    Building Elevations:

    Building elevations of all exterior sides of the house indicating locations of windows, doors or other building features. Elevations should also include references to the materials which will be utilized. Samples of materials may be requested for review by the Building Official.

    Energy Compliance:

    Energy Compliance Certificate according to the International Energy Conservation Code adopted by the City -OR- Proof that window, door and insulation submittals satisfy Energy Conservation Codes.

    HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing Plans:

    Electric, Plumbing and HVAC (heat, vent, air condition) plans shall be submitted. New systems shall be engineered. These three trades are required to pull separate permits.

    Flatwork, Sidewalk and Driveway Plans:

    Drawings showing location, dimensions and size of rebar or wire mesh. For instances when you are expanding beyond existing paving, please indicate how the new paving will be tied into the existing structure or paving.

    Retaining Walls:

    Retaining walls measuring four feet or more from bottom of footing to top of wall shall require plans and permit.

    Fire Suppression/Fire Alarm:

    If Fire Suppression and/or Fire Alarm present or required, plans shall be submitted (before the frame inspection will be performed).

    Commercial Knox Box:

    All businesses shall have a Knox Box at front door or gate. Applications are available at the Live Oak Fire Department.

    Demolition Plans:

    Demolition plans may be submitted with the Build plans or separate as a demolition plan only. A demolition permit may be issued before building plans are submitted.

    Inspection Process

    • Inspections are scheduled 24 hours in advance. Inspections MUST be scheduled or received before 4:00 p.m. to receive next day inspections. Schedule your inspections with ample time.
    • For all residential inspections that do not require entry into the house or to the rear yard of your property, you do not need to meet the inspector. However, if the inspector needs to inspect anything inside the house, you will need to arrange for someone to meet the inspector.
    • For commercial inspections, we recommend the contractor be available at the time the inspection is performed to answer questions the inspector may have or to address immediate issues. We cannot guarantee a successful inspection of the inspector if he has questions as to the scope of work and no one at the job site can adequately answer those questions. In addition, the approved plans must be made available to the inspector, if requested, at the time the inspection is performed.
    • Please schedule your inspection on your online permitting account page.

    How do I know if the person at the door is the inspector?

    City of Live Oak inspectors wear identifiable uniforms and are required to ring your doorbell. Feel free to ask for identification. You may call the Building Department while the inspector is outside waiting, if you desire. You always have the right to refuse entry. Remember to be safe and make sure the person at the door is who you think he/she is.

    Third Party Inspection Documentation Process:

    Third party inspections will be accepted by the Development Services Department for inspections on commercial projects. The third party entity shall NOT be associated with the contracting company.

    A letter from the third party inspection company shall be sent to the Development Services Department which states that the work was completed in compliance the designed plans and in accordance to all adopted Codes. The letter should contain the following information:

    1. Name of Company performing inspections including address and contact information.
    2. List of inspector(s) and their certification(s).
    3. A legible copy of the inspection shall be faxed, emailed or delivered to this Office within 48 hours after each inspection. Our contact information is available on the Development Services main webpage.

    NOTES: Foundations shall NOT have a load placed on them until the Development Services Department receives the inspection report and at least 7 days have passed from the pour date. The date of the pour shall be placed at the left corner of the foundation in at least 6-inch lettering (which can be sprayed on) after the forms are removed.

    Inspection Terminology:

    Please utilize the following terminology when calling to schedule inspections to avoid confusion. Generally speaking, inspections should be called in according to the following order:

    1. Building Setback:

      Forms that outline the final footprint of the foundation shall be in place, all of the property pins shall be exposed and easily visible, and the setback shall match the approved plan. This inspection can be performed simultaneously with the sewer rough in if the trenching for the pipes does not cover the property pins. This inspection and the sewer rough in shall be successfully completed before the forms can be back-filled. Third party inspections are accepted.

    2. Sewer Rough In:

      All piping shall be securely placed in the final location as indicated on the approved plan. The type of piping shall be the approved type listed in the current plumbing code. The piping shall be tested with either a minimum 10 feet of head pressure or 5 PSIG air pressure. Plastic piping shall NOT be tested using air. Each joint shall be exposed around the entire circumference of the pipe being tested. All ASTM and Schedule marking on the pipe shall be up and exposed. This inspection and the building setback shall be successfully completed before the forms can be back-filled.

    3. Building Foundation:

      All of the steel reinforcement shall be secured in its final place and adequately supported. The vapor barrier shall be in place, clean of all debris with all holes and penetrations sealed, after all non-potable water has been removed, and it shall cover all of the exposed earth as per approved plans. The forms shall be mortar-tight to eliminate the leakage of concrete. All potable water lines, electrical conduit, condensation drains and T&P drains shall be placed in the final location as indicated on the approved plan. Copper water lines and PEX tubing shall be sleeved wherever it penetrates the concrete. All sewer lines that penetrate through a footing shall be sleeved. This inspection will be performed simultaneously with the building foundation. Both of these inspections shall be successfully completed before the concrete can be poured. No load will be placed on the foundation after pour for 7 days.

    4. Electrical Rough In:

      All electrical boxes shall be installed as shown on the plan. Electrical outlet spacing shall comply with the current electrical code requirements. GFCI protection shall be provided as indicated on the plan and the current electric code. Commercial conductors shall be protected in approved conduit as outlined in the current electrical code. Not more than 10 fixtures per branch circuit are permitted.

    5. Plumbing Rough In:

      All vent pipes shall penetrate the roof to their final termination point. Plastic piping shall NOT be tested using air. All DWV pipes shall be tested to 5-psig minimum and installed as shown on the approved plan. The potable water service line shall be exposed from the meter to the house and connected to the city water line with a meter. Running a straight pipe is not acceptable or approved and will be reported to the utility company as well as the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. All potable water pipes shall be tested to 80-psig minimum. All pipes shall be insulated in the appropriate areas.

    6. Gas Rough In:

      All black iron pipes shall be installed as shown on the approved plan. All natural gas lines shall be tested to a minimum of 10-psig for a minimum of 15 minutes. All natural gas lines shall be separated from electrical conductors with insulation other than the non-metallic sheathing on the Romex. Fireplace log lighter shall be provided with a gas shut-off accessible by a 12-inch-by-12-inch access panel or cover.

    7. Heat & Air Rough In:

      All ducts shall be installed as shown on the approved plan. All duct sizes shall match the approved plan. All ducts shall be installed with the size, UL listing, and R factor visible from the bottom of the duct. Ducts that are not stenciled with the size from the factory shall be marked in the field at both the plenum and register end. All condensation drains shall be completed and installed to comply with the current mechanical code. All platforms and access to the equipment shall be installed.

    8. Building Frame:

      All MEP inspections shall be completed prior to scheduling this inspection. All wall, floor and roof framing shall be completed and match the approved plan as well as the current building code. All sole plates that have been cut shall be strapped and filled with grout. All top plate penetrations shall be sealed and installed to comply with the current building code. All structural sheathing and roof decking shall be installed. Plywood clips or a physical gap shall be provided between the decking sheets if tongue and groove plywood is not utilized. Final exterior siding and roofing material may be installed at this time. Sheetrock and insulation shall not be installed until this inspection is successfully completed.

    9. Sewer Tap:

      All sewer tap inspections shall be scheduled with the Live Oak Utility Department by calling 210-653-9140 extension 234 and scheduling the inspection with the Utility Secretary.

    10. Flatwork:

      All non-structural areas where concrete is to be poured. All forms shall be complete, shaped to form the final footprint. All new concrete areas shall be provided with an expansion joint and doweled into the existing concrete areas to eliminate separation movement. All sidewalks, driveways and patios shall be reinforced with 10-gauge welded wire at a minimum. Drive approaches shall be reinforced with 6-guage welded wire at a minimum. This requirement does not preclude the use of rebar reinforcement for all flatwork. Continuous pour sidewalks shall be provided with a construction joint at 50 feet intervals and control joints at 4 feet intervals.

    11. Temporary on Permanent Service:

      Residential temporary electrical service to operate all appliances. The exterior service entrance shall be 100% complete with a disconnecting means inside the residence for all branch circuits.

    12. Heat & Air Final:

      The HVAC unit shall be operational and the structure is ready for occupancy. The outdoor unit shall be secured in place and all electrical connections shall be weather tight and comply with the current mechanical code. Access to the unit for maintenance shall comply with the current mechanical code.

    13. Electrical Final:

      All outlets and lighting fixtures shall be installed and completed as shown on the approved plan. All live conductors shall be protected and covered. All cover plates shall be installed and secured to the wall/ceiling. All electrical appliances shall be operational. All globes and diffusers shall be installed. The service entrance panel and sub-panel breakers shall be appropriately marked to indicate the branch circuit each breaker serves. The photocell shall be covered with tape or cardboard to activate the light required by the security ordinance.

    14. Gas Final:

      All gas lines shall be tested to the shut-off valve. No caps may be applied to the gas line be tested to 5-psig minimum for a minimum of 15 minutes. Flex lines need not be connected to regulator at this time.

    15. Plumbing Final:

      All plumbing fixtures shall be completely installed with all final trim pieces and escutcheon plates. All fixtures shall hold the maximum amount of water without leaking.

    16. Building Final:

      1. All mechanical, electrical, Fire Suppression, Fire Alarm and plumbing inspections shall be successfully completed before a building final can be scheduled. The building shall be complete and ready for occupancy. All re-inspection fees shall be paid in full prior to approval.
      2. The building shall NOT be occupied prior to the successful completion of the Building Final. No exceptions!
      3. For all commercial occupancies, a successful Building Final inspection initiates a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, valid for 30 days, which allows you to occupy your business in order to set up equipment, furniture and begin training employees. You may NOT open doors to the public until an official Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
    17. Certificate of Occupancy:

      1. For Residential addresses, the Certificate of Occupancy inspection will be conducted during the Building Final inspection.
      2. For all Commercial addresses, this inspection looks to ensure that Life Safety issues are satisfied. Some of the items which the Inspector reviews are: furniture and equipment do not block required egress doors/routes and prohibit ADA accessibility, required fire extinguishers are in place, required emergency signage is installed. Extension cords may not be utilized but a power strip with surge protection is allowable. The initial Certificate of Occupancy inspection will initiate an annual Fire Inspection conducted by the Fire Department without notice.
    18. Swimming Pools:

      A steel inspection is required if the pool is made of gunite or concrete. An electrical bonding inspection is required prior to pouring concrete or spraying gunite. All appliances (chlorinator, filter, vacuum, light and skimmer) shall be operational and manufacturer’s installation instructions shall be available upon request at final inspection. Pool barricade and door alarm or pool cover shall be completed at the final inspection.

    19. Lawn Sprinklers:

      Trenches for lawn sprinkler piping shall be open for inspection. ASTM markings on irrigation piping shall be installed up and visible from above the trench. A qualified plumber shall install Backflow Prevention Devices. The system shall be operational and must be tested by a certified tester.

    20. Retaining Wall:

      A site plan shall be provided to show the exact location of the retaining wall. A list of materials that will be utilized for the retaining wall shall be provided as well as material that will be utilized to aid with drainage.

    21. Foundation Repair:

      Plans provided shall be signed and sealed by a Registered Professional Engineer. An inspection shall be scheduled prior to covering the tunnel or piers.