Owner-Builder Permitting

Building Inspections is ready to help you realize your building ideas to promote the preservation, growth, and development within the City of Pensacola. We work in conjunction with other departments to ensure community safety and welfare. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail at inspections@cityofpensacola.com or visit our offices if you have any questions.

We recommend that you contact us before you begin to make improvements or changes to your property. We can help you anticipate any possible requirements and assist with the construction process so that you are confident the project is appropriately located, adequately designed, and constructed in compliance with City Codes and the Florida Building Code.

Although some projects do not require permitting or contractors, we are here to assess your needs and provide service to ensure code compliance throughout the length of any potential permits.

QUALIFYING

Per Florida State Statutes Chapter 489.103, owners may pull permits for their project as long as they meet the following requirements:

For residential properties (one- and two-family buildings or outbuildings), you must intend to use the property as your personal residence for at least one year after completion of your project. You may not build or alter such residence for sale or lease.

For commercial properties which are for your personal business use only and are not for sale or lease, you may pull permits as the business owner on projects up to $75,000 in cost. However, the building must be owned in your name. An LLC is not accepted as an owner-builder.

JURISDICTION

The first step in processing permits is confirming jurisdiction. To confirm the project address lies within the City of Pensacola’s jurisdiction, please visit the Escambia County Property Appraiser’s website for the address. View the “Taxing Authority”, and contact us if the property is in “Pensacola City Limits”.

PERMITTING

To confirm the need for a permit or required contractor, please check that the address is in the correct jurisdiction, then e-mail us the address and brief description of the project. You should hear back from us within 24 hours.

You are able to apply for your permit, request inspections, make payments, and see permit progress through My Government Online (MGO). They provide an excellent Customer Help Guide to assist you through their system. The system is easy to use and the most efficient way to permit your project.

DOCUMENTS

Permits require specific documents to make progress.

All owner-builder permits require the owner appear in our offices to execute an Owner Builder Affidavit. Florida State Statute 489.103 requires this form be signed and notarized within our office. You may visit our offices on the 5th Floor of City Hall at 222 West Main Street Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Some projects may require you provide a copy of engineered drawings. These drawings must be provided in PDF form and meet all requirements as listed in our Electronic Plans requirements.

Projects with construction costs over $2500 ($7500 for HVAC changeouts) require a Notice of Commencement. Please note that this must be notarized and recorded with Escambia County Records prior to us receiving a copy.

Other required documents may be found on our Forms and Applications page.

PLAN REVIEW

Any projects with engineered drawings, site plans or similar documents undergo plan review prior to issuance. This process typically takes between 2 and 3 weeks depending on the scope of work and which departments are required to review your documents.

Plan review comments will be delivered to you via e-mail and will communicate whether the project is approved as submitted or if corrections or further documents are needed.

We are currently drafting a Plan Review page that will outline this in more detail. Please check back soon.

PAYMENTS

Payments are processed via credit card through the MGO portal. For instructions on how to pay online, use their helpful Guide. If you must pay by check or cash, you may visit our offices at City Hall Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

REQUIREMENTS

Once you are able to view the permit on MGO, you will see a tab for Permit Requirements. Each tier of requirements must be completed to make progress on the permit. If your requirements do not appear to be in the correct order, please e-mail us prior to scheduling inspections, so we may correct the order or explain what is required for each requirement.

INSPECTIONS

Also, through the MGO portal, you may view required inspections and request inspections when ready. Should an inspection fail, you may view results and notes from the inspector through the portal. You will also receive an e-mail notifying you of the inspection results. Once the notes have been addressed on site, you may request another inspection when ready.