Residential Permit Requirements
Per the 2018 International Residential Code: any owner or owner's authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, mechanical, or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the code, or to cause any such work to be performed, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permits.
If you are unsure if your project requires a permit, please contact the Building Department BEFORE you start any work. Stop Work Orders may be issued and penalty fees may apply for work started without obtaining required permits.
Separate permits are required for Buildings (New Construction, Additions, Alterations/Repairs, Decks/Porches), Accessory Structures (detached from the house), Swimming Pools, Demolitions, Roof Repairs/Replacements, Mechanical/HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, installation of Mobile Homes, Mobile Home Park setups, RV Park Setups, Dune Walkovers and Marine Accessories (boathouses, piers, docks) within a Special Flood Hazard Area, and more.
Note: Electric utility companies will not connect electrical service for a structure without an electrical permit. You must obtain a permit for the structure before you can obtain an electrical permit.
Permits applications should be submitted online through the Citizenserve Portal at www.Citizenserve.com/BaldwinCountyAL. Here is a checklist of information needed and documents required to be uploaded in a digital PDF format as you apply for a Building Permit application:
Parcel Number – locate on the property tax bill or contact local Revenue Commissioner office: North Baldwin 251-937-0245; South Baldwin 251-972-6819; Eastern Shore 251-990-4627; can also search for parcel # online at www.deltacomputersystems.com/al/al05/pappraisala.html
Proof of Ownership – a copy of the current tax bill or the recorded deed; can search online for deeds at www.deltacomputersystems.com/AL/AL05/drlinkquerya.html
Address Verification Letter – required for all new construction; must first have parcel number, then submit request for the letter online at www.baldwin911.org
Approved Land Use Certificate - required for any property located in a zoned area if any structure will be added to the property, if square footage will be added to or modified on an existing structure, or if there will be a change in the use of an existing structure. There may be other projects that require a Land Use Certificate as well. Determine if a property is zoned and if a Land Use Certificate is required by contacting the appropriate Planning & Zoning Dept. The Land Use Certificate must be applied for and issued BEFORE applying for the building permit.
Construction Plans – must be drawn to scale provided in a digital PDF format; all residential construction requires construction plans to be signed and stamped by an Alabama licensed architect OR engineer
Site Plan/Plot Plan/Survey - must be drawn to scale; must indicate footprint of all existing structures as well as the proposed structure (with dimensions); must include all distances from property lines and from other structures on property, etc.
Culvert/Driveway Access Permit - confirmation that culvert has been applied for, is existing, is not required, or is not county maintained
Sewer Release or Health Department Release:
Water Release - often called a water tap fee receipt; contact the water utility company for the property’s area to obtain water release. If a well is proposed and no public water utility will be used, a water release is not required.
Name of Power/Electrical Utility Service Company
Use of Building and/or Storage Area– what will the building be used for and what will be stored in the storage areas?
Any additional documentation that has been deemed necessary by the Building Department.
For a structure located in a Flood Zone, the following additional requirements apply:
Temporary Benchmark (TBM) OR Elevation Certificate (EC) – TBM must be provided on a survey or statement signed and stamped by an Alabama registered surveyor; EC must be provided on an official FEMA Elevation Form that is signed and stamped by an Alabama registered surveyor; refer to www.fema.gov/glossary/elevation-certificate.
Coastal A Zone or V Zone Certificate– required if structure will be located in a Coastal A Zone or in a V Zone; download the form here: https://baldwincountyal.gov/departments/building-inspection/flood-zone-requirements
Permit to Develop in a Special Flood Hazard Area – before the building permit is issued, the contractor or property owner will be required to review and sign this permit form that will be provided to you by the Building Department
Finished Construction Elevation Certificate - must be submitted after permit is issued near end of the project before scheduling the final building inspection; must be signed and stamped by an Alabama registered surveyor
For a structure located in a Floodway, the following additional requirements apply:
"No-Rise" Certificate - refer to www.fema.gov/glossary/no-rise-certification-floodways
The following additional requirements apply for certain locations or conditions:
Coastal Area Program Permit - for property located on Fort Morgan Peninsula beach front lot or any lot that intersects the Coastal Construction Control Line, contact Baldwin County Building Dept., Janie Joiner at 972-6837
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Incidental Take Permit (ITP) - for property located on Fort Morgan Peninsula, contact 251-441-5868 or 251-441-5181
Alabama State Lands Division Permit - for marine accessory (boathouse/pier/dock) built on any Baldwin County Waterways, contact 251-621-1216
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permit - for marine accessory (boathouse/pier/dock) built on any Baldwin County Waterways and/or for property includes wetlands area, contact 251-690-2658
Permits may only be issued to the property owner or the owner’s authorized agent/contractor.
Ask to see contractors licenses!!!
All contractors working in the Baldwin County permitting jurisdiction are required to hold an active State of Alabama business license that is issued through any county in the state. For information on how to obtain the required business license, visit the County's Probate Office website at https://baldwincountyal.gov/Government/probate/licenses/business-license.
Contractors who will repair or replace a residential roof with a job valuation (cost of labor & materials) over $2,500.00 are required to hold a home builders roofers license and a $10,000.00 bond. Contractors who work with residential structures with a job valuation (cost of labor & materials) over $10,000.00 are required to have a home builders unlimited or limited license. If the work involves more than one trade and/or affects structural integrity, the builder is required to have an unlimited license. You may search for licensed residential roofers and home builders on the State of Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board website at https://hblb.alabama.gov/consumers/.
Contractors who construct any swimming pool with a job valuation of $5,000.00 or more are required to have a general contractors license issued in the State of Alabama. You may search for licensed General Contractors on the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors website at https://genconbd.alabama.gov/Law.aspx.
Electrical contractors are required to hold an active Master Electricians license from the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board.
Plumbing contractors are required to hold an active Master Plumbers license and gas contractors are required to hold an active Master Gas Fitters license from the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board.
Mechanical/HVAC contractors are required to hold an active HVAC license from the Alabama Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors Board.
Manufactured Home Installers are required to hold an active Installers license from the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission.
PROPERTY OWNER WISHING TO BUILD OR IMPROVE THEIR OWN PERSONAL HOME
State law requires residential construction to be performed by a licensed residential home builder. The property owner can apply for a permit under an exemption to that law. This exemption allows the owner of the property to act as his/her own builder even though he/she does not have a license.
You may build or improve your own residence, but it must be for your use and occupancy. It may not be built or improved for the purposes of selling. If you place the residence for sale within one year after the construction is complete, the law will presume that you built it for sale, which is a violation of this exemption.
You may not hire or compensate anyone to supervise the building or improvement of the residence. It is your responsibility to make sure that subcontractors employed by you have the proper licenses required by state law and a State of Alabama business license issued through any county in the state. Your construction must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, building codes, and zoning regulations.
By claiming exempt status, the property owner waives his/her rights for protection under the provisions of the Home Builders Licensure law. In the event of litigation involving activities resulting from the granting of a permit, the property owner may not make demand of any money from the Homeowner's Recovery Fund, established by the Home Builders Licensure law.
To qualify for this exemption, the property owner must review, complete, and return the Sworn Statement of Party Claiming Exemption from the Requirements of the Home Builders Licensure Law to the Building Department before the permit is issued.