Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a permit? If your project has a valuation of $500 or more you will typically need a permit. Paint work, new finished flooring materials, cabinets and interior trim work are examples of work that do not require a permit.
  • What does $500 valuation mean? Valuation is the overall value of all labor and materials necessary to complete a project. There is no discounted rate for materials that are previously owned or donated nor on labor that is donated or done on your own project. What would the cost be if you called a registered contractor to do the project?
  • How long does it take to get a permit? There is not a set amount of time it takes to get your permit back to you as there are multiple factors that go into the amount of time it can take to review. Please ensure that you have included all necessary information with the application to prevent delays. The City of Galveston makes every attempt to get your permit to you as quickly as possible.
  • What happens if I do not get a permit? The property owner may be subject to legal action for failure to obtain a building permit. If you carry out a construction project that requires a building permit without having one, the City of Galveston Building Department representatives may issue a "Stop Work" or a "Cease and Desist" order, which remains in effect until a permit is obtained. If the work does not meet the requirements of the Building Codes, you may well have to redo the work at your cost. Additionally, work performed with out a required building permit may hold up the sale of your property in the future and may also affect an insurance claim. Before any work beings on your property, check with your insurance representative, who can explain exactly what is needed to ensure continuous and adequate coverage, both during and after the construction.
  • What is a site plan? Please view this example
  • Who is my inspector? Please view our Inspectors page as it will depend on what you are doing.
  • What inspections will I need? Common inspections are listed with each inspector. Please be aware if you are doing a type of work that falls into one of these categories you will need to call for that inspection. It is up to you to know which inspections you will need and when you will need to call for them. If you are not certain of if or when you need an inspection it is your responsibility to contact that inspector.
  • How will I know if I passed or failed an inspection? Typically inspectors will leave tags to indicated if your inspection has been passed or failed. A red tag is a failed inspection. You may also visit the Citizen Portal of our website to check on the status of permits and inspections along with other useful information.