Services – Permits & Licenses – Building – Guide to Building Permits – City of New Orleans

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Home   »   All City Services    »    Permits & Licenses    »    Building    »    Guide to Building Permits
A building permit is a document issued by the Department of Safety & Permits that allows – or permits – the owner of a property to construct a new building, or repair, alter , or demolish an existing building.
In many instances, especially for clear, straightforward work like kitchen and bathroom remodeling or emergency repairs following a disaster, a building permit application can be reviewed by a permit analyst and the permit issued the same day.
However, if plans are required for your job – such as for new construction or structural work – a building permit will not be issued until after the plan review process is completed. This review ensures compliance with the Building, Electrical, and Mechanical Codes of the City.
A permit protects you, your neighbor and your neighborhood. It protects your contractor and ensures that he meets the minimum requirements of the New Orleans Building Code. It protects your City and most importantly it protects your property value and can often be used in an insurance claim.
According to the Fire Department, the City of New Orleans has had thousands of electrically or mechanically created fires and collapsed buildings through the years. This number would have been even greater without a permitting system for construction, renovation and demolitions, as well as a method for enforcing the Building Code.
The permit process also ensures that your project and the work of others complies with the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to preserve the quality of life in our city. In a word, the reason you need a permit is safety.
Building Permits are issued by the Department of Safety & Permits. This office is located in Room 7E05, on the 7th floor of City Hall.
The New Orleans Building Code states, in part, “any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect or construct a sign of any description, or to install or alter fire extinguishing apparatus, elevators, engines, or to install a steam boiler, furnace, heater, incinerator or other heat producing apparatus or other apparatuses, the installation of which is required by this code, or to cause any such work to be done shall first make application… and obtain the required permit for the work.”
If you are uncertain about the need for a building permit, please call the Building Division in the Department of Safety & Permits for assistance: (504) 658-7130.
A building permit is generally not required for the following activities. A permit may be required if the Department of Safety & Permits finds the activities to be particularly hazardous or complex and requires permitting and inspection:
Vieux Carré Commission or Historic District Landmarks Commission requirements may apply. If your property is within a local historic district please contact the approproate agency before you begin work.
The following information is necessary to process a Building Permit application:
Note: Plans are generally required for all commercial projects, depending on the scope of work to be performed. This is determined by the Chief Plan Examiner based upon the requirements of the New Orleans Building Code and the Life Safety Code.
You will need a plumbing permit if you plan to remove or replace any water piping or plumbing fixture. This assures compliance with the regulations of the Sewerage and Water Board. Only your Orleans Parish licensed master plumber may apply for this permit.
Plumbing permits are issued by the Sewerage and Water Board, not the Department of Safety & Permits.
Fees for building permits are based on the value of work to be performed. Fees are due at the time of application and must be in the form of check or money order, made payable to the City of New Orleans.
Fees include normal inspections and the Certificate of Use and Occupancy. Once application is made, the fees are not refundable.
A separate fee will be charged for Electrical and Mechanical Permits when the licensed contractors applies for those. There is also a separate fee for plumbing permits from the Sewerage & Water Board.
There will be penalty fees assessed if work begins prior to obtaining a Building Permit. The fee is two (2) times the building permit price plus the regular permit fees for ordinary construction. If the non-permitted work is a demolition the fees assessed will be five (5) times the permit price or 10% of the assessed value of the building, whichever is greater. Do not begin work before receiving your permit!
When you receive your permit, it must be posted clearly and visibly on the site in a location that can be seen from the street.
If you remove paint from the exterior of an existing structure you must notify the Building Division. You may be required to take appropriate actions if there is lead-based paint on the structure.
You should obtain a copy of the brochure “Working with the Plan Review Division” if plans are required for your project. You should also obtain a copy of “Working with the Building Division” regarding required inspections and how to obtain your Certificate of Use and Occupancy at the end of your project.
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Last updated: 8/29/2022 1:32:47 PM
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