Apply for a Building Permit

Frequently Asked Questions

Permitting FAQ's

What is a permit and why do I need one?

Permits enable Oro Valley to monitor and regulate construction to ensure public safety. Guaranteeing the safety of the occupants of a building is the primary purpose of construction codes. Please see the "Apply for a Permit" tab below for instructions on how to submit for a permit.

Oro Valley has adopted the following codes:

  •  2018 International Building Code (IBC)
  • 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • 2018 International Fire Code (IFC)
  • 2018 International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC)
  • 2018 International Mechanical Code (IMC)
  • 2018 International Plumbing Code (IPC)
  • 2018 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)
  • 2018 International Residential Code (IRC)
  • 2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code Amendments
  • 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • ICC A117.1-2009/2010 ADA standards for accessible design

Oro Valley issues building permits based on the type of construction project. Most single family home construction and small homeowner projects require a building permit that includes electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits. The construction of a new home, home additions, and pool additions may also require a grading permit when any ground is disturbed.

Do I need a permit?

The following is intended to provide homeowners with an overall list of work that may or may not require a permit.  The information provided are not exhaustive lists of all projects a homeowner might be considering, therefore we encourage you to call or email the relevant departments with additional questions.  

Main phone number 520-229-4800



A permit is required for the following:

  • Buildings
  • House – new build
  • Remodel of an existing house
  • Additions of any size attached to the house
  • Any detached structure greater than 120 square feet in size
  • Doors and windows (new opening)
  • Door and window replacements of the same size; more than two 
  • Skylight (new)
  • Deck greater than 30” in height (new)
  • Enclosing a porch or carport
  • Any building that will have plumbing or electric
  • Window: Replacement of 3 or more existing windows


  • Pool or Spa (both in ground and above ground)
  • Mechanical
  • Furnace including new and replacements
  • Air conditioning unit including new and replacements
  • Fireplace (new)
  • Plumbing
  • Water heater including new and replacements
  • Dishwasher – new install where there wasn’t one before
  • Water lines (new or replacement)
  • Electrical
  • Change or repair to electrical system
  • Reconnection
  • Retractable awnings or shades that are hardwired 
  • Solar systems

Permits are not required for the following work done at a residential property:

  • Wallpapering
  • Painting
  • Floor coverings i.e. carpet, tile, etc.
  • Insulation
  • Rain gutter (new or replacement)
  • A building not attached to the house, less than 120 square feet in area as long as it does not contain electrical or plumbing.  
  • Walls
  • Retaining less than 4 feet in height when measured from bottom of footing (unless supporting a surcharge such as a house, pool or driveway)
  • Fence or yard wall less than 6 feet in height
  • Roof
  • Replacement covering (shingles, tile, etc.) without replacement of roof sheathing 
  • Washing machine or Dryer provided no new electrical, plumbing or mechanical work is done
  • Drywall repairs
  • Air Conditioning unit placed in the window provided no new electrical, plumbing or mechanical work is added
  • Replacement of less than two doors or windows of the same size and type 
  • Swings or playground equipment 

Zoning requirements

Whether a permit is required or not for your project, always check with the Planning Division to make sure your project meets the standards of your zoning district.

For example your 90 square storage shed may be too small to require a permit.  However, you’ll want to make sure you place the shed in a location that is allowed per the zoning of your neighborhood.

Your lot may also contain conservation easements, utility easements, floodplains or other areas that will restrict location of structures or amenities. 

Grading requirements

A grading permit may be needed when you are 

  • Disturbing more than 1,000 square feet of earth
  • Altering a stabilized slope
  • Adding more than 1,000 square feet of concrete or asphalt
  • Bringing more than 100 cubic yards of earth onto the property
  • Clearing vegetation which encompasses more than 1,000 square feet

How long does it take to get a building permit?

Depending on the type of project, time frames for permit issuance may take 7 - 20 business days for review.

The actual length of time required to review plans may vary depending on the complexity of the plans, the total number of plans under review, and the availability of the appropriate plans examiner.

How do I get a building permit?

In order to obtain a permit, construction plans and a site plan must be prepared and submitted to the Oro Valley Permitting Division. Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed. Additional information may be required based on the type of project. To determine the type of information required for your permit, please refer to the appropriate checklist for your project.

You may call the Community and Economic Development Department at (520) 229-4800 with questions about your project

 What if I do not get a building permit?

If a required building permit is not obtained prior to the start of construction, the property owner may be subject to fines, penalties and/or legal action. The property owner must immediately obtain permits for the work and pass all required inspections. If permits are not acquired, the structure or site must be returned to its original condition.

Apply for a Permit

Step 1.You may want to first visit the sections of this website that give specific instructions for the type of project you are submitting.


Residential permits will help you with submitting plans for additions, remodels, custom homes, water heaters, solar installations and most residential types of projects.

Commercial permits will help you with new commercial buildings, tenant improvements and other commercial related projects.

Grading permits will guide you to instructions for several types of plan submittal instructions for site development.

Sign permits will take you to the page where permanent, temporary (banners, A-frames, etc) and right-of-way sign information can be found.

Right-of-Way will guide you to the type of permits needed for working in a public right-of-way.

Prepare your project for electronic submittal by doing the following:

• All documents must be in PDF format.

• The security level in the PDF must allow the Town to apply stamps, markups and ultimately approvals on the document.

• Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction.

• All pages of the building plans should be in one PDF. For example the construction documents (site plan, framing, roof, plumbing etc.) should be in one PDF document.

• Label the documents with the appropriate name. For example: Construction plans, soils report, structural calculations, trusses etc.

Step 2.Plans are now accepted online through the customer portal.

Step 3.Plan review may take up to 7 - 20 business days depending on the scope of the project. 


Apply for a Revision

Step 1.A revision is a change or modification to a set of approved building plans. 

Prepare the revision for electronic submittal by doing the following:

  • Prepare a letter or narrative explaining the change made to the plans. 
  • All documents must be in PDF format.
  • Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction.

Step 2.Plans are now accepted online through the customer portal.

Step 3.Plan review may take up to 7 - 20 business days depending on the scope of the revision.

Over the Counter Review

Step 1.Over the counter reviews are available Thursday mornings for simple reviews such as like for like HVAC or window and door replacements and SFR from a model on mass graded lot.

Step 2.Only submittals received Thursday morning between 8:00 - 10:30 and titled as "Over the Counter" will be considered. 

Submittals are reviewed on a first come, first serve basis with up to 8 reviews available.

Be advised that one submittal is allowed per customer and are limited to simple projects that can be completed in about 15 minutes.

More complex reviews will still need to be done under the standard review process

Checklists for specific projects can be found by inputting "Commercial" or "Residential" into the search box in the top right corner of any web page.