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The nuts and bolts of residential building permits

Posted March 16, 2016

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man remodeling inside of home

With spring-like weather arriving early in Fort Worth, many do-it-yourselfers may already be working on projects around the house. It helps to know the city codes before you start your next DIY project. There are many types of projects that require a building permit for one- and two-family dwellings.

In Fort Worth, some projects may require a building permit, a special exception public hearing, or special review by staff if your project is located in areas with additional design requirements, so it’s always best to do your research first to avoid having to correct code deficiencies — or face a possible citation.

Where do I apply for a building permit?

Apply for a building permit at Fort Worth City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St. Visit the Permit Center on the lower level (south end) of City Hall.

What if my project is in a historic district or a district with design review?

Historic and design districts require additional approvals before a permit can be issued for construction. Some districts have specific requirements for items such as roofing materials, fence type and placement, door and window design, siding style, tree canopy, lighting, garages and parking, and carport design and placement, just to name a few. If you are unsure if your property is located in a historic or design district, contact a design review staff member with the Planning and Development Department at 817-392-8037.

What if my property is on a corner lot?

If your property is on a corner lot and your property abuts the side of a lot that faces the intersecting street, there will be a side yard setback equal to the required front yard of the lot facing the intersecting street. This is considered a projected front yard and items such as fences, decks, additions and storage sheds cannot be placed in this area. If you are unsure if your property has a projected front yard, contact a zoning staff member at 817-392-8028.

What information do I need to know before I plan where I am going to locate my project on my property?

Before you plan the location of your next project, you need to make sure that the location is allowed. Each residential property has an area around the perimeter of the property that is a required yard. This area is required to be open from the ground to the sky unobstructed and can be a side yard, rear yard, front yard or projected front yard. The sizes of the yards vary by the zoning classification for the property. If you are unsure if your project’s chosen location is located in one of these required yards, contact a zoning staff member at 817-392-8028.

What types of projects require a permit?

There are many types of projects that require a building, plumbing, electrical or mechanical permit, or require a special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. View a list of common residential projects requiring city approval.

If you are unsure if you need a permit, call the Planning and Development Department at 817-392-2222.

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