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Building FAQs

What is a building permit?

A permit is legal permission to perform work that is governed by the State of Georgia construction codes and City of Johns Creek regulations.

When is a permit required?

In the City of Johns Creek, a permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure. A permit is required to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the construction codes. There are some exceptions. Click on Do I Need a Permit? to see a list.

Permits must be obtained prior to the start of any work.

What if you do not get a permit?

If a permit is required and not obtained prior to the start of work, you have violated City of Johns Creek regulations and may be subject to Stop Work Orders, significant fines, and other costly penalties. Failure to obtain a permit may also result in demolition of unauthorized construction if it does not meet code.

Who may apply for a permit?

Permits are issued to professional contractors who must register their credentials on the CSS Portal (see Contractor Registration).
Contractors may designate an Authorized Permit Agent solely to apply for permits under their license, but the contractor is responsible for the project, including providing required plans and documents, supervision of work, and passing required inspections. A notarized Authorized Permit Agent Affidavit (See Building Forms) must be provided when applying for a permit.

Can I act as my general contractor myself?

Georgia State law allows homeowners to act as general contractor themselves under specific circumstances. Proof of ownership and other requirements must be met. The homeowner-contractor is personally responsible for all of the work performed under the permit. Anyone hired to do work that requires a State license, such as electrical or plumbing work, must be licensed, and must obtain their own permits.
Homeowners are strongly advised not to take on projects beyond their ability to directly supervise the work and to ensure compliance with the building code and City regulations.
Unscrupulous contractors often suggest that the homeowner “pull the permit.” They may claim that it's easier to get approval and cheaper for the homeowner (untrue). Such contractors often do not hold State contractor licenses and may have inadequate insurance. They may not have a business license and be difficult to track down after they leave the job. The homeowner-contractor has no recourse to warranties and other legal protections, including liability for worker injuries or failure of the work at a future date.

A notarized Homeowner-Contractor Affidavit is required (See Building Forms). Please consult with the Building Official to learn more about what’s involved with acting as contractor yourself.

Which permits may I apply for online?

Permit applications and documents are submitted through the CSS Portal.  You must first create a Portal User Account.  Contractors must register their professional credentials on the portal before applying for a permit.

Which projects require plan reviews?

Building permits and certain other permits require review by one or more division of the Community Development Department. Submitting incomplete plans/application information will delay the permit.

How long does it take to get a permit?

“Over-the-counter” trade permits (plumbing, electrical, mechanical, low voltage) do not require plan reviews. They are typically issued with 1-2 business days.
Plans/specifications for building permits are reviewed concurrently by the Building, Planning & Zoning, Land Development, and/or Fire Marshal divisions. Plans are reviewed in the order in which they were received. Depending on reviewers’ workloads, it typically takes up to two weeks for a review cycle to be completed. The applicant is notified of any correction comments and re-submits revised plans for another review. The quicker the response from the applicant, the sooner the project is reviewed.

How much does a permit cost?

Building permit fees are based on the valuation of the project, in accordance with the adopted schedule of fees.

When do I pay my permit fees?

After a permit application is submitted, the applicant receives an invoice by email.  Invoices may be paid on the CSS Portal.  For permits requiring plan review, all fees must be paid before the plans are routed for review.

If plan corrections are required before approval, re-submittal fees may be due when the corrections are submitted. Fees are typically charged for the third and subsequent plan reviews.

Re-inspection fees for failed inspections are due before the next inspection may be scheduled.

Do permits expire?

Permits not issued within 180 days of the application date are “Abandoned” per city Code Sec. 105- 52(a)(5).

Issued permits are valid for 180 days. Once issued, a permit stays active as long as the work is ongoing. If the work does not start (defined as passing a building inspection) or if work ceases for 180 days (no inspections have passed in the last 180 days), the permit becomes “Null and Void” per City Code Sec.
The permit holder may submit an application showing just cause for an extension or renewal. If granted, additional permit fees must be paid before the permit is re-issued.

Are inspections required?

All building and trade permits require inspections by the City of Johns Creek Building Inspector to ensure code compliance. The specific inspections required are determined based on the scope and nature of the work.
Work should not be covered up or proceed until the prerequisite inspections pass. There are re- inspection fees for failed inspections; the fees must be paid prior to scheduling the next inspection.

How do I schedule the required inspections?

Request inspections on the CSS Portal.  Requests made by 4:00 p.m. on a business day are scheduled for the next business day.
For projects with multiple trades, the general contractor requests combination rough and final inspections. Inspections cannot be scheduled when the required trade permits have not been obtained. The general contractor schedules all inspections. Subcontractors do not schedule inspections for their trade work.

What codes are enforced?

The City has adopted the State of Georgia minimum mandated codes with Georgia amendments (see list of State Building Codes currently in effect). Additional City codes and local amendments, and Federal, State, and Fulton County laws and regulations may apply.