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Building & Permitting

Building Permits

The City of Johns Creek requires building permits (City Code, Chapter 105-52) prior to construction or remodeling activity in order to help protect and maintain the health, welfare, and safety of our citizens and business patrons. Building permits ensure that proper plan review and inspections are performed, and in turn, verify that construction or remodeling of a residence or business complies with code requirements. (See list of adopted codes)

Chapter 105-52: "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, 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, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit for the work. A permit shall not be issued to an owner, who is neither a licensed contractor nor the occupant of a residential structure being altered."

Do I need a Building Permit for my Residential Project?

Do all residential projects require permits? The short answer is NO, but most common projects performed by homeowners or their contractors will likely require obtaining a building and/or trade permit. To help, we have identified some of our most common permit related questions below for your review.
Additional inquiries for clarification can be made to the Building Division at (678) 512-3250 or by email.

Replacing Windows and Doors

The removal and replacement of windows and/or doors do not require a building permit when replaced ‘in-kind’, unless the existing window openings are enlarged requiring new structural beams overhead. The reduction or elimination of an existing window opening may also require a permit given its original intent.

Replacing Exterior Siding

Exterior siding can often get damaged by weather or by falling trees. A permit is not required if siding alone is replaced. However, if structural components, such as existing sheathing and/or underlying framing members are replaced, a permit will be required.

Roofing/Shingle Replacement

The removal or adding a layer of an in-kind roofing material does not require a permit.

Storage Sheds

A permit is not required if ALL the following criteria are met. If not, a permit is required:
  • The shed is a pre-fabricated structure and anchored to grade;
  • Shed is equal to or less than 120 square feet in area, and;
  • Complies with all applicable building setbacks for accessory structures, does not encroach into a zoning buffer, stream buffer, landscape strip/buffer, sewer or drainage easement, or located within the 2,000-foot Chattahoochee River Corridor.
Site built structures, also referred to as ‘stick-framed’ construction, requires a building permit.
Contact the Planning & Zoning Division (email) to determine or confirm your building setback and buffer requirements.

Residential Fences

A fence permit and all required documentation is required when replacing or newly erecting a fence and one or more of the following criteria is applicable:
  1. Adjacent to or adjoining a public right-of-way; and/or
  2. Located in a zoning buffer, stream buffer, landscape strip/buffer, sewer or drainage easement, or within the 2,000-foot Chattahoochee River Corridor
Fences located outside these sensitive areas do not require a permit but must adhere to all regulations set forth in Section 4.11 of the City’s Zoning Ordinance. Contact the Planning & Zoning Division (email) if you have questions.

Residential Interior Alterations

Most interior renovation projects do not require permits, unless it involves elements that could affect life safety requirements identified in the adopted residential building codes.
No permits are required for the following common renovation activities:
  • Removal and replacement of kitchen and bath countertops and cabinetry without the addition or relocation of HVAC registers, plumbing supply and waste lines, electrical openings such as switches, outlets/receptacles or lighting fixtures, and/or the opening of walls through the removal of drywall.
  • Removal and replacement of floor or wall finishes, without altering their substrates.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work.
  • Prefabricated above-ground swimming pools less than 24 inches deep.
Permits are required when the following alterations are performed:
  • Adding a new window or door opening.
  • Adding, relocating or removing an interior partition wall, regardless if it is a load-bearing wall or not.
  • Erecting, installing, enlarging, altering, removing, converting, or replacing any mechanical, electrical, plumbing, gas or low voltage system, especially in concealed spaces such as walls, crawl spaces or attics.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls over four (4) feet in height must be designed and permitted. If the retaining wall is less than four (4) feet in height, but has a surcharge to the top of the wall, then the wall will need to be engineered and permitted. Walls over six (6) feet in height will need to be designed and sealed by a state licensed engineer.

Building, Replacing or Repairing a Deck

There are numerous code and zoning setback requirements involved in the building of safe and structurally competent decks on a home, regardless of whether it is new, a replacement or a major repair. Such deck projects will require the submission of a building permit with structural plans and a survey/site plan for review of location on the property, relative to zoning setbacks and framing of the structural components.
General maintenance and small repairs may not need a permit, but to confirm, a call to the Building Division would be warranted.

Submitting a Building Permit

Building permits are accepted Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 11360 Lakefield Drive, Johns Creek, GA 30097. 

The Building Division reviews building plans and inspects all residential and commercial structures built or remodeled within the City. They also issue the following permits:
  • New construction (residential and non-residential),
  • Additions
  • Alterations and remodeling
  • Deck and porch
  • Swimming pool/spa and barrier (public and private)
  • Demolition (residential and non-residential)
  • Basement finish
  • Retaining walls
  • Standalone trade
  • Additional permits as may be required

The permitting process typically includes plan review and inspections of projects from beginning of construction to issuance of a certificate of occupancy or completion. The Building Division is also responsible for the adoption and amendment process of all codes relating to plumbing, electrical, mechanical and structural elements, for both new and existing construction.