Building Permit - Do I need one?

As a general rule, the answer is YES - any construction work that is regulated by adopted Building Codes and Fire and Public Safety Regulations requires a permit before work can begin.


Permit Requirements Common Projects which Require Permits Frequently Asked Questions Permit Forms Payment System - Building Permits Permit Fee Schedule City Codes & Standard Construction Details

~ Permit Status and Permit History ~

Has a Permit been Issued?

Permit Requirements - It is not surprising that many property owners, including condo unit owners, are not familiar with local building codes. Many property owners think that it is the contractor's responsibility to make sure a building permit has been obtained. This is not true. The property owner is held responsible for obtaining the building permit.

The building code is not another red-tape nuisance. There are good, sound reasons for having these regulations. First and foremost, the building code protects YOU! It ensures that the completed work meets specific quality standards that will protect you and your neighbors.

Sometimes a contractor may try to skirt the building permit requirement. If the code inspector finds the work in progress without the required permit, the property owner is cited (and not the contractor) for having work done without a permit. This can result in double fees for the permit and/or fines for having work done without a permit.

The City of Cocoa Beach requires building permits for the following reasons:


Common Construction Projects Which Require Building Permits
Air conditioning / heat system change outs Piers
Balcony restoration Pilings and posts
Boathouses and boatlifts Plumbing (movement or replacement of fixtures or pipes)
Commercial floor plan alterations Pool construction, renovation or re-surfacing
Concrete slabs, patios & gazebos Roof repairs and re-roofing
Decks Screen enclosures
Demolition work of any kind Seawalls (construction or repairs)
Docks - new, repair or replacement Sheds
Dredge and fill projects Siding
Driveways and curb cuts Signs and signage (temporary or permanent)
ALL Electrical work Soffits (new and replacement)
Facia work Solar heating systems
Fences and fencing (new and replacements) Structural alterations or repairs of any kind
Fire alarms and sprinkler systems Tents
Handrails - external (new and replacements) Water heaters (new or replacement)
Hurricane shutters Water wells
Paneling, wall and floor coverings Window replacements


This list covers the more common projects - it does not cover all activities that require permits. It is advisable to call the Building Department before starting your work if you are not certain if a permit is required. Remember: Reputable contractors know which jobs require permits in Cocoa Beach and they obtain the permits as required.

When application is made for a building permit, the City checks to make sure the contractor is properly licensed and that the work is done by a licensed professional with the required liability insurance. When the work is completed, a building inspector from the city then inspects the completed job to make sure it was done properly and complies with the city code. This protects you! These requirements protect you and your neighbors from shoddy work that may result in later damage (fire, leaks and blowing debris, e.g.)

So next time you consider having work done on your property, please call the City first at (321) 868-3217 or e-mail: to find out if a permit is required and then make sure the contractor gets the building permit before work begins.




Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Building Permit cost?

The cost of the permit depends on the type of work to be done and the cost of the project to be completed. All permit fees are regulated by and specified in the City Code of Ordinances. You can also call the Building department at 868-3217 or e-mail: or FAX to 868-3378.

Will my contractor obtain the permit?

The reputable contractors know the requirements and abide by them. Unfortunately, not all contractors comply with the City code. Remember, it is the property owner who is responsible for ensuring that all work on his/her property is preceded by acquisition of the appropriate permits.

How do I find out if my contractor is licensed?

State law requires that all construction work be done by a licensed contractor. Residents are discouraged from hiring unlicensed contractors. Both the unlicensed contractor and the owner who ordered the work may be subject to severe fines and penalties. Call the Building Department at 868-3217 to verify a contractor's status before you sign a contract for repairs or construction work.

What else should I ask a proposed contractor about?

To protect yourself from a lawsuit, verify that the contractor has adequate workers compensation and general liability insurance coverage. The City requires contractors to file proof of such insurance coverage before any work can begin.

Is the contractor required to get any other permits?

Contractors are required to obtain occupational permits in order to solicit or perform any type of construction work in the City. The City will not issue the permit unless the contractor first provides proof of the appropriate insurance coverage.

What happens if I get caught doing work without a building permit?

Minimally, the building inspector will issue a "cease work" order until you obtain the proper building permit. The minimum penalty for doing work without a permit is that you will be charged twice the normal fee for the building permit for the type of work you are having done. If the work being done is in violation of the building codes or the zoning regulations, the work must be changed to comply or else the work must be undone. Matters of non-compliance are referred to the City's Code Enforcement Board which has the authority to review the case and impose fines up to $250 per day until compliance is achieved.


The building codes are meant to protect you by ensuring work meets defined quality standards. The building permit fee includes a review of the work plans by a professional building inspector employed by the City and in many cases, a field inspection of the work by the building inspector.