Your Guide to Boulder, Colorado Building Permits

No matter what type of residential construction, building or renovation project you are beginning in Boulder, you will need a building permit. These permits are issued by the City of Boulder to ensure that each project is safe, properly developed and adheres to all the building codes they have set forth.

To help homeowners, contractors and anybody else looking to begin their construction project understand the permitting process, we have developed this guide that offers everything you need to know about obtaining a building permit in Boulder, Colorado.

Who Needs a Building Permit in Boulder, Colorado?

Everyone who is looking to begin a residential or commercial construction or renovation project must begin by the process by obtaining a building permit. In some cases, such as minor home repairs, a building permit will not be necessary.

No matter the size or style of your project, you must always navigate the building permit process before you start in order to avoid penalties.

Types of Building Permits in Boulder

The City of Boulder, Colorado offers a wide range of building permits to cover all elements of residential and commercial construction projects. Each building permit in Boulder is approved based on the specifics of the project. If you are unaware of your exact needs, then it is recommended you contact a Boulder building permit specialist today for assistance.

Residential Building Permits

All new home builds and renovation projects will require a residential building permit, which takes into account the site plans, the scope of the project, a zoning review and more, ensuring that the residential development falls within the code.

Commercial Building Permits

Necessary for all commercial development, including multi-family residences, commercial building permits in Boulder, Colorado must be approved before starting any of the work. The City of Boulder offers a Multi-Family and Non-Residential Building Permit Checklist that outlines the requirements, which are more comprehensive than residential permits.

Demolition Permits

When your construction project includes having to demolish a building or a part of a building, you must require a permit from the city. Boulder offers four distinct demolition permits, which is why we encourage anybody in need of one to consult with a Boulder permit pulling service.

Mobile Home Permits

For any type of work on mobile homes aside from simply settling them on the land, a special type of building permit is required. With thousands of mobile homes in the Boulder area, these permits are used very often.

Trade-Specific Building Permits

The City of Boulder offers specific permits that include one aspect of a construction project that requires special approval. These permits include electrical, plumbing, roofing, fire systems, elevator, and fencing permits. These may be used for a one-off project in your home or can be added to a full-scale residential or commercial project.

Obtaining a Building Permit in Boulder

In order to receive approval for your permit, you must first fill out a building permit application in Boulder, Co. The City of Boulder has separated the building permit review process into two phases.

Zoning and Engineering Review

During this portion of the building permit review process, the permitting specialists assigned to your project will undertake a coordinated review of the zoning of your project. For residential projects, the zoning must be in line with standard residential zoning laws, as well as compliant with inclusionary zoning, which requires that 20 percent of the total number of housing units be made permanently affordable to low-income households.

The second aspect of the initial review is an in-depth engineering assessment, where the city’s building planners ensure that the blueprints and building plans for your project are up to code.

Building and Utility Issues

The second phase of Boulder’s building permit process takes a more general overview of all elements of your building and utilities. From electrical to fire safety to plumbing, this review is completed to verify that the building will be safe and secure once completed.

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Building Permit in Boulder, Colorado?

The review and approval times for Boulder building permits vary depending on the type of project, the scope of the work and the preparation of all materials. By submitting a complete, expertly prepared building permit application the first time, you can save weeks in obtaining an approval.

The City of Boulder offers an estimated review time for building permits based on the scope of each project:

Over-the-Counter Building Permits in Boulder
The City of Boulder offers express building permits for smaller projects that do not require the full review process.

You may qualify for an over-the-counter building permit in Boulder, CO if you are beginning one of the following projects:

  • Basement Finishes
  • Residential Electrical and Mechanical Work
  • Fences and Retaining Walls
  • Floodplain Development
    Interior Residential
  • Renovations and Remodels
  • Mechanical/Wood Stove Installation
  • Mobile Home Installation
  • Plumbing
  • Right-of-Way
  • Roofing/Siding
  • In Property Water/Sewer
  • Building Permit Resubmission


If your original permit application has been denied by the City of Boulder, then you must re-submit your application. A denial can add delays of up to four weeks on your project, which is why we highly recommend that you work with a professional permit pulling service in Boulder.

Work with Boulder’s Building Permit Specialists

Make sure that every construction project you undertake stays on track by working with Service First Permits, the leader in Boulder permit pulling services.

Our experts work closely with you to receive all the information about your project, then present it in a way that gets it approved quickly, the very first time! We have spent years working with the City of Boulder’s building permit department, building strong relationships that result in an expedited permit pulling process.

Schedule your free consultation now and discover why we are the best permit management service in Boulder, Colorado.