Denver Building Permits

When you make the decision to start building, renovating or repairing any property within the City and County of Denver, the first thing you need to do is apply for your building permits. The Denver Building permit process lets the city know your plans for construction so the Building Department can ensure your plans are up to Building code.

The resurgence in Denver’s development as of 2018 has led to the city issuing the highest number of construction permits since the financial crisis of 2008. Due to the high volume of applications for construction, the submittal and review process to all necessary agencies can be lengthy, confusing, and sometimes frustrating, especially if not done properly. We have everything you need to know about Denver’s Building permits outlined in this article.

We are here to help you easily navigate the permit application and review process for construction in Denver.

Who Needs a Building Permit in Denver?

Most construction projects, including repairs and additions to a property, require building permits specific to the type of work proposed. Failure to get the right permits for your job can lead to a wide range of consequences, from having to stop construction to paying hefty fines to the City and County of Denver, all while experiencing a delay in your project timeline.

Whether your work will be done on a residential, commercial or public property, you have to go through the process to successfully receive approval from the many agencies within Denver Development Services. These services include, but are not limited to Addressing, Planning & Zoning, Wastewater Management, Transportation, Building Department, Fire Department, and Environmental Health

What Types of Construction Permits are Required in Denver?

A variety of building permits can be required for any one project, depending on the specifics of what you are looking to build or renovate. In general, to begin any type of project you must first meet the criteria from Planning & Zoning, as well as have a general construction permit. Trade-specific permits may also be required for various elements of the project such as electrical, plumbing, etc.

The differentiation between Residential or Commercial construction projects is typically obvious, however the difference between specific types of commercial construction can be less defined. The simplest way to understand which category of construction your project may fall in to, is to seek approval from Planning & Zoning prior to submittal for Building review. The Planning & Zoning department will determine the proposed use of the space where construction is planned, and will ensure this use is approved per Zoning Code for the specific property.

Residential Construction Permits in Denver

The most common construction permits are for residential projects, which are necessary for building new homes, making additions to, or remodeling of existing homes. While residential construction permits are often not required for minor in-home repairs, projects that you would hire a contractor or trades-person to complete usually need a permit from Denver Development Services.

Commercial Construction Permits in Denver

If you are planning a construction project for a business or a multifamily dwelling within the City and County of Denver, then there are a unique set of guidelines that must be followed. The Building codes for commercial construction are different from those of residential projects and often require the signature and seal of an architect, engineer or surveyor before they can be submitted for review and approval.

Industrial Building Permits in Denver

Business or organizations that deal in energy, transportation or material handling (also called wholesale or manufacturing) may fall in to the category of an Industrial use as determined by the Denver Planning & Zoning Department. Businesses that have an Industrial Use are further scrutinized by the Building Department for construction permits dependent on the specific type of Industrial Use and Occupancy proposed.

Agriculture Building Permits in Denver

Farms, nurseries, large urban gardens and locations with aquaculture equipment fall under a special set of guidelines that must be met before the city will issue a construction permit within the City of Denver. These guidelines will fall under multiple agencies within Development Services such as Planning & Zoning, Transportation, Wastewater Management, and Building Department.

Trade-Specific Permits

These construction permits deal with one aspect of a project that requires special approval. These include electrical, plumbing, gas piping, roofing/siding, mechanical for heating systems or air condition, as well as fire permits. These types of permits can be stand-alone for small jobs or required as part of a complete construction project.

Applying for a Building Permit in Denver

To obtain your building permit, you must submit an application to the City and County of Denver to be reviewed by the Building Department and other agencies within Denver Development Services.. Coordination for a single project requires knowledge and diligence to ensure all applications to appropriate agencies are correctly filled out and submitted within a timely manner to benefit the project and construction timeline. The complexity and length of the review process all depends on the type of project you plan on pursuing. There are two types of reviews that can be carried out by the Building Department before an approval is issued. Factors that determine which type of review your project will be assigned depends on use or occupancy of the space, complexity of proposed work, and dollar valuation of the proposed construction.

Login Reviews

Construction projects in both the residential and commercial sectors that require a logged-in review are typically higher in dollar valuation or have proposed work deemed too complex to be reviewed within 30 minutes or less in-person.
In most cases, you will hand-over your building plans to the Building Department or other agencies for review and work with reviewers over the coming weeks and months to gain approval.

Walk-Through Reviews

If your project is less complex and is associated with the proper use or occupancy such as a retail space, business office, or simple residential work, it may be appropriate for over-the-counter, same day Walk-Through review. This method is applicable for projects with a valuation under $500,000.00 and with limited complexity of work, but can lead to a Denver construction permit being issued in a shorter amount of time.

Scheduling a Building Permit Appointment in Denver

Specifically for logged-in projects, the City and County of Denver Building Department accepts appointment bookings up to 30 days in advance, so if you know that you will be starting a construction project soon, it is best to book an appointment as soon as possible. Depending on the scope of your project, you will have to book an appointment for a residential permit, commercial/multifamily via Log-In appointment. If you have a project that is deemed a minor repair, you may be eligible for a Quick Permit appointment. Quick Permits can be submitted in-person at the Building Department or online through the city’s website, saving you both time and a trip to the Permit Counter!

How Long Does the Building Permit Review Take?

If your project is deemed not appropriate for Walk-Through review, logged-in permit reviews with Denver’s Building Department usually take between 2-4 weeks each round. However, large-scale residential and commercial projects may take longer and applicants should prepare up to 2-3 months for review of their projects. .

If your permit is not approved on the first review due to missing documentation or additional information being required, it can set the approval process back several weeks or sometimes months; making the need to ensure adequate plans and documents are submitted for initial review of top importance to the project timeline.

Working With Denver’s Building Permit Experts

If you want to ensure that you receive approval for a Construction Permit as quickly and easily as possible for any residential or commercial construction project, then we encourage you to contact us today.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team work closely with you and your design professionals to gather all the right information, documents and everything else required by the multiple agencies within Denver’s Development Services. Service First Permits simplifies and tracks the permit review process so you can focus on other aspects of your project.
Schedule your free consultation now. Denver building permits are easy to get when you work with our service specialists. Contact us today!