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Home owners thinking about remodeling their home or adding other improvements such as decks, spas, or retaining walls, often have a number of questions about building permits. This information is designed to give home owners basic knowledge of when construction permits and other approvals are required by the City of Wimberley. It also answers some of the most frequently asked questions and offers tips from the City.
Since each construction project is unique, we invite you to call the City of Wimberley Permitting Department at 512-847-0025 for answers to specific questions.
Building permits are the way the City of Wimberley regulates construction. Permits help ensure that all construction in the City is safe. The safety of the building occupants is the primary reason for having construction codes. The City of Wimberley has adopted certain editions of the International Residential and Commercial Building Codes and augmenting codes. In addition, there are federal, state, and local laws that govern construction, such as regulations covering energy conservation.
There are several different types of permits, based on the type of construction: structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and combination (used for single family home construction and other small projects). Most home owners' projects require a combination permit. In addition, the complete demolition and relocation of buildings also requires permits.
Obtaining the permit is just the first step in the process. In this step, you may need to create plans to submit to the City, make a plot plan for your property showing the improvements, and show the type of construction you'll be using. The City has handouts to help you through this process. Once plans are approved, you are required to build the project according to those plans. If any changes are made to the plans, they must be made with the City's approval.
The second half of the process is the inspection of the work.
A building permit is needed for all new construction. In many cases, a permit is needed for repair or replacement of existing fixtures, such as replacing windows. A plumbing, electrical or mechanical permit may be needed for any additions or changes to a building's existing system; for example, moving or adding a wall or an electrical outlet requires a permit.
A building permit is not needed for items such as wallpapering; painting, or similar finish work; and fences four feet high or lower.
Building permits are issued by the City's Permitting Department located at Wimberley City Hall, 221 Stillwater Drive. Permit applications can be obtained at City Hall or by visiting the New Construction page.
The cost of a building permit depends on the work being done. Individuals obtaining a permit must pay a fixed processing fee for the permit application, a permit fee based on the stated value of the construction to be done, along with a fee for the building inspections associated with the permit. View the Fee Schedule (PDF).
Permit issuance periods vary. Some projects can be fully permitted over-the-counter, meaning a return trip won't be needed. However, some projects require that plans be left for additional review. Typically, a residential building permit takes approximately seven days to be issued, while commercial building permits typically take ten to fourteen days.
Other government agencies may need to review and approve your project. The City will inform you of these reviews and approvals at the time your plans are submitted.
When a permit (if needed) is not obtained before construction, you have violated the City of Wimberley regulations and will be subject to penalties. You will be required to obtain permits for the work and such work must pass inspection, or you will have to return the structure or site to its original condition.
The home/business owner or the project's contractor can obtain the necessary permits.
You can do the work yourself, but you must follow certain regulations, including:
Plans for projects such as room additions can usually be drawn up by a qualified individual such as a draftsman. Other projects may require plans prepared and signed by an architect or engineer licensed by the State of Texas.
In addition, some kit-type projects come with construction plans. Before you buy such kits, call 512-847-0025 to make sure your kit is accepted; then, just submit the instruction sheet or other documentation when you apply for your permit, as it serves as a project plan.
The City recommends that you check references of contractors that you plan to use. All electrical and plumbing contractors must be licensed by the State of Texas.
It is your responsibility to call us for inspections at specific times during construction. You may have your contractor make the call, but as the property owner, it is still your responsibility to make sure that inspections are made. Inspections are made during certain points in the project, depending on the work that's being performed. For example, retaining walls require inspections of the footing, after the block is laid and steel placed (but before grouting), after backfill has been placed, and when all work is finished. Remember, the project is not complete for legal purposes until it has passed the final inspection
Generally, permits expire after one-hundred eighty (180) days, if no inspections have been made. In order for the project to be complete, it must pass final inspection. If a permit expires before final inspection, the project is in violation of City Code. If this is the case with your project, call 512-847-0025. We will help you to reactivate the permit or apply for another with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing your project completed - including the final inspection. Should you have any other questions or need further clarification, please call us at 512-847-0025.