When To Permit

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 9.50.41 AM.png

Navigating a major home repair or renovation can be difficult, stressful, and scary.  Add in permitting, and you have another layer of stress!  Luckily, Sarasota County recently laid out a very easy-to-understand guide for the permitting process.  Here's what you need to know, straight from the regulating office itself:

When Do I Need a Permit?

Owner, licensed contractor or its authorized agent, 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 technical 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.

  1. Any construction which alters the size or occupancy of a building.  
  2. Construction, alteration of replacement of any exterior walls.
  3. Enclosing existing carports, porches and screened rooms for any purpose.  
  4. Construction of any raised deck, attached or detached, with or without a roof.
  5. Replacement of columns, beams, joists, rafters, or any other structural component.
  6. Replacement of wall, floor, or roof sheathing.
  7. Repair & replacement of interior or exterior stairs and/or guardrails.
  8. Electrical, plumbing, or air-conditioning when altering, adding to, or deleting from the system.
  9. Interior load bearing and non-load bearing walls, alterations or replacement.
  10. Replacement of windows, doors, garage doors or skylights in existing or altered wall openings.
  11. Hurricane shutters, all types.  Electric permit also required for power-operated units.
  12. Roofing, replacement of any roofing component.
  13. Masonry or engineered Styrofoam privacy walls or fences with any masonry components.
  14. Dock, Boat-lift, Seawall, or Bulkhead installation or repair.
  15. Fire repairs of any type or scope.
  16. Storage or utility sheds, all types, all materials, and all sizes.
  17. Motorized or electric gates.
  18. Chickee or Tiki Huts
  19. Decks, whether raised or on-grade, on businesses.
  20. Stucco over wood-frame.
  21. Drywall removal & replacement (3 sheets or more)
  22. Accessory structures for mobile homes.

Some Examples of When a Permit is NOT Required:

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 10.16.57 AM.png
  • Painting
  • Wall paper & other wall coverings
  • Floor and wall tile
  • Rugs or carpeting
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets
  • Replacement of fascia & soffit
  • Non-structural siding placed over existing sliding/sheathing
  • Decks and patios directly on grade and without footings
  • Small, incidental roof leak repair
  • Non-residential farm buildings on working farms
  • Window/door change outs and re-roofing permits are no longer required for residential/manufactured Mobile Homes
  • Residential home alarms


Permits are no longer required for chain link, wood, or vinyl fences both on the Mainland and Siesta Key.  However, the standards with regard to height, placement, and finished side must face neighbor or right-of-way, etc. are still in effect.  For questions regarding fence standards, please call the county and ask for Zoning.

Construction Trades Requiring a State License

  • Air-Conditioning
  • Building Contractor
  • Electrician
  • General Contractor
  • Home Inspection
  • Mold-Related Services
  • Plumber
  • Pool/Spa
  • Residential Contractor
  • Roofer
  • Sheet Metal
  • Solar

Contact Information

When in doubt, call and ask.  Here is the contact information for the local permitting departments.

City of Sarasota

Kathleen Kelley, Permitting Coordinator (941) 365-2200 x4416

Sarasota County

Brad Bailey, Sarasota Permit Center (941) 861-5209

Kim Waller, Venice Permit Center (941) 861-3581

Manatee County

Cindi Blake, Deanna Ward, or Mindy Carver, Permitting Office (941) 748-4501, ext. 3800