The Residential Plan Review Division reviews new construction, additions, interior remodeling and demolition of single-family, duplex or two family houses and/or accessory buildings on one lot. Residential construction projects are reviewed for compliance with Chapter 25-2 of the Land Development Code, the 2015 International Residential Code, and Chapter 25-12, Technical Codes (local amendments).
Depending on the type of construction and location, residential plans may also be reviewed for compliance with the following applicable regulations:
- Residential Design and Compatibility Standards (McMansion Ordinance)
These regulations were adopted to protect the character of Austin's older neighborhoods.
- Zoning and Overlays
Check the zoning to determine if the property is within a zoning district that allows for that use.
- Tree Ordinance compliance
View submittal requirements and application instructions
- Neighborhood Plan compliance
Check if the property is located within a Neighborhood Planning area.
- Conservation Combining District compliance
Check to see if the property is within an approved district.
- Subdivision plat / Legal Lot Status
If the project is on a tract of land that is not platted in a subdivision filed on record with the City of Austin, the applicant will be directed to the Development Assistance Center to determine if the project qualifies for a platting exception.
- Floodplain proximity
Projects within 100’ of the 100-year floodplain will require additional floodplain review.
- Historic applicability
Any structures 45 years old or older will be forwarded for review by the Historic Preservation Office.
- Hazardous Pipeline Applicability
- Drainage Review requirements for South Lamar Area
Residential Review Requirements
- View the submittal requirements for new construction and Visitability Ordinance requirements.
- Visitability Plan Example
- Visitability Exterior Route Waiver Request Example
- Building Technical Review Handout - Provides code requirements for residential structures.
- Residential Technical Review Checklist - for use as a reference tool for frequently overlooked code requirements.
- Demolition and Relocation Requirements
Before submitting an application:
- Separate permits are required for plumbing, mechanical (air conditioning and heating), and electrical work.
- All necessary forms and documents must be submitted with each application.
- Relocation and demolition applications are forwarded to the Historic Preservation Office for review of historic applicability if the structure is over 45 years old.
- All expired permits must be resolved. Click here to view permit history (complete "Search by Property" fields and date range.)
- View Residential Building Review applications and checklists.
- How to Select a Contractor
Express Permits - Same Day Service
A Residential Express Permit Application may be submitted in person during Walk-In Hours, or via email at email@example.com. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing if submitted via e-mail.
View a list of projects that qualify for an Express Permit, provided there are no unresolved issues.
Small Projects - Reduced Plan Review Fee
The following application types will be billed at the Small Projects Plan Review rate as per the adopted fee schedule:
- Residential Interior Remodel Permit Application
- Residential Fence Permit Application
- Amnesty Certificate of Occupancy Application
- Garage/Carport/Porch Conversion Permit Application
- Pools without Wood Decks
If the scope of the project exceeds that of a small project(s), the plan review (PR) will need to be withdrawn and the project resubmitted using the New Construction and Addition permit application. The review fees for the small project will not be refunded per the fee schedule or applied to the new permit application.
Certificate of Compliance Program
Self-Certification for Certified Building Designers and Texas-licensed Architects is offered for certain qualifying projects. Learn more about the Certificate of Compliance Program.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)
On November 19, 2015, the City Council approved revisions to the ADU regulations.
A person who is not licensed to perform electrical, mechanical & plumbing work may perform work within a residence and on property owned by the person if eligibility requirements are met. This type of permit is a Homestead Permit. Click here to view Homestead Permit eligibility requirements. If you are eligible for a Homestead Permit, you must apply in person at the Service Center (1st Floor) and file an affidavit stating that the location at which the work is being performed is the person's homestead.
Work must still comply with applicable Building Codes, City Codes, and other applicable ordinances. View work exempt from permits.
A volume builder is a builder constructing at least 5 single or two-family dwelling units on lots within the same subdivision, within the same townhouse complex, or on a multi-family zoned lot with single or two-family dwellings.
The subdivision must have a minimum of 10 lots with the exception of ammended plats already in the program. Administrative waivers will be considered on a case by case basis if a builder does not meet the requirements.
Learn more about the Volume Builder Program.
New Procedures or Requirements:
- Consultation Fee - Though this is not a new fee, clarity on its administration is needed. The consultation fee will be used when staff spend extra time with an applicant to assist them in getting their permit application approved. The addition of this fee will be communicated to the applicant prior to it being added to the project and is only applicable to projects that are in the review process.
- Review Times - New review times became effective on May 16, 2017.
- Openings in Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)
- Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act, - On February 16, 2016, the City Council adopted Chapter 2-14 of the City Code which allows City staff to modify a City of Austin requirement (related to residential property) for a person with a disability, and outlines a process for how to request reasonable accommodations.
Residential Preliminary Plan Review:
Customers may seek a one-hour preliminary plan review (PPR) by paid appointment for project-specific feedback or interpretation of the Austin City Code. All PPRs are coordinated by the Expedited Building Plan Review Program. For a one-hour preliminary plan review, please complete the Residential PPR Request Form and submit during Intake Hours (see Office Hours) or e-mail your form to ExpeditedReview@AustinTexas.gov. Prices for a PPR vary depending on the disciplines involved and number of disciplines requested. The fees are charged by each discipline’s hourly rate. Refer to the Expedited Review Website for a complete list of fees by review discipline.
Office Hours: (2nd Floor)
Intake: Monday - Friday, 8am to Noon.
All other services: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8am to Noon.
Check-In for Service:
Don't want to wait in line for service? Use our Customer Service Check-In feature to check in for services remotely from home, office or mobile device.
Call 3-1-1 (inside the city limits), or 512-974-2000 (outside the city limits)
For general questions regarding Residential Permit Application review processes and procedures, or for basic development-related questions, the Residential Review Division will continue to provide free walk-in sessions.
Please know that some questions are too specific and cannot be answered via a phone call. We strongly recommend you visit us during walk-in hours for a 20-minute free consultation, or schedule a paid preliminary plan review per the instructions under the "Questions" section above.