HOME Amendment Update: For information about the HOME Amendments and their impact on residential applications, visit austintexas.gov/home-ldc.

The Residential Plan Review Division reviews new construction, additions, interior remodeling and demolition of single-family, duplex or two-family houses and/or additional buildings on one lot. Residential construction projects are reviewed for compliance with Chapter 25-2  of the Land Development Code, the 2021 International Residential Code, and Chapter 25-12, Technical Codes (local amendments). For a list of work that does not require a permit, visit Work Exempt from Building Permits.

For New Residential Applications

Submit residential building permit applications through the following Residential Plan Review service pages and web form links. To modify a submitted application, visit the Existing Residential Application section.


Most Common Residential Projects

new construction or addition icon

New Construction or Addition Web Form

New construction of, or addition to, a single-family home, duplex, shed, or additional dwelling unit

interior remodel icon

Interior Remodel Web Form

Remodel of the interior of a home

minor repairs and express icon

Express Permit (Minor Repairs)

Minor repairs for a building on a residential single-family, duplex, or two-family house lot not located in a floodplain

garage conversion icon

Garage Conversion or Carport/Porch Enclosure (Small Project) Web Form

Conversion of legally established garages, carports, and porches


Additional Residential Projects

Amnesty CO icon

Amnesty Certificate of Occupancy (CO) (Small Project) Web Form

Existing residential building that does not have a CO and proves the current building existed without a change in use since March 1, 1986

fence icon

Fence (Small Project)

Solid and ornamental fence construction or replacement for a residential single-family, duplex, or two-family house lot

pool and uncovered deck icon

Pool/Uncovered Deck (Pool is Small Project) Web Form

Pool or uncovered wooden deck construction, replacement or repair for a residential single-family, duplex, or two-family house lot

relocation icon


Relocating or moving a building from a residential single-family, duplex, or two-family house lot

total demolition icon

Total Demolition

Total demolition of an individual structure or building on a residential single-family, duplex, or two-family house lot

volume builder icon

Volume Builder

Program that receives an expedited residential review for the construction of five or more new homes located in the same subdivision

For an Existing Residential Application:

Use this form to modify a submitted application. Submit an update or revision to an application and request to extend or withdraw an application.


Modify a permit

Modify a Residential Permit Application Web Form

Forms and Applications

For a complete list of forms and applications for the listed residential projects, visit the Residential Plan Review section of the Forms & Applications webpage.

Processes and Requirements 

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.

Drawing Requirements

Drawing requirements depend on your project's work and scope and can be found on the Forms & Applications webpage.

Homeowner’s (Homestead) Permit

For information about how to obtain a Homeowner's (Homestead) Permit, please visit the Homeowner's Permit webpage. 

Permitting Process
  1. Preliminary Meeting. If an owner and/or the owner’s agents wish to meet with staff to discuss preliminary design and/or construction issues, request a Preliminary Plan Review Meeting (PPR) at any time before submitting a permit application to Residential Plan Review. These meetings, conducted by the Expedited Building Plan Review team, are designated to assist the owner and/or design team in identifying items that need to be addressed or modified before construction plans are submitted to the City for permit review. The PPR does not guarantee approval of plans. The Preliminary Plan Review meeting is required for any general pre-application consultation that needs more than 20 minutes. Preliminary Plan Review Request Form (PDF) download document link
  2. Prepare. Download the appropriate application and review checklists to determine what documentation you will need to gather for your permit application. View Residential Building Review applications and checklists.
  3. Expired Permits. All expired permits (building permits and trade permits (BP, MP, EP, PP) must be resolved. Click here to view permit history (complete "Search by Property" fields and date range.)
  4. Apply with the appropriate Residential Building Permit Web Form - Once your project is accepted for review, you will receive an invoice and link to upload all the required documents and drawings outlined within the application.  The invoice can be paid on the AB+C portal. Once the invoice is paid, your project will be distributed for review, and your review time will start. 
  5. Plan Review. Review staff review plans in the order they are received and based on the mandated review times. Once a review is complete, you will receive an approval notification or a Master Comment Report via email, which must be addressed by the owner or owner’s agent before permit application approval.
  6. Submit any corrections (Update) with the Modify a Residential Permit Web Form. Make corrections to the required documentation as outlined in the Master Comment Report. If you have questions about comments, reach out to the assigned reviewer for clarification, and they will respond to your email or call within 24 hours. If you need more than 20 minutes or need to meet with more than one review discipline, please schedule a Plan Review Consultation by contacting your reviewer directly. The coordinating reviewer will review your request and create an invoice. Once your update is accepted for review, you will receive an invoice (if applicable) and need to upload the updated documents and drawings. Please note that the full plan set must be submitted, not just the updated sheets, when submitting an update. The invoice can be paid on the AB+C Portal. You may have to repeat this step if deficiencies remain.
  7. Permit Issuance. Once the final reviewer approves your application, the plans go back to our coordinating reviewer, who finalizes the process. This step can take one to two days. Once the required permits have been created, you will receive an email indicating that the permit(s) are pending activation. To activate permits, please visit the Activating a Permit webpage.
  8. Inspections. Once your permits have been activated, you may schedule a pre-construction meeting and then start construction and the inspection process. Visit Building Inspections for more information.
  9. Submit any Revisions with the Modify a Residential Permit Web Form. We understand changes can arise in the field for various reasons. Or you may have deferred submittals for certain items as allowed by code. 
Preliminary Plan Review

 A Preliminary Plan Review (PPR) allows the owner or owner's agent(s) to meet with plan reviewers to discuss preliminary design or code issues.

These meetings are designed to identify items that need to be addressed or modified before construction plans are submitted to the City for permit review.

All PPRs are coordinated by the Expedited Building Plan Review Program. Prices for a PPR vary depending on the disciplines involved and the 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.

Preliminary Plan Review Request Form (PDF) download document link

Private Restrictive Covenants, City Zoning Laws, and City Permit Applications

Residents frequently ask whether City zoning laws and proposed zoning changes override deed restrictions. The question often centers on whether a multi-unit residential structure can be built on a lot, even if the lot is subject to deed restrictions that limit development to a single residential unit. Visit the Private Restrictive Covenants, City Zoning Laws, and City Permit Applications webpage to learn more.

Project Status

The status of your application can be checked online through the  Austin Build +Connect (AB+C) Portal

Review Times

Projects that exceed the limitations of an express permit or small project will be reviewed per the Residential Review Times. The chart below reflects new review times which became effective on May 16, 2017. These review times will be reviewed on an annual basis beginning in Fiscal Year 2018 and may be adjusted based on the availability of additional resources, the mandate of additional code requirements without additional resources, or a reduction of development within the City of Austin.

The review times are published in Section 15.7 of the Building Criteria Manual, and include the review times reflected:

(Business Days)
New Construction & Additions 15
Interior Remodels 5
Update Submittals and Revisions Matches Original Application Review Time
Express Typically Same Day
Demolition 5
Relocation 5
S.M.A.R.T. Housing 5
New Construction, Volume Builder Master Set*
Effective October 1, 2017
New Construction, Volume Builder Participant with approved Master Set* 5

* Volume Builder application review times revert to New Construction review times when an additional review group, such as Tree or Fire review, is required. Master Sets are only for Zoning and Technical review, as other reviews are performed during Subdivision, Site Plan, or formal review.


Revisions are required for changes to construction permits, for adding or removing a trade permit, and for changes to the approved design, after the application for a permit has been approved and permits have been created and before the structure has passed final inspection. Submit any revisions using the Modify a Residential Permit Web Form.

Stand-Alone Trade Permits

Most Standalone Trade Permits can be requested directly through the AB+C Portal.  Please visit the Stand-alone Building or Trade Permit webpage for any questions or issues.


To request variances (or modifications) of Zoning site development regulations, off-street parking requirements, and sign regulations, visit the Board of Adjustment Support webpage.

Work Exempt from Permit

A permit is not required for certain types of work. Please reference the Work Exempt section for each adopted code listed.  Work exempt from permit must still comply with applicable Building Codes, City Codes, and all other applicable ordinances. 

Additional Reviews that may be required 

Austin Water Utility Taps

Zoning and Overlays

  • Check the zoning to determine if the property is within a zoning district that allows for that use.
  • Zoning and Overlays

Erosion Hazard Zone

  • An Erosion Hazard Zone review is required whenever the property is within 100’ from the centerline of a creek/stream bed.
  • Erosion Hazard Zone

Fire Prevention

  • A Fire review is needed whenever the area of a structure exceeds 3,600 SF total under the roof, the property is located within 200’ of a hazardous pipeline, or a property owner wants to add a sprinkler system regardless of code requirements.
  • Fire Prevention

Grading and Drainage

  • A Grading and Drainage review is needed when a storm inlet is within 10’ of a driveway curb cut.
  • Grading and Drainage

Floodplain Proximity

  • Projects within 100’ of the 100-year floodplain will require additional floodplain review.
  • Floodplain Proximity

Historic Applicability

  • Any structures 45 years old or older will be forwarded for review by the Historic Preservation Office. Properties that are zoned historic or are in a historic district will also be forwarded for review by the Historic Preservation Office.
  • Historic Applicability

On-site Sewage Facility (OSSF)

  • An OSSF review is needed whenever a property has a septic system, and conditioned space is being added to the property, adding bedrooms, or increasing the footprint of development of the property (adding a pool, patio, garage, etc.).
  • On-site Sewage Facility (OSSF)

Subdivision Plat / Legal Lot Status

  • If the project is on a tract of land not platted in a subdivision filed on record with the City of Austin, the applicant will be directed to Land Development Information Services to determine if the project qualifies for a platting exception.

Tree Ordinance compliance


  • The construction of a new dwelling unit with habitable space on the first floor must comply with the Visitability Ordinance.
  • Visitability Plan Sample (PDF) download document link

What are setbacks?

Setbacks are the area of a property to remain free and open to the sky above. Limited items can be built in the setback and are outlined in the LDC section 25-2-513. However, other residential zoning classifications have different setbacks. Please refer to LDC section 25-2-492 for setbacks per zoning classification.

What can encroach into a setback?

Limited items can project or be built in a setback. The City of Austin’s Land Development Code section 25-2-513 outlines these allowances.  Please note that mechanical units and pool equipment are allowed in a required yard setback.

What is the Floor Area Ratio (FAR)?

FAR is the ratio of floor area to lot size.  It determines how much building area can be built on certain properties.

Can I do an interior remodel with a garage conversion?

The answer is yes. However, you will be required to fill out a Residential Interior Remodel Application and a Garage Conversion and Carport/Porch Enclosure application. The same drawings will be used for both applications; there is no need to duplicate the required submittal copies. We will create one folder for the review of both applications. The project’s plan review fees will be assessed under the Interior Remodel Plan Review Fee schedule based on the project's square footage. Only one Plan Review (PR) folder will be created in our database, and only one set of permits will be created for both applications. The review time will match the review time of the application type with the longest review time. Current information for review fees and review times can be found on our website.

How many sides of a carport can I close with walls?

Carports shall be open on not less than two sides. Carports not open on two or more sides shall be considered a garage and comply with code requirements for garages. Reference code section: 2021 IRC R309.2 Carports.

Is raising the roof of my house still considered an interior remodel?

Raising the roof of a house is considered an addition. When raising the roof of a house, a Residential New Construction and Addition Application shall be submitted.  If the house is located in a condominium regime site plan, a Residential New Condominium Permit Application shall be submitted, and a Site Plan exemption may be required. Check with the Land Development Information Services (LDIS) if your home is in a condominium regime site plan to determine if your work requires a site plan exemption.

Do I need a permit to build a deck less than 200 sq. ft. in an area not attached to the dwelling and less than 30” in height above the ground?

A deck with this description is not required to file an application for a building permit as long as it is not located in a flood hazard area. Reference code section:  R105.2 Work exempt from permitLocal Amendments to the 2021 International Residential Code. Be aware that work exempt from permit must still comply with the Residential Code and all other applicable laws and City Code requirements.

When do I need a Structural Verification Report?

We require foundation plans, wind bracing plans, and framing plans for new construction. However, we allow a Structural Verification Report instead of structural drawings for the following project types:

  • Conversion of a carport with an existing foundation open on no more than two sides to a single-story habitable space
  • Interior remodels where no additions to the building are proposed
  • Changes of use with remodel only where no additions to the building are proposed
  • Verification of existing foundations less than ten years of age
  • Verification of existing framing and wall bracing for structures between 5-10 years of age
  • At the discretion of the reviewer or the building inspector as necessary to determine compliance with technical code requirements.​​​​​​

Reference code section: Building Criteria Manual (BCM)

Do I need a permit to build walkways (Flatwork) on my property?

Sidewalks and driveways not located in the Public Right of Way do not require a building permit. However, be aware that work exempt from permit must still comply with the Residential Code and all other applicable laws and City Code requirements. Reference code section:  R105.2 Work exempt from permitLocal Amendments to the 2021 International Residential Code.

What items need to be shown on a floor plan? Can I draw the drawings myself?

Floor plans are to include (but are not limited to) the following items: drawing scale, room labels, wall measurements, ceiling heights, doors and windows including sizes or schedule, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide locations, dimensioned locations of new plumbing fixtures, handrail/guardrail locations, and room square footages.  Drawings can be done by hand as long as they are legible, drawn to scale, and provide the required information to perform a responsible review.  A complete list of submittal requirements can be found in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) 4.4.0:  Residential Submittal Requirements.

What are the requirements for Additional Dwelling Units in Austin?

Visit Additional Dwelling Units to learn more.

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

Learn more on our Fencing Regulations webpage.


The review fees for the small project will not be refunded per the fee schedule or applied to the new permit application.

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:

Small Projects will be billed at the Small Projects Plan Review rate as per the adopted fee schedule:

The cost of a project depends on the scope of work.  Please note that the permit fees are separate from the permit application fees.

Residential Plan Review Appointment (Consultation) Fee
Though this is not a new fee, clarity on its administration is needed. The consultation fee will be used when staff spends 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 before it is added to the project and is only applicable to projects that are in the review process.

Appointments & Live Chat

Schedule a Virtual or In-person Appointment for General Questions:

Residential Zoning Questions (Property)

Ask general zoning questions related to the Land Development Code for properties that contain single-family, townhouses, duplexes, and additional dwelling unit (ADU) residences. For example, impervious cover, setbacks, building coverage, Subchapter F, and other site development and zoning regulations for any new construction, addition, and other changes to a property. Please contact the designated reviewer if you have questions regarding a plan currently in review. Appointments are available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Residential Building Code Technical Questions (Building or Structure)

Ask general building code and structural questions related to international residential building codes, trade codes, and land development codes. For example, interior remodels, foundation, roofing, and wall-bracing plans, and any other changes or modifications to a building or structure. Please contact the designated reviewer if you have questions regarding a plan currently in review. Appointments are available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Residential Submittal Application Questions

Ask general questions to the Residential Plan Review Intake staff about application submittal questions, which application to submit, review fees, and review timelines.

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Express Permit (Minor Repairs) Application Questions

Ask general questions to the Residential Plan Review Intake staff about express permits. See the list of minor repair projects that qualify for an express permit.

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Residential Demolition / Relocation Application Questions

Ask general questions to the Residential Plan Review Intake staff related to the total demolition or relocation of a structure on a property. Learn more on the Demolition Permit webpage and Relocation Permit webpage.

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Questions about Rejection Comments from the Master Comment Report (MCR):

For faster overall project review turnaround times, the Residential Plan Review Team will be unavailable for phone, email, and appointments on Fridays. Team members will be focused exclusively on reviewing project updates on Fridays.

For questions about the issued rejection comments in the Master Comment Report and to discuss how to address the comments, contact the assigned Reviewer directly. The assigned reviewer and their contact information is located above each section of the issued comments.


Live Chat:

Click the blue chat bubble in the lower-right corner of this page to chat with Residential Plan Review Intake regarding the following requests. Depending on the question, an appointment may be recommended. Visit the About Development Services webpage to view chat hours.

  • Determining if a Building Plan Review Permit is required for certain residential work scope
  • Learn what to expect during the plan review process
  • Know what is needed for your application submission
  • Link your project to your Austin Build + Connect (AB+C) account