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City of Orlando Permitting Guide

Britain Jacobson

Britain Jacobson

Last updated:

May 30, 2024

Published:

May 30, 2024

Reading time:

5

minutes

Like most cities throughout the US, the City of Orlando requires builders, contractors, and developers to obtain a permit to ensure building safety before they can start working on their projects. Whether you’re familiar with the permitting process or you’ve never navigated it before, it’s important to understand the unique policies and requirements of the city where you’re applying. 

In Orlando, Florida, you’ll have to complete the correct forms and submit your plans digitally. Keep reading this guide to learn more about permitting in Orange County’s City of Orlando.

City of Orlando permitting requirements

Building safety is of the utmost importance, so anyone planning to construct, alter, or demolish a building in the City of Orlando will first need to obtain a building permit. You’ll also need a permit for projects involving electrical, plumbing, gas, or mechanical systems. 

Building permits in Orlando are overseen by the City of Orlando Building Department, Permitting Services Division. Your permit certifies that your construction project is safe and up to code. Having a permit allows you to begin work on your project in Orange County.

Orlando offers online services for permit applications, so you can apply online to save time.

Examples of projects that require a building permit in Orlando include:

  • New development
  • Building additions or expansions to existing structures
  • Adding garages, sheds, porches, etc. to existing properties
  • Reroofing
  • Sewer and water service connections
  • Installing new HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or mechanical systems
  • Demolishing a building

Examples of projects that don’t require a permit:

  • Replacing ceiling fans
  • Repairing HVAC or plumbing systems
  • Painting
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets

City of Orlando Building Department, Permitting Services Division 

  • City of Orlando Building Department phone number: (407) 246-2121
  • Email: digitalpermits@orlando.gov 
  • Address: 400 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801

How much is a building permit in Orlando, Florida?

An Orlando building permit varies in cost from about $20 to several thousands of dollars depending on the value of the project and the type of permit required.

Here are fees for common building permits:

  • New residential construction permit fee: $26 for first $1,000 of project value (+$3 per each additional $1,000 of value)
  • New multifamily/commercial construction permit fee: $26 for first $1,000 of project value (+$4 per each additional $1,000 of value)
  • Minimum electrical permit fee: $38
  • Plumbing permit fee for new construction or addition: $75
  • Gas permit fee (up to $1,000): $64 (+$6 per additional $1,000 of project value)
  • Sign permit fee: $38 - $69 depending on sign square footage

City of Orlando permitting process

Submitting City of Orlando permit applications is relatively straightforward. Carefully follow each step to submit your application and receive your permit and start work on your project in Orange County as quickly as possible.

Pro tip: To prepare for the permitting process, you may request a pre-application meeting with a planner. The Planning Division can answer questions about zoning, construction permits, and more.

Here’s a step-by-step overview of how to get a permit in Orlando: 

1. Submit permit applications

In Orlando, different types of construction projects require different types of permits. So first, you’ll have to determine which application form to fill out.

Here’s an overview of the different types of forms the Permitting Division requires:

General permitting forms Required for general permitting services, such as owner builder declarations, inspection affidavits, digital signature forms, and general plan review codes.
Business tax receipt forms Required for business tax and certificate of use applications, home occupation applications, and mobile peddler applications.
Building permit forms Required for residential and commercial vertical construction, renovations, window or door replacements, and swimming pool construction.
Electrical permit applications Required for projects involving electrical services, repairs, connections, and equipment.
Engineering permit forms Required for projects involving driveways, roadways, demolitions, sewers, and mass gradings.
Fire permit forms Required for projects involving fire alarms, fire suppression systems, or gas tank installation.
Construction, maintenance, and performance guarantees Required when guaranteeing that a project will be completed accordingly with a contract’s terms.
Mechanical permit forms Required for projects involving mechanical services, equipment, or repairs.
Plumbing and gas permit forms Required for projects involving gas or plumbing services and repairs.
Right-of-way forms Required for projects that impact city-owned areas, like streets, sidewalks, and curbs.

2. Submit plans

The City of Orlando Permitting Division accepts and reviews plans digitally via online services. After processing your application, the City will email you a link to access ProjectDox, its digital plan review system. 

After logging into ProjectDox, you can upload your digital plans.

Digital plan upload best practices and policies:

  • Adhere to all required file naming conventions and file size limits (1 GB)
  • Ensure drawing files are just one page
  • Get a third-party verified digital signature for your plans

Note: Commercial project applicants will have to pay a 25% non-refundable fee before submitting their digital plans. 

3. File a Recorded Notice of Commencement

Applicants whose projects are valued at more than $5,000 must file a Notice of Commencement. This Notice must be filed with the Orange County Comptroller’s Office first, then with the City of Orlando. You’ll have to post this Notice at your job site. 

4. Check the status of your plans

You can check on the status of your plan review and permit status using the City of Orlando Permit Lookup tool online.

Keep in mind that the time it takes to review your plans varies based on:

  • The type of project (residential vs. commercial)
  • The scope of the work

5. Pay

After the Permitting Division has approved permit applications and plans, you’ll receive instructions on how to pay for your permit. Use the City’s online services Permit Lookup tool to check and pay fees.

6. Download your permit & plans

Once you’ve paid the required fees, you’ll receive an email from the City of Orlando alerting you that your plans can be downloaded. Log into ProjectDox to view and download your plans.

Remember: Print your plans to scale and be sure to post them at the construction site before starting work.

7. Schedule an inspection

Certain permits require inspections. Schedule an inspection within 6 months of receiving your permit to prevent it from expiring. The City offers online services to schedule your inspection.

8. Check your permit status

After passing the inspection, your permit is considered finalized. Failing to close out your permit could cause problems in the future if you try to sell the property. So, use the City of Orlando Permit Lookup tool to ensure that your permit is marked as ‘final.’

9. Submit changes after receiving your permit

Sometimes, things change after receiving your permit. For example, an inspector may request corrections, or you may tweak your construction plans.

Make sure you communicate these changes appropriately by emailing digitalpermits@orlando.gov. The Permitting Division will reopen the digital platform for you to make those changes.

10. Get your Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion

Email digitalpermits@orlando.gov to obtain a copy of your Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion. Make sure you put your permit number somewhere in the email subject line to ensure a quick transaction.

Working with a permit expediter in Orlando, FL

As a busy contractor, developer, or homeowner, the last thing you want to do is waste time navigating the cumbersome permitting process. One way to save time throughout this process is to hire an Orlando permit expediter.

Permit expediters are for-hire service providers who help you navigate the process of applying for a permit. They ensure that your application is complete and accurate to prevent any issues upon applying. Should an issue arise, your permit expediter can address it for you. After submitting your application, your expediter will also track its status and complete any required follow-up documentation.

Simplifying the permitting process with PermitFlow

An even better time-saving alternative to hiring a permit expediter is to work with PermitFlow.

PermitFlow is the most advanced and user-friendly permitting software that automates the process of preparing and submitting a permit application. By working with PermitFlow, you’ll take all the tedious and time-consuming work off your plate. 

Trust PermitFlow to:

  • Provide access to permitting experts: PermitFlow’s team of architects, structural engineers, permit specialists, and former city planners understands the ins and outs of zoning and permitting in the City of Orlando. 
  • Submit, track, and pull permits from one platform: Avoid the frustration of deciphering local municipal websites by letting PermitFlow handle it all for you. 
  • Get your permit quickly. Speed up the permitting process by automating it with PermitFlow.

Like most cities throughout the US, the City of Orlando requires builders, contractors, and developers to obtain a permit to ensure building safety before they can start working on their projects. Whether you’re familiar with the permitting process or you’ve never navigated it before, it’s important to understand the unique policies and requirements of the city where you’re applying. 

In Orlando, Florida, you’ll have to complete the correct forms and submit your plans digitally. Keep reading this guide to learn more about permitting in Orange County’s City of Orlando.

City of Orlando permitting requirements

Building safety is of the utmost importance, so anyone planning to construct, alter, or demolish a building in the City of Orlando will first need to obtain a building permit. You’ll also need a permit for projects involving electrical, plumbing, gas, or mechanical systems. 

Building permits in Orlando are overseen by the City of Orlando Building Department, Permitting Services Division. Your permit certifies that your construction project is safe and up to code. Having a permit allows you to begin work on your project in Orange County.

Orlando offers online services for permit applications, so you can apply online to save time.

Examples of projects that require a building permit in Orlando include:

  • New development
  • Building additions or expansions to existing structures
  • Adding garages, sheds, porches, etc. to existing properties
  • Reroofing
  • Sewer and water service connections
  • Installing new HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or mechanical systems
  • Demolishing a building

Examples of projects that don’t require a permit:

  • Replacing ceiling fans
  • Repairing HVAC or plumbing systems
  • Painting
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets

City of Orlando Building Department, Permitting Services Division 

  • City of Orlando Building Department phone number: (407) 246-2121
  • Email: digitalpermits@orlando.gov 
  • Address: 400 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801

How much is a building permit in Orlando, Florida?

An Orlando building permit varies in cost from about $20 to several thousands of dollars depending on the value of the project and the type of permit required.

Here are fees for common building permits:

  • New residential construction permit fee: $26 for first $1,000 of project value (+$3 per each additional $1,000 of value)
  • New multifamily/commercial construction permit fee: $26 for first $1,000 of project value (+$4 per each additional $1,000 of value)
  • Minimum electrical permit fee: $38
  • Plumbing permit fee for new construction or addition: $75
  • Gas permit fee (up to $1,000): $64 (+$6 per additional $1,000 of project value)
  • Sign permit fee: $38 - $69 depending on sign square footage

City of Orlando permitting process

Submitting City of Orlando permit applications is relatively straightforward. Carefully follow each step to submit your application and receive your permit and start work on your project in Orange County as quickly as possible.

Pro tip: To prepare for the permitting process, you may request a pre-application meeting with a planner. The Planning Division can answer questions about zoning, construction permits, and more.

Here’s a step-by-step overview of how to get a permit in Orlando: 

1. Submit permit applications

In Orlando, different types of construction projects require different types of permits. So first, you’ll have to determine which application form to fill out.

Here’s an overview of the different types of forms the Permitting Division requires:

General permitting forms Required for general permitting services, such as owner builder declarations, inspection affidavits, digital signature forms, and general plan review codes.
Business tax receipt forms Required for business tax and certificate of use applications, home occupation applications, and mobile peddler applications.
Building permit forms Required for residential and commercial vertical construction, renovations, window or door replacements, and swimming pool construction.
Electrical permit applications Required for projects involving electrical services, repairs, connections, and equipment.
Engineering permit forms Required for projects involving driveways, roadways, demolitions, sewers, and mass gradings.
Fire permit forms Required for projects involving fire alarms, fire suppression systems, or gas tank installation.
Construction, maintenance, and performance guarantees Required when guaranteeing that a project will be completed accordingly with a contract’s terms.
Mechanical permit forms Required for projects involving mechanical services, equipment, or repairs.
Plumbing and gas permit forms Required for projects involving gas or plumbing services and repairs.
Right-of-way forms Required for projects that impact city-owned areas, like streets, sidewalks, and curbs.

2. Submit plans

The City of Orlando Permitting Division accepts and reviews plans digitally via online services. After processing your application, the City will email you a link to access ProjectDox, its digital plan review system. 

After logging into ProjectDox, you can upload your digital plans.

Digital plan upload best practices and policies:

  • Adhere to all required file naming conventions and file size limits (1 GB)
  • Ensure drawing files are just one page
  • Get a third-party verified digital signature for your plans

Note: Commercial project applicants will have to pay a 25% non-refundable fee before submitting their digital plans. 

3. File a Recorded Notice of Commencement

Applicants whose projects are valued at more than $5,000 must file a Notice of Commencement. This Notice must be filed with the Orange County Comptroller’s Office first, then with the City of Orlando. You’ll have to post this Notice at your job site. 

4. Check the status of your plans

You can check on the status of your plan review and permit status using the City of Orlando Permit Lookup tool online.

Keep in mind that the time it takes to review your plans varies based on:

  • The type of project (residential vs. commercial)
  • The scope of the work

5. Pay

After the Permitting Division has approved permit applications and plans, you’ll receive instructions on how to pay for your permit. Use the City’s online services Permit Lookup tool to check and pay fees.

6. Download your permit & plans

Once you’ve paid the required fees, you’ll receive an email from the City of Orlando alerting you that your plans can be downloaded. Log into ProjectDox to view and download your plans.

Remember: Print your plans to scale and be sure to post them at the construction site before starting work.

7. Schedule an inspection

Certain permits require inspections. Schedule an inspection within 6 months of receiving your permit to prevent it from expiring. The City offers online services to schedule your inspection.

8. Check your permit status

After passing the inspection, your permit is considered finalized. Failing to close out your permit could cause problems in the future if you try to sell the property. So, use the City of Orlando Permit Lookup tool to ensure that your permit is marked as ‘final.’

9. Submit changes after receiving your permit

Sometimes, things change after receiving your permit. For example, an inspector may request corrections, or you may tweak your construction plans.

Make sure you communicate these changes appropriately by emailing digitalpermits@orlando.gov. The Permitting Division will reopen the digital platform for you to make those changes.

10. Get your Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion

Email digitalpermits@orlando.gov to obtain a copy of your Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion. Make sure you put your permit number somewhere in the email subject line to ensure a quick transaction.

Working with a permit expediter in Orlando, FL

As a busy contractor, developer, or homeowner, the last thing you want to do is waste time navigating the cumbersome permitting process. One way to save time throughout this process is to hire an Orlando permit expediter.

Permit expediters are for-hire service providers who help you navigate the process of applying for a permit. They ensure that your application is complete and accurate to prevent any issues upon applying. Should an issue arise, your permit expediter can address it for you. After submitting your application, your expediter will also track its status and complete any required follow-up documentation.

Simplifying the permitting process with PermitFlow

An even better time-saving alternative to hiring a permit expediter is to work with PermitFlow.

PermitFlow is the most advanced and user-friendly permitting software that automates the process of preparing and submitting a permit application. By working with PermitFlow, you’ll take all the tedious and time-consuming work off your plate. 

Trust PermitFlow to:

  • Provide access to permitting experts: PermitFlow’s team of architects, structural engineers, permit specialists, and former city planners understands the ins and outs of zoning and permitting in the City of Orlando. 
  • Submit, track, and pull permits from one platform: Avoid the frustration of deciphering local municipal websites by letting PermitFlow handle it all for you. 
  • Get your permit quickly. Speed up the permitting process by automating it with PermitFlow.
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