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Palm Beach County building permit guide

Sam Lam

Sam Lam

Last updated:

May 30, 2024

Published:

May 30, 2024

Reading time:

5

minutes

Construction projects in Palm Beach County, Florida usually require permits before work can begin. Whether you’ve never pulled a permit in your life or you’ve pulled dozens, you’ll need to understand Palm Beach County’s unique permitting requirements before you can start work in the county.

Read this guide to learn about Palm Beach County’s building permit requirements and how you can obtain a permit in the county. Plus, we cover important details like fees, permit types, and more.

Palm Beach County building permit requirements

If you’re planning to build, renovate, or demolish a structure in Palm Beach County, Florida, you’ll likely need a building permit before you begin work. Building permits are overseen by the Building Division of the Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning & Building Department. 

A building permit certifies that you have permission from the local government to construct, alter, or demolish a building, or to install plumbing, HVAC, or electrical equipment in an existing building. Building permits ensure that work you perform meets Palm Beach County’s local laws and codes, and that the project meets minimum health and safety standards.

You need a Palm Beach County building permit if you plan to build, alter, renovate, demolish, or add to an existing building. You’ll also likely need a permit for projects that involve installing, altering, or removing most electrical, plumbing, gas, or mechanical systems.

Do I need a building permit in Palm Beach County?

The Palm Beach County Building Division requires a building permit for most construction-related work. Certain projects — like simple renovations — may be exempt from inspection and building code review and only require a zoning review.

Examples of projects that do require a permit in Palm Beach:

  • Constructing a new building
  • Adding to or altering an existing building
  • Reroofing
  • Sewer and water service connections
  • Installing new air conditioning systems
  • Demolishing a building
  • Adding a swimming pool

Examples of projects that don’t require a permit:

  • Replacing a ceiling fan
  • Repairing an AC or heating system
  • Minor drywall repairs (less than $1,000 value)
  • Installing new faucets
  • Minor roof repairs (less than $1,000 value)
  • Painting
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets (without reconfiguring electrical or plumbing)

Palm Beach County building permit cost

The cost of a building permit in Palm Beach County ranges from as little as $25 to as much as $20,000 or more depending on the type of permit you need. Simpler projects such as additions and plumbing work will likely cost a few hundred dollars, while a permit for a new development could cost several thousands of dollars.

To get a better estimate of your permitting costs, use the Palm Beach County Building Division’s fee estimator tool

Construction permit fee schedule

In Palm Beach County, construction permits are generally priced starting with a base permit fee, plus an additional percentage of the construction’s value.

Valuation range fees are as follows as of December 2023:

Up to $2,000: $75

Next $8,000: plus 2.50%

Next $90,000: plus 1.75%

Next $200,000: plus 1.00%

All remainder: plus 0.75%

Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning & Building Department resources

  • The Palm Beach County Permit Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The last sign-in for a permit application is 4:30 p.m.
  • The South County Office is open for pick-up and drop-off services only (Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm).
  • Access Palm Beach County Building Department forms online.
  • You can submit a permit application online 24/7 via the ePZB portal.
  • The Building Division’s FAQ can answer any additional questions you may have.

Types of Palm Beach County building permits 

The Palm Beach County Building Division organizes permit application types into 10 groups, simply named Types 1 - 9, plus Type 0

Each group includes a list of various projects, generally organized by intensity or scope of the work and the kind of property (i.e. 1- or 2-unit residences vs. commercial buildings vs. 3 or more unit residences). 

Here’s a simplified run-down of the types of building permits in Palm Beach County:

  • Type 1: Various projects for 1- and 2-unit residences; various projects for non-residential commercial buildings; site plan review permits.
  • Type 2: Various projects for 1- and 2-unit residences; various projects for non-residential commercial buildings and residences with 3+ units; simple signage permits.
  • Type 3: For 1- and 2-unit residences. Includes additions and alterations to existing structures, detached accessory buildings, special permit accessory buildings, spas and swimming pools, and modular homes.
  • Type 4: For non-residential commercial properties and residences with 3+ units. Includes site improvements, accessory structures and additions, major renovations, and complex signage.
  • Type 5: Townhouses, designed 1- and 2-unit dwellings, plus master plan SFD initial submissions.
  • Type 6: Constructing multifamily dwellings with 3 or more units.
  • Type 7: Violations.
  • Type 8: Marine structures (docks, boardwalks, boathouses, etc.)
  • Type 9: Government projects.
  • Type 0: Agricultural zoning reviews, landscape reviews, and municipal impact fees.

To determine which type of building permit you’ll need, you can view a complete breakdown of the County’s permit application types.

How to obtain a Palm Beach County building permit

Here’s how to get a permit in Palm Beach County in four steps:

  1. Determine permit type
  2. Prepare and submit your application
  3. Review process
  4. Receive and post your permit

permit in Palm Beach

1. Determine permit type

The first step is to determine the type of permit you need by consulting the aforementioned list of types of permits provided by the Building Division.

Additionally, you should ensure that your project aligns with Palm Beach County’s local zoning regulations and building codes. Familiarize yourself with local policies and guidelines to ensure a greater chance of quickly and successfully obtaining your permit.

2. Prepare and submit your application

After determining which type of permit you need, you’re ready to prepare your application.

The Palm Beach County Building Division provides a helpful application sufficiency checklist for each type of permit application. We recommend consulting the appropriate checklist as you navigate the application to ensure you don’t miss anything. 

You may submit your Palm Beach County building permit application online. To do so, you’ll have to create an account with the county’s platform, ePZB. From there, you can submit all required paperwork, forms, and payments digitally.

3. Review process

After submitting your application, you’ll need to wait while the county reviews it. The county’s Permit Center processes online applications 24/7, but it will likely take a few days (or possibly a few weeks) for your permit to be reviewed and approved.

You can track the status of your permit online via the ePZB platform. Keep in mind that the county may request additional documentation before approving your permit. 

4. Receive and post your permit

When your Palm Beach County building permit has been approved, you’re almost ready to start work! 

First, you’ll have to pay any required fees to receive your permit. 

Then, you’ll need to schedule an inspection. You can schedule inspections online through the same platform you used to apply for the permit.

Pending a successful inspection, you can start work on your project. 

Pro tip: Remember to post your permit at the worksite! You could be hit with a fine if you fail to do so. 

How do I check the status of my Palm Beach County building permit?

After applying for a building permit in Palm Beach County, you can check its status online using the County’s ePZB platform.

Renewing a permit

Permits have a certain “shelf life” after which they’ll be rendered inactive. You’ll have to pay a fee to reactivate your inactive permit.

The fee to reactivate a permit is $75 if paid within 180 days of inactive status or 30% of the original permit fee if paid after 180 days of inactive status

Note: You may also have to pay additional fees due to increases that may have occurred since the original application date.

Working with a Palm Beach County permit expediter

One thing contractors, developers, and owners can agree on is that the permitting process is a pain. Since every jurisdiction has a unique application process, requirements are often unclear and the process can be time-consuming.

To save time, consider hiring a Palm Beach County permit expediter

A permit expediter is a third party that helps you navigate the permit application process. Your expediter will complete and submit the application on your behalf, track its status, and complete any follow-up documentation required.

How to simplify the permitting process with PermitFlow

Rather than hiring a permit expediter, you can further simplify the permitting process with PermitFlow

PermitFlow is a permit software provider that automates the permit preparation and submission process so you can obtain a permit effortlessly. 

The benefits of using PermitFlow include:

  • Access to permitting experts: The PermitFlow team includes professionals who are familiar with Palm Beach County’s permitting processes. 
  • Ease of use: From PermitFlow’s intuitive digital platform, you can submit, track, and pull permits from one centralized location. This spares you from trying to navigate Palm Beach County’s Permit Center and website. 
  • Faster results. Trust the experts at PermitFlow to get your building permit in your hands as fast as possible.

Construction projects in Palm Beach County, Florida usually require permits before work can begin. Whether you’ve never pulled a permit in your life or you’ve pulled dozens, you’ll need to understand Palm Beach County’s unique permitting requirements before you can start work in the county.

Read this guide to learn about Palm Beach County’s building permit requirements and how you can obtain a permit in the county. Plus, we cover important details like fees, permit types, and more.

Palm Beach County building permit requirements

If you’re planning to build, renovate, or demolish a structure in Palm Beach County, Florida, you’ll likely need a building permit before you begin work. Building permits are overseen by the Building Division of the Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning & Building Department. 

A building permit certifies that you have permission from the local government to construct, alter, or demolish a building, or to install plumbing, HVAC, or electrical equipment in an existing building. Building permits ensure that work you perform meets Palm Beach County’s local laws and codes, and that the project meets minimum health and safety standards.

You need a Palm Beach County building permit if you plan to build, alter, renovate, demolish, or add to an existing building. You’ll also likely need a permit for projects that involve installing, altering, or removing most electrical, plumbing, gas, or mechanical systems.

Do I need a building permit in Palm Beach County?

The Palm Beach County Building Division requires a building permit for most construction-related work. Certain projects — like simple renovations — may be exempt from inspection and building code review and only require a zoning review.

Examples of projects that do require a permit in Palm Beach:

  • Constructing a new building
  • Adding to or altering an existing building
  • Reroofing
  • Sewer and water service connections
  • Installing new air conditioning systems
  • Demolishing a building
  • Adding a swimming pool

Examples of projects that don’t require a permit:

  • Replacing a ceiling fan
  • Repairing an AC or heating system
  • Minor drywall repairs (less than $1,000 value)
  • Installing new faucets
  • Minor roof repairs (less than $1,000 value)
  • Painting
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets (without reconfiguring electrical or plumbing)

Palm Beach County building permit cost

The cost of a building permit in Palm Beach County ranges from as little as $25 to as much as $20,000 or more depending on the type of permit you need. Simpler projects such as additions and plumbing work will likely cost a few hundred dollars, while a permit for a new development could cost several thousands of dollars.

To get a better estimate of your permitting costs, use the Palm Beach County Building Division’s fee estimator tool

Construction permit fee schedule

In Palm Beach County, construction permits are generally priced starting with a base permit fee, plus an additional percentage of the construction’s value.

Valuation range fees are as follows as of December 2023:

Up to $2,000: $75

Next $8,000: plus 2.50%

Next $90,000: plus 1.75%

Next $200,000: plus 1.00%

All remainder: plus 0.75%

Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning & Building Department resources

  • The Palm Beach County Permit Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The last sign-in for a permit application is 4:30 p.m.
  • The South County Office is open for pick-up and drop-off services only (Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm).
  • Access Palm Beach County Building Department forms online.
  • You can submit a permit application online 24/7 via the ePZB portal.
  • The Building Division’s FAQ can answer any additional questions you may have.

Types of Palm Beach County building permits 

The Palm Beach County Building Division organizes permit application types into 10 groups, simply named Types 1 - 9, plus Type 0

Each group includes a list of various projects, generally organized by intensity or scope of the work and the kind of property (i.e. 1- or 2-unit residences vs. commercial buildings vs. 3 or more unit residences). 

Here’s a simplified run-down of the types of building permits in Palm Beach County:

  • Type 1: Various projects for 1- and 2-unit residences; various projects for non-residential commercial buildings; site plan review permits.
  • Type 2: Various projects for 1- and 2-unit residences; various projects for non-residential commercial buildings and residences with 3+ units; simple signage permits.
  • Type 3: For 1- and 2-unit residences. Includes additions and alterations to existing structures, detached accessory buildings, special permit accessory buildings, spas and swimming pools, and modular homes.
  • Type 4: For non-residential commercial properties and residences with 3+ units. Includes site improvements, accessory structures and additions, major renovations, and complex signage.
  • Type 5: Townhouses, designed 1- and 2-unit dwellings, plus master plan SFD initial submissions.
  • Type 6: Constructing multifamily dwellings with 3 or more units.
  • Type 7: Violations.
  • Type 8: Marine structures (docks, boardwalks, boathouses, etc.)
  • Type 9: Government projects.
  • Type 0: Agricultural zoning reviews, landscape reviews, and municipal impact fees.

To determine which type of building permit you’ll need, you can view a complete breakdown of the County’s permit application types.

How to obtain a Palm Beach County building permit

Here’s how to get a permit in Palm Beach County in four steps:

  1. Determine permit type
  2. Prepare and submit your application
  3. Review process
  4. Receive and post your permit

permit in Palm Beach

1. Determine permit type

The first step is to determine the type of permit you need by consulting the aforementioned list of types of permits provided by the Building Division.

Additionally, you should ensure that your project aligns with Palm Beach County’s local zoning regulations and building codes. Familiarize yourself with local policies and guidelines to ensure a greater chance of quickly and successfully obtaining your permit.

2. Prepare and submit your application

After determining which type of permit you need, you’re ready to prepare your application.

The Palm Beach County Building Division provides a helpful application sufficiency checklist for each type of permit application. We recommend consulting the appropriate checklist as you navigate the application to ensure you don’t miss anything. 

You may submit your Palm Beach County building permit application online. To do so, you’ll have to create an account with the county’s platform, ePZB. From there, you can submit all required paperwork, forms, and payments digitally.

3. Review process

After submitting your application, you’ll need to wait while the county reviews it. The county’s Permit Center processes online applications 24/7, but it will likely take a few days (or possibly a few weeks) for your permit to be reviewed and approved.

You can track the status of your permit online via the ePZB platform. Keep in mind that the county may request additional documentation before approving your permit. 

4. Receive and post your permit

When your Palm Beach County building permit has been approved, you’re almost ready to start work! 

First, you’ll have to pay any required fees to receive your permit. 

Then, you’ll need to schedule an inspection. You can schedule inspections online through the same platform you used to apply for the permit.

Pending a successful inspection, you can start work on your project. 

Pro tip: Remember to post your permit at the worksite! You could be hit with a fine if you fail to do so. 

How do I check the status of my Palm Beach County building permit?

After applying for a building permit in Palm Beach County, you can check its status online using the County’s ePZB platform.

Renewing a permit

Permits have a certain “shelf life” after which they’ll be rendered inactive. You’ll have to pay a fee to reactivate your inactive permit.

The fee to reactivate a permit is $75 if paid within 180 days of inactive status or 30% of the original permit fee if paid after 180 days of inactive status

Note: You may also have to pay additional fees due to increases that may have occurred since the original application date.

Working with a Palm Beach County permit expediter

One thing contractors, developers, and owners can agree on is that the permitting process is a pain. Since every jurisdiction has a unique application process, requirements are often unclear and the process can be time-consuming.

To save time, consider hiring a Palm Beach County permit expediter

A permit expediter is a third party that helps you navigate the permit application process. Your expediter will complete and submit the application on your behalf, track its status, and complete any follow-up documentation required.

How to simplify the permitting process with PermitFlow

Rather than hiring a permit expediter, you can further simplify the permitting process with PermitFlow

PermitFlow is a permit software provider that automates the permit preparation and submission process so you can obtain a permit effortlessly. 

The benefits of using PermitFlow include:

  • Access to permitting experts: The PermitFlow team includes professionals who are familiar with Palm Beach County’s permitting processes. 
  • Ease of use: From PermitFlow’s intuitive digital platform, you can submit, track, and pull permits from one centralized location. This spares you from trying to navigate Palm Beach County’s Permit Center and website. 
  • Faster results. Trust the experts at PermitFlow to get your building permit in your hands as fast as possible.
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