Plan Review

To build new residential structures, room additions over 1000 square feet, or to add a second floor to your home in the City of San Antonio, you will need to apply for a residential building permit. The documents that you will need to submit to us are:

  • All items listed in IB 101 - Residential Checklist and Applications (PDF)
  • A site plan, showing the following:
    • entire lot
    • existing structures on the lot
    • proposed construction
    • distances to all property lines
  • An energy report
  • Two construction drawings, which typically must include:
    • floor plans
    • wall section
    • items listed in the Residential Building Application

NOTE: Your foundation plan must be prepared by a licensed engineer.

After the City receives all the above-listed documents and you pay the plan review fees, Development Services will route your plans to the appropriate plans examiners for review. Our initial review of your building plans typically takes three business days. Based upon the location of your property, the following reviews will be assigned:

Review City Department Criteria
  • Building
  • Zoning
  • Tree Preservation
Development Services Standard reviews assigned to residential construction projects
  • Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD)
  • Corridor Overlay District
  • Other design zoning district
Development Services Review added only if property is subject to a design zoning district or overlay
Storm Water/Flood Public Works Review added only if property is in the flood plain
Historic Historic Preservation Review added only if property is in a historic area

Development Services' Plans Examiners will review your building plans for items such as the location of the structure, tree preservation, floor plan, framing, window, door locations, roof structure, and verify that foundation plans were sealed by an engineer licensed by the state of Texas. Typically, new residential construction requires the planting of two new trees to meet the City Tree Canopy for normal size City lots.

To get your project started quicker, we want to tell you about two options:

  • After-hour plan review is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for initial submittals based upon the availability of staff and current workloads. An additional fee will only be assessed if staff is available to review your plans outside of our normal work schedule and can be requested on the Residential Permit Application.
  • Once you have obtained an approval on your tree preservation review, the licensed plumbing contractor can obtain a plumbing permit to get your construction started before your building plans are approved and the City issues your building permit.

Plan Re-Submittal

If the plans examiner finds that your construction drawings do not meet the minimum code requirements, you will be required to correct your drawings. You can call your plans examiner and ask questions regarding the items that need to be corrected and how to re-submit your building plans.

Permit Issuance

Once all the required reviews are approved, the City will stamp your building plans as approved and issue your permit. After you pay your permit fees, you will be able to pick up your approved plans. You are now ready to start constructing your project. Your approved plans will need to be at the job site and available to the City's inspectors.

An approval or permit issuance does not guarantee a passing inspection. While our department works to ensure all plans are following code requirements, it is ultimately up to the licensed trades to ensure that they are building to the current code. Please note that based on the scope of your project additional permits may be required for other work including but not limited to, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, etc.

Limited Service Repair (LSR) Permits

When a water heater or an air conditioner need to be replaced, instead of waiting to get a permit before performing the work, a licensed contractor can apply online for a LSR permit. This allows a licensed contractor to make your repairs immediately and file for the formal permit using the LSR process within three business days after the work is completed.

The licensed contractor simply selects the correct permit type, completes the form, pays a small fee, and we take care of the rest. Our department will send the property owner a letter indicating that the permit was issued, and an inspection by the owner can be requested within 30 days or waived.

This provides customers with industry professionalism and additional reassurance that they hired a contractor who is performing work that follows health and safety codes.

Permit Expiration

For your safety, the International Residential Code requires that every permit application expire after 180 days if not being actively pursued. In addition, an issued building permit will expire after 180 days if no proof of construction or work progress has been shown.

In order to help facilitate your project, our department may grant one or more 180-day extensions when you can provide a valid, justifiable reason for the permit application or issued permit suspension or abandonment.

Permit Cancellation

If you are the permit holder and you no longer need your permit, Development Services will cancel the permit and you may be entitled to a refund if you meet the following criteria.

Trade Permits

(Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Flatwork, and Signs)

  • The permit was issued within 30 days.
  • No inspections were performed.

Building Permits

  • The permit was issued within 90 days.
  • No work was performed on the permit (plan reviews or inspections).

If you no longer need your permit but the City performed a plan review or an inspection, you can request that your permit be canceled without a refund.

When requesting a refund, you must complete a Request for Refund form.