Frequently Asked Questions

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Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions by individuals regarding requirements and procedures.

    Why does the city require building permits for various projects?

    Building permits are required to ensure that the construction meets the requirements of all state, city and fire prevention codes. Inspections are completed on all permits issued to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens of Melbourne.

    Is a permit required?

    Most people are aware that building permits are required for new commercial buildings, tenant build-outs, construction trailers, temporary power poles, new homes, mobile homes, room additions, and in-ground swimming pools. 

    Unfortunately, some realize only after work is underway or finished that permits are needed for other projects, such as carports; garages; fences; sheds; re-roofing; window replacement; door replacement; garage-door replacement; above-ground swimming pools; A/C change-outs; electrical work; plumbing work; gas piping and connections; generators; fire-protection systems (alarms, sprinklers, stand-pipes); walk-in coolers; and low-voltage wiring. 

    Projects started without a building permit can result in greatly increased costs, delays, and even removal of structures.  The structures may be placed in the wrong location or they may not comply with building codes. 

    The Florida Building Code, 6th Edition (2017), requires that a building permit be obtained prior to construction, alterations, repairs, and relocations.  A property owner or contractor who starts work without first obtaining a permit could be subject to a penalty of 100% of the usual permit fee.  Section 109 of the Florida Building Code sets fees, which are authorized by Florida State Statute 553.80. 

    The permitting process allows a determination that improvements such as pools, screen rooms, sheds, garages, and carports comply with setbacks that specify where structures can be placed on a lot. 

    A variance is required for any encroachment on the required setbacks. A variance can be requested through the Community Development Department.

    Improvement plans must also avoid placing a structure in an easement, which is an area that has been legally reserved for a public use. However, a property owner can ask the City Council to approve abandonment of an easement. 

    What type of work requires a permit?

    Any new construction, addition or alteration of existing structures, fences, driveways, parking lots, roofing, swimming pools, solar pool heaters, structural changes, signage, commercial awnings, irrigation systems, tree removal, land disturbing activity, plumbing, electrical, gas or HVAC work requires a permit. Contact the Building Dept. at 321/ 608-7915 for any additional questions.

    What licenses are required for those who apply for a permit in the City of Melbourne?

    • State Certified Contractors: Copy of State Certification & proof of Workers Compensation Insurance or Affidavit of Exemption.
    • State Registered Contractors: Copy of State Registration, Brevard County Competency Card & proof of Workers Compensation Insurance or Affidavit of Exemption.
    • Subcontractors: Copy of county occupational license & proof of Workers Compensation Insurance or Affidavit of Exemption.
    • Specialty Contractors: Licensed by the County.

    How long does it take for a permit to be approved?

    If plans only require a single review:
    • Residential Construction Permits require an average of 5 to 7 working days for approval or response.
    • Commercial Construction Permits require an average of 14 to 21 working days for approval.
    • Fire System Permits (Alarms, Sprinklers, etc.) require an average of 7 to 10 working days for approval. 
    • Certain permits may be issued while you wait or within 3 days if plan review is required.

    How do I apply for a permit?

    A permit application must be submitted, along with drawings when applicable, surveys for any new construction or additions to the property, proof of property ownership from the property owner (deed or tax statement), description of work being done, and estimated value of construction. (Shopping centers, malls, and strip centers require a letter of authorization from the shopping center or mall).

    Why do I need to submit surveys of my property?

    Surveys are required for any new construction or additions to existing properties to verify that the proposed construction is wholly located on the owner’s property and that it meets all setback requirements for the zoning district.

    Who needs to sign the permit application?

    The application must be signed by the contractor (license holder) and the owner of the property. Applications for shopping centers, malls, and strip centers, require an owner/agent signature. All required signatures must be notarized. A contractor may bring a signed agreement (a contract for example) that shows the contractor is authorized by the owner to apply for the permit.

    Can I receive a permit as owner/builder?

    Yes, if all of the following apply:
    • If applicant is the owner.
    • If ownership is by an individual.
    • If property is not for sale or lease for a period of one year.
    • (Commercial only) if construction value is less than $75,000.

    Do my plans need to be signed and sealed?

    Yes, if any of the following apply:


    • If proposed work is attached to main structure.
    • If proposed work is an in ground swimming pool.
    • If proposed work must meet wind load requirements, i.e. flag pole, satellite dish, all types of aluminum construction, and solar panel installation.
    All proposed commercial work, with the following exceptions:
    • Parking lots.
    • Proposed work less than $2,500 in value, which does not effect structural or means of egress components.