By Casey Callais — City permitting, code compliance and inspection information is all in the public domain but can be a bit confusing to navigate. I’ve put a collection of links together to help buyers and agents to find what they may be looking for with relative ease. Feel free to send me a message if you have more links that should be added!
City of Austin
Has my new house passed its inspections? You can find out using the Austin Build + Connect portal. Just punch in the relevant information (addresses may need to be in caps) and scroll down to see which inspections have passed and which are pending.
Who is the building inspector assigned to my area?
Your city inspectors work for you. Feel free to contact them if you have any questions about your home under construction. They are friendly and helpful! Find out who to talk to by adding your address and zooming in.
What building codes does Austin follow?
Austin adopted the 2021 International Residential Code and 2020 National Electric Code back on Sept. 1, 2021. There are a few interesting amendments that Austin observes, such as fences can be 8′ high without a permit, the minimum design wind speed for residential construction is 105 mph. You can find Austin’s codes online at https://library.municode.com/tx/austin/codes/land_development_code?nodeId=TIT25LADE_CH25-12TECO_ART11RECO
Do I need a permit in Austin to …?
Glad you asked. Austin says you have to permit work done on your home with the following exceptions:
- A one-story detached accessory structure that is no more than 200 square feet (18.58 m 2 ) of floor area, no more than 15 feet (4,572 mm) in height, does not create a dwelling, contains no plumbing, and is not located within a flood hazard area.
- Unless located within a flood hazard area, a fence that is not over 8 feet (2,438 mm) high.
- Unless supporting a surcharge or located within a flood hazard, a retaining wall that is not over 4 feet (1,219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall.
- A water tank that is supported directly upon grade if the tank’s capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallon and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1, and the tank is not located within a flood hazard area.
- A sidewalk, driveway or concrete flatwork that is not located in the public right-of-way.
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar work.
- A swimming pool that is prefabricated and less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep.
- Playground equipment, including a swing.
- A window awning that does not project more than 54 inches (1,372 mm) from the exterior wall and the only required support is the exterior wall.
- A deck that is no more than 200 square feet (18.58 m 2 ) in area, is no more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point, is not attached to a dwelling, does not provide egress from the dwelling, and is not located within a flood hazard area.
- A gypsum board repair that does not exceed 128 square feet, is not part of a fire resistance rated construction assembly, a shear-wall assembly, or a tub and shower surround.
- Asphalt shingles that replace existing asphalt shingles.
- Replacement of any roof covering that does not adversely affect the roof structure.
- A foundation repair that does not exceed 128 square feet.
- A floor decking repair that does not exceed 128 square feet.
- A non-structural exterior deck repair that is limited to the existing deck boards and does not include guardrails or handrails.
- Repairing or replacing exterior trim components including wood fascia, trim, and soffits.
- Siding that does not exceed 128 square feet and is not part of a fire-resistance rated assembly.
- Roof decking that does not exceed 128 square feet.
- Replacing or installing an overhead garage door on a garage.
- Replacing doors of same size and operation.
- Other work as determined by the building official.
- A portable heating appliance.
- A portable ventilation appliance.
- A portable cooling unit.
- A steam, hot- or chilled-water pipe within heating or cooling equipment regulated by the Residential Code.
- Replacing a minor part of equipment that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
- A portable evaporative cooler.
- A self-contained refrigeration system that contains 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant or that is actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
- A portable-fuel-cell appliance that is not connected to a fixed pipe system and is not interconnected to a power grid.
- Replacing supply and return duct runs.
- Replacing an exhaust or dryer duct run measuring less than 15 feet (4,572 mm) in length.
- Increase the number of supply registers within existing duct run.
- Other work as determined by the building official.
How do I apply for or “pull” a permit in Austin?
The city has streamlined the process by allowing it to be done online. You will need to register an account and follow the prompts at https://abc.austintexas.gov/web/permit/login?reset=true&t_loginAgain=1
For more details on Austin inspections including a great list of tips, check out
What about permits and trees?
What codes are enforced in Cedar Park? Cedar Park uses the 2015 code cycle and 2014 NEC code cycle. The only real exception is that the wind design speed is 115mph and they don’t allow smaller, 14awg sized wire for use in homes. You can find all their information on permitting, planning and of course, codes, at
How in the hippo can I get a permit in Hutto? Oh heck, it ain’t hard! The city allows submittal online and via fax (google it, kids). They have a website with a great list of forms and links for starting the permitting process:
What code cycle is Hutto using? According to their website, Hutto is using the 2018 IRC with no amendments that I can see.
How can I get a permit in Leander? It is easy enough through the website. The city of Leander has a simple yet comprehensive site that can help guide you through the permitting process.
What kind of code adoptions are there in Leander? The codes are similar to those of Cedar Park with a few small exceptions. First of all, the wind design speed is only 105mph. Secondly, smoke detectors are required in media rooms with no emergency egress. Check out all the details here.
How can I apply for a permit in Manor? The best place to start is the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Manor website. There you can find links to permitting, adopted codes and fee information.
What codes has Manor adopted? Manor, Texas has adopted the 2015 IRC and 2014 NEC. They also build to only a 90mph wind design speed for some reason. My guess is that will change after the next tornado.