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Unpermitted Construction

Work that was done without obtaining required permits is in violation of the State Building Code, and is considered illegally constructed work.

What type of projects do not require a building permit

Quick Facts about Illegal/Unpermitted Construction

  • There are no statutes of limitation on illegal construction.
  • If any work was done illegally in the past, the passage of time or change in ownership does not make the non-permitted work legal.
  • Unpermitted work is often not covered by the building's insurance, which may make the current owner personally liable for any damage repairs to or caused by the unpermitted work.
  • To legalize work that was built without a permit, work must comply with current codes, including the building, zoning, and energy codes.

Legalizing unpermitted work

To legalize work that was built without permits, the owner must comply with one of the following procedures:


For information regarding legalizing work when the work to be inspected is not-visible due to being covered by finishes (such as sheetrocked addition), the owner must contact the Building Division for procedures on how to schedule an on-site inspection and receive information on what steps are needed to legalize it, or if it is even possible. It may then be decided by the owner that it is easier and more cost-effective to just abate (remove) the unpermitted work.

Easily visible

Where the work to be inspected is still open and readily visible, such as re-roofs, gazebos, decks, water heater replacements & furnace replacements, a permit may be obtained from the Building Division to legalize said work, just as if it was new.


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For questions or concerns about unpermitted construction, please contact:

Building and Safety Division
156 S. Broadway, Ste. 130
Turlock, CA 95380-5454
(209) 668-5560
Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

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