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Permits

A Guide To Commercial Building Permits

How do I apply for a Commercial building permit?

A fully completed building permit application is required. The application can be found at the following

link: Building Permit Application or may be obtained at the Building Code Compliance office. Along with the building permit application the following documents may be required if applicable.


  • Site Development
  • Civil Plans
  • Architectural Plans
  • Engineered Plans (M.E.P. & Structural)
  • Energy Compliance Reports
  • Architectural Barrier Registration
  • Asbestos Survey

Reference the commercial submittal checklist for additional information.


Site Development

The subdivision process is the process of dividing and splitting a tract of land into separate parcels. The usual purpose of subdividing is to permit the transfer of the subdivided piece to someone other than the owner of the original parcel. Application forms may be obtained from the Planning Department. Contact the Planning and Zoning Department for site Development requirements at (956)681-1250


  • Energy Compliance Reports (ComCheck & Heating and cooling calculations) will be required for the building envelop for new construction or additions, lighting alterations and mechanical system installations.
  • Architectural Barrier Registration with the Texas Department of License and Registration will be required for projects over $50,000 of construction cost.
  • Reference the restaurant guide for restaurant building permit information.
  • Asbestos surveys will be required for material removed in a commercial or demolition project as required by the Texas Department of state health services.
  • Reference the restaurant guide for restaurant building permit information.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long will it take?

If your submittal is complete, please allow five to ten days for plan review. You will be notified when the plan has been approved or disapproved.


Will I need other permits?

Some commercial construction may also require the purchase of additional permits for installation of electric wiring, plumbing pipes or new fixtures, heating or air conditioning systems. As a general rule, permits are required when you:


  • erect
  • construct
  • alter
  • repair
  • improve, or Call the Building Code Compliance Department for additional information at (956) 681-1300 or by email at devservices@mcallen.net.

How much will the permit cost?

The permit fees are determined by the improvement value or the square footage of the new construction. The minimum permit fee is $40.00 dollars and minimum review fee is $6.00 dollars.


Remodel = Improvement Value x .005
New Construction = 13 cents a Square foot
Plan Review Fee = 15% percent of permit fee
Advance Review Fee = 50% of permit fee


What Happens After My Application is Approved?

Once your application is approved staff will notify you the permit is ready to issue. The clerk will issue the permit and provide conditions for permit approval.


When do I need a building inspection?

Reference most common inspections listed below:


  • Rough Plumbing Inspection
  • Foundation Inspection
  • Framing Inspection: electrical, mechanical & Plumbing
  • Insulation Inspection
  • Infiltration Inspection
  • Final Inspection

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A Guide To Residential Building Permits

How do I apply for a residential building permit?

A fully completed building permit application is required. The application can be found at the following link Building Permit Application or obtained at the Building Code Compliance office. Along with the building permit application the following documents will be required.


  • Site Plan/Plot Plan
  • Engineered Wall bracing Plan (if applicable)
  • Energy Compliance Report (if applicable)

The energy compliance report certifies the home complies with the energy codes mandated by the State of Texas. A complete report indicating compliance with the building envelope and mechanical efficiency is required at time of submittal of the building permit application.


Storage Sheds and Similar Structures

When less than200 square feet and located outside the subdivision setbacks storage sheds andsimilar structureswill not require a building permit. When such structures exceed the 200 square feet a building permit application shall be applied for with the City of McAllen Building Code Compliance Department.


The Site Plan

The site plan must show dimensions of all the following:


  • Property lines
  • Proposed Location of Structure
  • Existing structures
  • Flat work - concrete drives, patios, etc
  • Easements
  • Building setback lines
  • North Arrow
  • Streets and Alleys

Construction / Floor Plans

The site plan and the floor plan must match

Floor plans must detail the dimensions and placement of windows, doors, patios, decks, stairs, hand and guardrails, fixed glass, attic access, return air, furnace and water heater locations, smoke detectors, floor drains, required self-closing devices on doors, attic access, fire and draft separations, and plumbing fixtures and all appliances (including rough-in for future appliances). Plus, elevations showing height dimensions of the front, sides and rear of the proposed structure.


For residential additions, you must provide floor plans of existing as well as proposed construction.


When do I need a building permit?

Any owner or authorize agent (building, contractor) who intends to build, expand, modify, move demolish or change the occupancy of a building shall first make application to the Building Code Compliance Department and obtain the required permits.


The following is work that does not require permits:


  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpentry, cabinets.
  • Counter tops, similar finish work.
  • Cosmetics

Work that requires a State License Contractor.


  • Electrical Contractor
  • A/C (mechanical) contractor
  • Plumbing Contractor
  • Irrigation Contractor

Help us enforce our Building Codes, report work with out the required permits or licenses to: 956-681-1300 or devservices@mcallen.net


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long will it take?

If your submittal documents are complete, please allow three business days for plan review. You will be notified by staff when the permit application has been approved.


Will I need other permits?

Some residential construction may also require the purchase of additional permits for installation of electric wiring, plumbing pipes or new fixtures, heating or air conditioning systems. As a general rule, permits are required when you:


  • erect
  • construct
  • alter
  • repair
  • improve, or call the Building Code Compliance Department for additional information at (956) 681-1300

How much will the permit cost?

The permit fees are determined by the improvement value or the square footage of the new construction. The minimum permit fee is $40.00.

Remodel = Improvement Value x .005
New Construction/Addition = 13 cents a square foot


A PARK FEE of $700 may be applied to the construction permit of a new residence. Verify with the Planning Department at (956) 681-1251 if the park fee of $700 will apply to your lot. The Park Fee will be assessed to your building permit fee.


What happens After My Application is Approved?

Once your application is approved staff will notify you once the permit is ready to issue. The clerk will issue the permit and provide conditions for permit approval.


When do I need a building inspection?

Reference most common inspections listed below:


  • Rough Plumbing Inspection
  • Foundation Inspection
  • Framing Inspection: electrical, mechanical & Plumbing
  • Insulation Inspection
  • Infiltration Inspection
  • Final Inspection

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Demolition Permit

You are required to obtain City of McAllen permits before starting any demolition project.


Before You Begin

Verify with the Planning and Zoning Department that demolition andthenew construction will be permitted at the proposed location. The structure may require the Historic Preservation Council to review the property for historic significance. If no review form HPC is required a demolition permit may be obtained from the Building Code Compliance Department.


Submittals

You will need to submit a site plan or survey showing the street address, location of structure on site and dimensions of the structure. Clearly identify the structure(s) or portion of the structure(s) to be demolished. You may also need an asbestos survey and proof of ownership.


Demolition

Depending on the extent of your work, you may be required to obtain one or more of the following permits:


  • Building Permit
  • Electrical Permit
  • Plumbing Permit (for sewer cap before demolition permit)

Moving

Depending on the extent of your work, you may be required to obtain one or more of the following permits:


  • Building Permit
  • Electrical Permit
  • Plumbing Permit (for sewer cap before moving permit)

There are two types of moving scenarios for residential and commercial structures:

  • Relocating a structure from outside of the City limits; or from inside the City limits to a different location inside the City limits. For this process a building permit will be required prior to issuance of the moving permit.
  • Relocating a structure from inside the City limits to outside the City limits.

Applications

Moving applications may require review and approval by the Historic Preservation Committee prior to issuance of a moving permit.


Demolition/Moving Application

During the moving permit process inspections of the proposed structure will be conducted by the City of McAllen building inspectors to clarify the conditions for building permit approval with the City of McAllen building codes and ordinances.


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Irrigation Permit

Irrigation Background

In 2008, the legislature passed several bills that impact landscape irrigation in Texas. House Bill (HB) 1656 requires municipalities with a population of 20,000 or more to adopt landscape irrigation ordinances that:


  • Are at least as stringent as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules;
  • Require the installer of an irrigation system to be licensed;
  • Require a permit prior to installing an irrigation system within the territorial limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality; and
  • Include minimum standards and specifications for the design, installation, and operation of irrigation systems.

Senate Bill (SB) 3 and HB 4 required the TCEQ to adopt standards that address:


  • The connection of irrigation systems to any water supply;
  • The design, installation, and operation of irrigation systems;
  • Water conservation; and
  • The duties and responsibilities of licensed irrigators.

On June 4, 2008, the TCEQ adopted rules to implement the requirements of HB 1656, HB 4 and SB 3. The new rules will be effective on January 1, 2009.


Many of the rule requirements apply to the installation of irrigation systems by plumbers, landscape architects, professional engineers or other people that are not required to be licensed by the TCEQ.


Effective Date

There are three important dates to be aware of:


  • Existing rules are effective for work completed by: December 31, 2008
  • New rules are effective: January 1, 2009
  • Irrigator or irrigation technician on-site during installation of an irrigation system: January 1, 2010

When is an irrigation plan required?

An irrigation plan is required for all new landscape irrigation systems. An irrigation plan is not required for the maintenance, alteration, repair, or service of an irrigation system. The addition of new zones does not trigger the requirement for an irrigation plan; however, irrigation system owners may request an irrigation plan.


What scale must be used for the irrigation plan?

An architectural or engineering scale may be used. The plan must be legible. There are no requirements for the scale, irrigators might consider using the following:


  • Residential installations – 1” equal to a maximum of 30’
  • Commercial/athletic installations – 1” equal to a maximum of 40’
  • Golf course or comparable installations – 1” equal to a maximum of 100’ or 1” equal to a maximum of 50’ (depending on complexity)

What must be included in the plan?

Site-specific information:


  • physical features
  • boundaries
  • zone flow measurements for each zone
  • location/type of : controlers and sensors
  • location/type/size of: water source, backflow prevention device, water emission device, valves, pressure regulation component, main line and lateral piping.
  • design pressure

General information:


  • irrigator's seal
  • irrigator's signature below seal
  • date sealed
  • North arrow
  • legend
  • scale used

For additional irrigation system requirements reference the Irrigator Question and Answer from TCEQ.


The City of McAllen Water Line Maintenance Department will conduct all irrigation system inspections. For inspections request or inspection information contact (956) 681-1660.


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Sign Permit

How do I apply for a sign permit?

A fully completed Sign permit application is required. The application can be found at the following link Sign Permit Application or obtained at the Building Code Compliance office. Along with the Sign permit application the following documents may be required if applicable.


  • Sign Permit Application
  • Sign Details (includes installation details)
  • Sight Plan (applicable for freestanding signs)
  • Engineered Plans (structural when applicable)

How much will the permit cost?

The standard sign permit fee is $66.50.


What inspection do I need for my sign?

Reference most common inspections listed below:


  • Electrical roughin
  • Foundtion Inspection
  • Final Inspection

Which signs do not require a Sign Permit?

The following types of signs, provided such signs are not electrified, are exempt from permit requirements, but must be in conformance with all other requirements of this chapter:


  • Agricultural signs not more than 32 square feet in area.
  • Construction signs of 32 square feet or less.
  • Directional/information signs of eight square feet or less.
  • Nameplates of two square fee or less and fastened directly to the building; one per occupancy.
  • Exempt political signs, except any such sign, including a billboard, that contains primarily a political message on a temporary basis and that is generally available for rent or purchase to carry commercial advertising or other messages that are not primarily political.
  • Real estate signs not more than 12 square feet in single-family or low density residential districts and 32 square feet per face for multifamily residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural.
  • Incidental signs.
  • Window signs.
  • Flags:
    • Noncommercial flags bearing the official design of a nation, state, municipality, educational institution or noncommercial organization.
    • Commercial flags advertising a business, product or service and limited to one per premises, not to exceed 48 square feet.
  • Identification signs, wall or ground signs which are limited to not more than two per street frontage, not more than four square feet per sign in area, and not more than ten feet in height above grade.
  • Repair or maintenance of existing signs: Any sign being repainted where the painting constitutes the only alteration to the sign, when the sign is not being enlarged or structurally altered, and further provided that the painting is done with the sign structure in place. Service on any electric sign consisting only of the replacement of electrically identical components.
  • Any changing of copy to be done on poster panels.
  • Temporary/special events signs approved by the city manager after consultation with the building official, traffic safety coordinator and planning director.

When is it required to be license by the state and register with the City of McAllen?

Requirements:

Unless exempted under the state law, all persons who perform sign electrical work in the city must hold an Electrical Sign Contractors license issued by the Texas Department of Licensing, and Regulation.


Registration:

Electrical Sign Contractors who perform electrical work in the city must register with the Building Officials Office on a form supplied by that official, provided all necessary documentation, and pay the requisite fee.


Registration Fee:

The fee for an initial registration under this article shall be $75.00, and the annual fee for renewal of the registration shall be $50.00.


Term; renewal:

The Initial registration under this article shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year current on the date of issuances. Each renewal thereafter shall expire on December 31st next following the date of issuance of the renewal.


Renewals shall be processed after the filing of such forms as the building official shall provide, and submission of the required fees and documentation.


Revocation of Registration:

A registration under this article may be revoke at any time by order of the building official for violations of any of the provisions of this article or of any Texas law or rule regulating electrical sign contractors and the offending person shall be prohibited from engaging in electrical work in the city. Any order of revocation or suspension may be appealed to the building board of adjustments and appeals with in 20 days of such action.


When am I required to be licensed by the city?(Non-electrified signs)

No person shall erect, construct, reconstruct, install, replace, rent, lease or service any sign for which a permit is required within the corporate limits of the city until such person has obtained a sign license as required by this chapter. The original license fee shall be $50.00 per year and the renewal license fee shall be $10.00 per year with each renewal license fee payable on or before January 1 of each year.


Are there any exceptions from City license?

No license will be required under this chapter for:


  • The installation or maintenance of those signs that are exempted in section 130-60 from the requirement to obtain a permit; or
  • The installation of non-electrified signs of less than 32 square feet to be erected personally by the owner or occupant of a parcel of real estate to advertise the business activity located thereon.

The exemptions set out in this section from the license requirement shall not operate to exempt a person from the permit requirements or regulations of this chapter nor from any other applicable ordinance, statute or regulation.


What type of insurance do I need?

A surety bond issued by a surety company authorized to do business in the state shall be furnished by the applicant for a license under this chapter, providing for payment to the city or applicable property owner in the maximum amount of $2,000.00 upon the failure of such licensee to maintain or construct according to this chapter any sign for which such licensee is responsible for.


Proposed signs shall confirm to The City of McAllen codes and ordnances. Reference the City of McAllen ordinances at www.municodes.com.


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Subcontractor Permits

A subpermit is a permit issued for:

  • electrical systems
  • mechanical systems (HVAC)
  • plumbing systems (includes irrigation & Gas)
    Typically called a subpermit and is attached to a general building permit.

When are subpermit permits required?

Most residential and commercialconstruction requires a subpermit from the City of McAllen. Permits are required for installation of electric wiring, plumbing pipes or new fixtures, heating or air conditioning systems.


As a general rule, permits are required when you:

  • erect
  • construct
  • alter
  • repair
  • improve, or Call the Building Code Compliance Department for additional information

Help us enforce our Building Codes, report work with out the required permits or licenses to: 956-681-1300 or devservices@mcallen.net.


Definition of a Mechanical System

A system specifically address and regulated by the international mechanical code and composed of components, devices, appliances and equipment. Mechanical permits must be obtained by a contractor who is licensed by the Texas Department of License and Regulation and registered with the City of McAllen Building Code Compliance Department.


Definition of an Electrical System

An electrical system is a network of electrical components used to supply, transmit and use electric power. Electrical permits must be obtained by a contractor who is licensed by the Texas Department of License and Regulation and registered with the City of McAllen Building Code Compliance Department.


Definition of a Plumbing System

Includes the water supply and distribution pipes, plumbing fixtures, supports and appurtenances; soil, waste and vent pipes; sanitary drains and building sewers to an approved point of disposal. Plumbing permits must be obtained by a contractor who is licensed by the Texas Board of Plumbing Examiners and registered with the City of McAllen Building Code Compliance Department.


Frequently Asked Questions

The following is work that does not require permits:

Cosmetic work such as painting, papering, tiling, carpentry, cabinets, counter tops, similar finish work.


When do I need a building inspection?

Reference most common inspections listed below:


Roughin Plumbing Inspection
Electrical Inspection
Mechanical Inspection
Vents and Waterlines Inspection
Framing Inspection: electrical, mechanical & Plumbing roughin. (combination)
Final Inspection


How long will it take?

The issuance of a subpermit for electrical, mechanical and pluming systems is issued while you wait, over the counter.


How much will the permit cost?

The permit fees are determined scope of work of each system. Reference base fee list below.


Base Fee

Electrical = $13

Additional fees will apply based on scope of work.


Mechanical = $33

Additional fees will apply based on mechanical system values.


Plumbing = $33

Additional fees will apply based on quantity of fixtures.


Reference the City of McAllen permit fee schedule for additional information located at Building Code Compliance webpage or contact the Building Code Compliance Department office.


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A Guide to Swimming Pool Permits.

The information provided in this brochure apply to the protection of the public health, safety and welfare by prescribing minimum standards for the design, construction or installation, repair or alterations of swimming pools, public or private, and equipment related thereto; requiring a permit and inspection. Contact the Building Code Compliance Department for questions or additional information at (956) 681-1300 or by email at devservices@mcallen.net


Characteristics of a swimming pool

A swimming pool is any structure intended for swimming, recreational bathing or wading that contains water over 24 inches deep. This includes in-ground, above-ground and on-ground pools; hot tubs; spas and fixed-in-place wading pools.


Applying for a swimming pool permit

A fully completed swimming pool permit application is required. The application can be foundby clickingthe Swimming Pool Permit Application or obtained at the Building Code Compliance office. Along with the swimming pool permit application the following documents will be required.


  • Site Plan/Plot Plan
  • Structural Engineer Plan (if applicable)
  • Barrier Details (if applicable)

Site Plan/Plot Plan

The site plan is a diagram which shows the buildings, utility runs, property lines, setbacks, orientation, the position of roads, and other constructions of an existing or proposed project site at a defined scale. Plot plans are also known more commonly as site plans. The plot plan view is a 'top down' orientation.


Structural Engineer Plan (if applicable)

Structural engineer plans are required for swimming pool locations with in five feet from the foundation of the building. The measurement shall be taken from the outside wall of the swimming pool to the foundation of the residence.


Inspection Process

Inspections may be requested by the applicant or representative for commercial or residential remodel permits and by the applicant or owner for new residential construction by calling (956) 681-1328 after the building permit has been issued. The requester will provide the permit number, address, type of inspection and contact information.


For inspections required, contact the building department at (956) 681-1300. If an inspection is requested prior to 7:00 AM the inspection will be conducted that morning. If the inspection is request before 12:00 PM the inspection will be conducted that afternoon. During the final inspection all departments involved in the plan review will visit the site for verification of compliance with all codes, ordinances and permit conditions.


Required Inspections


  • Steel: Rebar and setbacks
  • Roughin Plumbing: Pool plumbing
  • Final: Project is Complete

Work that requires a State License Contractor.


  • Electrical Contractor
  • A/C (mechanical) contractor
  • Plumbing Contractor

Help us enforce our Building Codes, report work with out the required permits or licenses to: 956-681-1300 or devservices@mcallen.net


Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need other permits?

Additional permits may be required for installation of electric wiring and plumbing pipes.


How long will it take?

If your submittal documents are complete, the review will be conducted within three days for residential and ten days for commercial.


What happens after my application is approved?

Once your application is approved staff will notify you once the permit is ready to issue. The clerk will issue the permit and provide conditions for permit approval.


How much will the permit cost?

Reference standard swimming pool permit fee below.


Pool Permit Fee = $46.55


General Requirements

Swimming Pool Barrier Enclosure Requirements


Height

The top of the barrier shall be at least 60 inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the swimming pool.


Openings

Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere.


Entrapment Avoidance

Suction outlets shall be designed to produce circulation throughout the pool or spa. Single-outlet systems, such as automatic vacuum cleaner systems, or other such multiple suction outlets whether isolated by valves or otherwise shall be protected against user entrapment.


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