County Building Department offers permitting information for hurricane repairs


As residents continue to make repairs following Hurricane Matthew, the St. Johns County Building Department is providing permitting information for residents who require home repairs due to the storm.


The department cautions residents about the potential for unlicensed, uninsured individuals who lack competence or expertise to offer construction repair services. Such individuals cannot legally secure permits which are essential to document the repairs for various entities, officials warn, and often do not fulfill agreements and/or contracts. The Building Department recommends that homeowners request a copy of a state or local contracting license along with proof of worker’s compensation insurance. Contractors or unlicensed individuals who are not in compliance with state and local contracting laws will be referred to the proper authorities for discipline. In most cases, work will require a permit complying with Florida Building Codes.

No permit required

Some repair projects do not require permits, including the following:


o One-story detached accessory structures used as storage sheds, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet and it is not located within a special flood hazard area

o Decks and slabs less than 30 inches in height and 200 square feet on residential lots that are on grade, not under a roof, and not located within a special flood hazard area

o Fences of all material, except masonry, more than six feet in height

o Retaining walls not over three feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall

o Sidewalks and driveways no more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, not over any basement or story below, and not part of an accessible route

o Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work within a single-family dwelling

o Prefabricated pool associated with a Group R-3 occupancy.

o Swings, playhouses and other playground equipment associated with detached single- and double-family dwellings

o Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 36 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Groups R-3 and U occupancies

o Roofing repairs not exceeding two squares

o Siding repairs less than 100 square feet in area, including the area of door and window that are within the work space

o Screen enclosures built under existing roofs of single-family dwellings with an exterior door

o Gutters and downspouts

o Pool re-marcite

o Drywall repair below receptacles



o Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps, or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles



o The stopping of leaks in drains, or water, soil, waste, or vent pipes. If any concealed trap, drain, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe becomes defective and requires removal or replacement, such work will require a permit and inspection as outlined in the Florida Building Code.

o The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures

o The removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not require replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures

o In-kind replacement of electric hot water heaters

o Installation of water softeners

For properties located within a special flood hazard area, permitting will be in compliance with the Florida Building Code and the local flood plain ordinance. This includes Building Code requirements for substantial improvement cumulative over a five-year period. Properties located seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line will be subject to all of the requirements listed at regarding substantial improvement.