Plan Review, Permits and Inspections

Getting Started

Any work that is planned requires a plan review and permits to perform it, whether new construction, a change to an existing building or space, or changing the occupancy of an existing building or space. Most projects require construction documents to be prepared by a design professional (architect or engineer), except for 1, 2 and 3 family residential structures, where construction is minor, such as roof, window or doors replacement, to name a few instances. 
Some specific work is exempt from obtaining a plan review/permit. Work exempt from approval for residential 1,2 or 3 family dwellings can be found here. Work exempt from approval for commercial and all other structures can be found here.

Even so, requirements to meet all the minimum code provisions are extensive and sometimes require the expertise of a design professional, even for 1-, 2- and 3-family residential work. Items that may be needed to obtain plan review and permits, depending of the scope of work:

     
  • Certified address
  • Certificate of appropriateness
  • Site plans
  • Building construction drawings
  • Energy-conservation analysis
  • Building permit application  

Associated documents to help you get started:  
Applicable Building Codes  
Construction Industry Communications  
Columbus 2013 RCO Residential Plan Checklist  
Residential Plan Requirements
Commercial Plan Review Flow Chart
Commercial Site Plan Approval Flow Chart
Certified Address Form  
Site Plan Information Required For Zoning Clearance 1, 2 and 3 units Dwellings
BZS Fee Schedule  

Permits can be issued to property owners or contractors who are licensed or registered to work in the City of Columbus. Property owners can acquire the following types of permits for work they will be doing themselves: 

     
  • Structural work
  •  
  • Mechanical, electrical or plumbing: addition, alteration and or repair or replacement work to an existing single-family dwelling in which the property owner resides
  •  
  • Demolition of an accessory structure to an existing single-family dwelling

Property owners cannot purchase permits for work that they will hire a contractor to perform. Scopes of work that do not meet the exceptions listed above require a City of Columbus licensed or registered contractor to acquire the permit. For a list of licensed or registered contractors for the City of Columbus, please click
Licensed businesses-by-trade .

If you are a contractor interested in working in the City of Columbus, but have not yet obtained a City of Columbus license and or registration, please click the link to  licensing and registration .