Frequently Asked Questions

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General Permitting Questions



Q. As a Homeowner Doing My Own Work at My Home, Am I Required to Obtain a Permit?


A. Depending on the type of project, you may be required to obtain a permit and register with the Town. Please check with the Building Inspections Division for any requirements regarding the building, electrical, and plumbing codes and/or any ordinances adopted by the Town. For information on various projects that require a permit, please download the "When is a Permit Required?" document.

Q. How long will it take to get my residential permit application approved?


A. If all the required information is included at the time of submittal, in most cases, it will take no more than 3 to 5 working days. You will be notified by phone when it has been reviewed and approved. For information on permit plan review for pools, spa, irrigation systems, and fences or other residential projects, please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Q. Can I do electrical work on my house?


A. Yes, but a permit may be required, and it must be installed and comply with the Town’s adopted electrical code.

Q. When is a permit required for heating or air conditioning work?


A. A permit is required for removal or replacement of a unit. A permit is not required for repair or replacement of parts only. When a permit is required, the contractor must be registered with the Town and must obtain the permit before performing any work. All work must comply with the Town’s adopted codes. For more information, please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Q. How long is my permit good for after being issued?


A. Most permits expire 180 days from the date of issuance or the date of your last inspection. Exceptions include fence and irrigation permits which expire 60 days from issue date. For more information, click on the appropriate builders packet for your project located on the Construction Information page of our website.

Q. Can I install my own irrigation system?


A. Yes, but you must get a permit and list a licensed backflow tester who is registered with the Town to test the double-check assembly. For a list of backflow testers who are currently registered with the Town, please contact our office at 972.874.6355. Any licensed backflow tester may register with the Town (Licensed Contractor Registration Form). All other work can be done by the homeowner with proof of a homestead exemption.

Q. Do I need a permit to install a light pole in my yard?


A. Yes. We will require a permit to insure the electrical work is done to code. If you are hiring an electrician to do the work, they will need to be registered with the Town, and they will pull the permit. A homeowner can do their own electrical work but will be required to pull the permit listing themselves as the electrician. The homeowner will be required to register as a contractor but will not be charged a contractor registration fee. All electrical work must conform to code. See the Building Inspections home page for a list of the current codes the Town has adopted. For information on the permitting process for this project, please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Q. Do I need a permit to install a flag pole in my yard?


A. No, we do not require a permit, but the maximum height for a residential flag pole is 25 feet. You will need to contact the Code Enforcement Division for more information. They can be reached by calling 972.874.6340.

Q. Why should my contractor pull the permit instead of me, the homeowner?


A. When a contractor is doing the work, they must pull the permit because they are doing the work and will be responsible for making sure the work meets code requirements. They are required to be registered with the Town. Always ask to see the permit before work is started.

Q. Is there something that can be done about the construction noise by my house?


A. Construction working hours are limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The police department enforces these hours. There is a zero-tolerance policy for violations.

Accessory Building (Storage Building) Questions



Q. Is a Permit Required for an Accessory Building (Storage Shed)?


A. All attached accessory buildings require a permit. A permit is also required for detached accessory buildings over 120 square feet. If the detached accessory building is 120 square feet or less, it does not require a permit. Although a permit is not required for buildings 120 square feet or smaller, they must not be placed in an easement and must meet set-back requirements. For more information on accessory building requirements, please view the Accessory Building Information.

Q. Do I need a drainage inspection for an accessory building permit?


A. Any accessory building over 150 square feet requires a drainage inspection. Please note that in addition to the permit fee, there will also be a drainage inspection fee. For more information on accessory building requirements, including fees, please download the Accessory Building Information.

Please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355 for more information.


Commercial Permit Questions



Q. Do subcontractors need to pull permits for commercial jobs?


A. No. The general contractor pulls the permit and lists the subcontractors (plumber, electrician, mechanical contractor) that will be working on the project. The subcontractors will, however, need to be registered to work in the Town. See the Commercial Construction Packet and Contractor Registration Form. If a subcontractor is doing work after the main permit (the permit issued to the general contractor) has been finaled, then the subcontractor would need to pull a separate permit. For more information on commercial construction, please see the Commercial Builders Packet, or contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.


Fence and Wall Questions



Q. When installing a retaining wall on my property, is a permit required?


A. A permit is required when the wall is over 4 feet high including the footing depth. Any wall over 4 feet high including the footing is also required to be designed by an Engineer. For walls under 4 feet no permit is required, however they cannot be built in an easement and they must not block drainage. If you have any questions, please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Q. When is a fence permit required?


A. When replacing the posts or rails, changing the height, or moving a fence from its current location, a permit is required. For more information on fence permit requirements, please see Fence Permit Requirements, or contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Q. Do I need a fence permit when replacing fence pickets?


A. You will not need a permit to replace only pickets if you are certain that a fence permit was obtained for the fence that is being replaced. By making sure the original fence was permitted, you will know that it has been checked for compliance as far as height, location, and materials. A fence permit is required when replacing posts or rails, changing the fence height, or moving a fence from its current location. Please be aware of special fence requirements if your fence is the barrier for your pool. For more information on fence permit requirements, please view the Fence Permit Requirements.

Q. Do I need a fence permit to rebuild or replace a gate?


A. Typically you will not need a permit to replace a gate unless you are replacing the posts. You will want to make sure that your fence and gate were originally permitted to insure that the location, height, and materials met fence code requirements. Please note that there are special requirements for fence gates if your fence is a barrier to a swimming pool. For more information on fence permit requirements, please see the Fence Permit Requirements. Pool fence requirements can be found in the Pool Information Packet.

Q. Do I need a fence permit to replace my fence posts?


A. Yes. For more information on fence permit requirements, please see the Fence Permit Requirements.

You may also contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.


Foundation Questions



Q. Is a permit required for foundation repair?


A. Yes. The foundation company doing the work must be registered with the Town and apply for a permit. They must submit an original engineering design. Make sure you see the permit before the work is started. At the time of inspection by the Town, a second original letter from the engineer is to be at the job site verifying repairs were performed to engineered specifications. For more detailed information on foundation repairs, please see the Foundation Information Sheet. For more information, contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.


Homeowner Association Questions



Q. My Homeowner Association (HOA) is telling me that I cannot build my project. Is this true?


A. While your project may by approved by the Town, you should check your deed restrictions and HOA requirements before applying for a permit. Deed restrictions and HOA requirements may supersede Town requirements. The Town does not enforce HOA restrictions and/or requirements. View our “When is a Permit Required?” brochure. We also have information sheets for various types of permits. These information sheets go into more detail about size and location requirements. Please go to the Building Information page where this information can be obtained by category.

New Home Construction Questions



Q. Can I receive a temporary final on new home construction without all items being completed, or be able to move in furniture?
A. A temporary final of a residence is available only under extreme circumstances and only after careful review of all outstanding items. A temporary final may be granted for up to 7 days. For more information, contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Q. If my sidewalk (flatwork) has already been approved, can I replace a section without a permit?


A. No. All Town sidewalks (even a section) need a flatwork permit and inspection before pouring concrete. For more information on sidewalk (flatwork), drive approach (where the driveway cuts into the street), and driveway permits, view the Residential Builders Packet, or contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Deck and Patio Questions



Q. Do I need a permit to build a deck?


A. A permit is required for any deck, as well as for any type of roof structure, including open arbors, per the Town's adopted building code.

Q. Is a permit required to build a patio cover?


A. Yes. For more information on patio cover requirements, please see Shade Structure Requirements, or contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355.

Inspection Scheduling Questions



Q. Do scheduled inspections automatically rollover after being canceled due to weather?


A. No. You must reschedule them on eTRAKiT.

This information is also available in our Builders Packets.View more information on residential building within the Residential Builders Packet, and for information on commercial building, please see the Commercial Builders Packet. For more information on swimming pool construction, see Pool Information.

Q. Can I call in 2 days in advance to request a pre-walk inspection?


A. No. Please call before 8:30 a.m. the day you want the pre-walk inspection; this inspection must be scheduled with the Assistant Building Official. Please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355 for more information.


Sign Questions



Q. I’m in the process of selling my house--what types of signs can I use to advertise? Do I need permits for those signs?


A. You may have one sign in your yard advertising the sale of your house. You may also have one open house sign at the time of your open house. No permit is required for these signs as long as they are less than 6 square feet. No directional signs may be placed on public property or in a public right-of-way. (Sec. 86-65 (a) (b); Sec. 86-233)

Q. I have a home business--can I advertise with signs in Flower Mound?


A. There is no provision in the sign ordinance which would allow for this type of advertising.

Q. I’m having a garage sale--can I put up signs? Do I need a permit for those signs?


A. You may put directional signs out 24 hours prior to the sale, and they must be removed within 24 hours of the conclusion of the sale. These signs must be less than six square feet. They cannot be placed on public property or in a public right-of-way. You do not need permits for these signs. (Sec. 86-233 (4)

Swimming Pool/Spa Questions



Q. Do I need a permit to install a self-contained spa?


A. Yes. The inspectors must inspect the electrical and/or plumbing work to insure it meets code requirements. Pool and spa requirements can be viewed within the Pool Information Packet.

Q. When is a p-trap required on a spa?


A. When the spa is 749 gallons or more. Pool requirements can be viewed in the Pool Information Packet.

Q. Why is a pre-drainage and final drainage inspection required on pool permits?


A. The Town wants to make sure that your property does not obstruct any drainage flow to your property or your neighbors. View the Pool Information Packet. The Town Engineering Department conducts the pre- and final drainage inspections. Please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355 for more information.

You may also contact the Permit Specialist regarding the above information.

Tree Questions



Q. During the new home construction process, do I need a Tree Certification Form even if the lot I am building on has existing trees?


A. Yes. All lots are required to have a notarized Tree Certification Form indicating the type of at least three trees from the approved tree list, one of which must be located in the front yard. The trees must have a caliper width of at least two and one half to three inches (2-1/2” – 3”) and must be at least six feet (6’) in height. If there are existing trees that meet these specifications, they can be noted on the form. Obtain a copy of the Tree Certification Form. You can find more information regarding the Tree Certification Form in our Residential Builders Packet. For any other information on tree planting or removal, you can also contact the Environmental Resources Division at 972.874.6352.

Q. Can I remove a tree?


A. Contact the Environmental Review Analyst before removing any trees at 972.874.6352.


Water Heater/Plumber Questions



Q. Is it true that replacing a water heater in my house requires a permit?


A. Yes. State law requires that the Town perform an inspection of water heater replacements. If hiring a contractor to replace your water heater (gas or electric), the plumber must be registered with the Town, obtain a permit before the work is performed (unless it is an emergency replacement being done while the permit office is closed), and make sure an approved final inspection from the Town is obtained. If the permit cannot be obtained before the work is performed due to the permit office being closed, a permit must be obtained on the next business day. If a homeowner is to perform the work, they must bring proof of their homestead exemption when they apply for their permit. The work must comply with the current plumbing codes and ordinances. View the Residential Builders Packet listing the current plumbing code adopted by the Town.

Q. The plumber tells me that my water heater now requires a drip pan. Is this true?


A. If the water heater is adjacent to an outside wall, then a drip pan and a 1" drain are needed. The drain must terminate to the outside. This applies to all water heaters, gas or electric.

Q. I am having my water heater replaced, and the plumber tells me that it must be elevated. Is this true?


A. Yes, the ignition source of the water heater must be elevated at least 18” above the garage floor. This applies to all water heaters, gas or electric.

Q. Does the building code allow plumbers to install a water heater in an attic?


A. Yes, but certain conditions must be followed as required by the International Residential Code (IRC). A permit is required. Please contact Building Inspections at 972.874.6355 for more information.