Above Header

Do I Need a Building Permit?

The Martin County Building Department is committed to simplifying the permit submittal process which may be done both at the permit counter or electronically. This is the starting point of the building permit process, whether you are doing a simple project at home or building a new structure.

If you are a qualifying owner / builder, Florida Statute requires you to appear in person to the Building Department located at 900 SE Ruhnke Street in Stuart to sign the Building Permit Application and the Owner / Builder Disclosure, after that however, all other business with the Building Department may be transacted electronically.

Do You Need A Permit?

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

This page is intended to be used as a general guide. When determining whether or not a building permit is required, please refer to Section 105.2 of the Florida Building Code or consult directly with the Martin County Building Department at (772) 288-5916.

Typical projects that DO require a permit include (but are not limited to):

  • Additions / Alterations
  • Ceiling fans / Lights (New Circuit)
  • Change of Use or Occupancy to a Building or Specific Tenant Space
  • Decks
  • Electrical panels, Circuits
  • Fences and Pool Barriers 
  • Fireplace and fireplace inserts
  • Garage and carport conversions
  • Gas Lines
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Hurricane shutter installation
  • Kitchen and Bathroom remodels
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • New homes and buildings
  • Patios and/or Patio Covers and Roofs
  • Photovoltaic (solar) systems
  • Racking
  • Reroofing
  • Retaining and Seawalls
  • Room additions
  • Screen Rooms and Enclosures
  • Sheds
  • Shower or tub enclosure replacements
  • Siding/Stucco
  • Signs 
  • Skylights
  • Solar for swimming pools and water heaters
  • Swimming pools and spas
  • Tenant Improvements
  • Termite / Dry rot Repairs
  • Water Heaters (installation and replacement)
  • Water Service
  • Whole House Fans
  • Window replacements 

Typical projects that DO NOT require a permit include (but are not limited to):


  • Portable heating appliance.
  • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.


  • Portable heating appliance.
  • Portable ventilation equipment.
  • Portable cooling unit.
  • Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
  • Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
  • Portable evaporative cooler.
  • Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (5 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
  • The installation, replacement, removal or metering of any load management control device.


  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

Emergency repairs:

  • Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.

Minor repairs:

  • Ordinary minor repairs may be made with the approval of the building official without a permit, provided the repairs do not include: the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring systems or mechanical equipment or other work affecting public health or general safety, and such repairs shall not violate any of the provisions of the technical codes.


  • Painting, papering, flooring, and similar finish work.
  • Cabinetry
  • Repair of Toilets, Sinks and Faucets
  • Appliance Replacement (plug in)
  • Home Playgrounds

Who Can Apply for a Permit?

The Martin County Building Department may only issue permits to contractors and qualifying owner/builders pursuant to Florida Statute. An owner/builder must qualify in order to be eligible to receive a building permit in lieu of a licensed contractor.

Permits Requiring Plan Review

For permits requiring plan review, we will begin your permit process, review your application and route your package to plan review. Once the plans are approved for permit by all applicable departments, we will issue the permit and commence the field inspection process.


View the button below for the complete list of our permit forms and applications. For a complete listing of work that does not require a permit, please refer to section 105.2 (work exempt from permit) in the Florida Building Code, link below.

If you have additional questions regarding whether a specific project requires a permit, please select the "Request for Help or Information" button to submit an inquiry online, or call the Martin County Building Department, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at (772) 288-5916.