Building Inspections FAQ

General Permitting Questions

Q: As a homeowner doing my own work at my home, when am I required to obtain a permit?
A: As a homeowner, you are required to obtain the same permits that a contractor would.  Depending on the type of project, a permit may be required.  If you are questioning whether your project requires a permit and inspections, please contact our office at (972) 346-3502.

Q: Why should my contractor obtain the permit instead of me, as the homeowner?
A: A hired contractor is required to obtain the permit for work they are performing because they are required to be registered with the Town and are responsible for ensuring the work meets Town ordinance and code requirements.  Always ask to see the permit before work begins.

Q: How can I find out which contractors are registered with the Town?
A: To request a list of specific types of contractors who are currently registered with the Town, please contact our office at (972) 346-3502 or send your request via email to permits@prospertx.gov or registrations@prospertx.gov.

Q: How long will it take to get my permit application reviewed?
A:
Minor Permits: Five (5) business days

  • Minor Permits include Swimming Pools, Accessories, Signs, Fences, Flatworks, etc.

Residential Permits: 1st round – ten (10) business days, 2nd round and above – five (5) business days

  • Residential Permits include New Homes, Residential Remodels, Additions, etc.

Commercial Permits: 1st round – twenty (20) business days, 2nd round and above – ten (10) business days.

  • Commercial Permits: include Stand-alone Buildings, Shell Buildings, Remodels, Tenant Finish Outs, Additions, etc.

Q: How long is my permit valid for after being issued?
A: Most permits expire 180 days from the date of issuance or the date of your last approved inspection, whichever is most recent.

Q: My Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is telling me that I cannot build my project.  Is this true?
A: While your project may be approved by the Town, deed restrictions and HOA covenants should be verified prior to applying for a permit, as they may supersede Town requirements.  The Town does not enforce deed restrictions and/or HOA covenants.

Q: Are subcontractors required to pull separate permits for larger projects?
A: No.  The general contractor shall obtain the permit and list the subcontractors (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) that will be working on the jobsite.  The subcontractors shall be registered to work in the Town.  If a subcontractor is doing work after the main permit (the permit issued to the general contractor) has been finaled, then the subcontractor shall obtain a separate permit.

General Inspection Questions

Q: How do I request a building inspection?
A: Use eTRAKiT to schedule, cancel, and view inspection results online.  The deadline to schedule an inspection is 7:00 am the day of the inspection.

Q: Do scheduled inspections automatically rollover after being canceled due to weather?
A: No.  The contractor is responsible for checking the jobsite and rescheduling the inspection.

Accessory Questions

Q: Do I need a permit to build a deck?
A: A permit is not required for decks that do not exceed 200 square feet in area that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling, and do not serve the exit door as required by the IRC.

Q: Is a permit required to build a patio cover/shade arbor?
A: Yes.  For more information, please refer to the Patio Cover or Arbor/Pergola handouts.

Q: Is a permit required for an accessory building (storage shed)?
A: Yes.  All accessory buildings, regardless of square footage, require a permit to ensure they meet the minimum setback requirements and are constructed in a safe manner. For more information, please refer to the Storage Building handout.

Certificate of Occupancy Questions

Q: Do I need a Certificate of Occupancy for my business?
A: Yes. A Certificate of Occupancy is required for any new business, change of ownership, or a change of business name in the Town of Prosper. For more information, please refer to the CO Process Handout.

Q: Can I move furniture and/or equipment into a commercial space prior to receiving my Certificate of Occupancy?
A: Furniture can be moved in, but only after receiving approval from the assigned Building Inspector and the Town Fire Marshall’s Office.

Fence & Retaining Wall Questions

Q: When is a fence permit required?
A: A fence permit shall be obtained from the Building Inspections Division prior to the installation of alterations, additions, or changes measuring more than sixteen (16) linear feet over a period of twelve (12) months, as outlined within the Fence Ordinance.

Q: What are the requirements for retaining walls?
A: Retaining wall requirements are covered under Section R404.4 of the 2015 International Residential Code and 1807.2 of the 2015 International Building Code.

  • Retaining walls less than forty-eight (48) inches in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall that are not supporting a surcharge do not require a permit.
  • Retaining walls over forty-eight (48) inches in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall require a permit and must be designed by a registered design professional.
  • Retaining walls up to forty-eight (48) inches in height are not required to be designed by a registered design professional as the most common manufacturers and products used in retaining walls (pave stone for example) have designs and charts available in their technical resources online.  If the applicant shows a design using unusual materials that are outside of code (railroad ties or bags of concrete spiked in place, for example), then an engineer sealed structural letter would be required at time of final inspection.

Foundation/Flatwork Questions

Q: Is a permit required for foundation work?
A: Yes.  The foundation company performing the work shall be registered with the Town and obtain a permit.  As part of the permit submittal, an original engineer sealed design shall be provided.  At the time of inspection, a second original sealed letter from the engineer shall be provided to verify repairs were performed to engineered specifications.

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) require a flatwork permit be obtained and inspected prior to pouring concrete.

Irrigation Questions

Q: Can I install my own irrigation system on my property?
A: Yes. A homeowner can perform their own work with a submitted Homestead Exemption Affidavit and proof of said homestead exemption.  Please note, as the homeowner you are still required to obtain a permit and list a licensed backflow tester to test the backflow assembly.  The licensed backflow tester shall be registered to perform work in the Town.

Mechanical (Heat & A/C) Questions

Q: When is a permit required for heating or air conditioning work?
A: A permit is required for the removal or replacement of a unit.  A permit is not required for the repair or replacement of parts only.  When a permit is required, the contractor shall be registered to work in the Town and obtain a permit prior to performing any work.  All work shall comply with the Town’s adopted codes.

New Home Construction Questions

Q: Can I add flatwork that isn’t shown on the approved construction plans for my house?
A: Yes.  A separate flatwork permit shall be obtained and inspected prior to pouring concrete. For more information, please refer to the Storage Building handout.

Q: Does the Town issue Temporary Certificate of Occupancies on new homes?
A: No. To protect the health and welfare of our residents, the Town does not allow occupancy of a home until all required inspections have been conducted and passed, showing compliance with the Town’s adopted codes and ordinances.

Signage Questions

Q: Do I need a permit to install a flagpole in my yard?
A: No. The Town does not require for a permit to be obtained, however, flagpole requirements as outlined in the Sign Ordinance, shall be observed.  A residential flagpole shall not exceed thirty (30) feet in height.

Q: What type of temporary signage is allowed for business grand openings in the Town of Prosper?
A: The Town of Prosper allows banner signs, human signs, and inflatable signs, as outlined in the Sign Ordinance. Human signs do not require permits.

Q: Is a permit required for Banner Signs and/or Inflatable Signs?
A: Yes.  For more information, please refer to the Banner Sign Requirements and the Inflatable Sign Requirements, as outlined in the Sign Ordinance.

Q: How early do I need to submit for a sign permit?
A: A Sign permit shall be submitted a minimum five (5) business days prior to the anticipated sign installation, however, the permit must be in hand prior to installation.

Q: Are wind devices, such as pennant flags, streamers, spinners, balloons, feather signs, or similar devices allowed within the Town of Prosper?
A: Wind devices are expressly prohibited within the Town of Prosper, with a few exceptions as outlined in the Sign Ordinance.

Special Event Questions

Q: What is a Special Event?
A: A Special Event, as defined within the Special Event Ordinance, is an event or gathering that requires a temporary exception to otherwise applicable rules or requirements.

Q: Is a permit required for a Special Event?
A: Yes.  For more information, please refer to the Special Event Packet.

Q: How early does a Special Event permit need to be submitted?
A: To provide adequate time for multiple departmental reviews, Special Event permits shall be submitted a minimum of fifteen (15) business days prior to any event intended to accommodate less than 500 persons and a minimum of thirty (30) business days prior to any event intended to accommodate 500 persons or more.

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 ensure it meets the Town’s adopted code requirements. Please refer to the Residential Pool/Spa Handout for further information.

Water Heater/Plumbing Questions

Q: Is it true that replacing a water heater in my house requires a permit?
A: Yes. State law requires for the Town to perform inspections of water heater replacements.  If a contractor is performing the work to replace the water heater (gas or electric), the plumber must be registered with the Town, obtain a permit prior to the work being performed, and ensure 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 (and the work is emergent), a permit must be obtained on the following business day.  If a homeowner is to perform the work, proof of homestead exemption as well as a completed Homestead Homeowner’s Affidavit must be provided at time of permit application. The work performed must comply with the Town’s adopted plumbing codes and ordinances.

Q: The plumber tells me that my water heater now requires a drain pan.  Is this true?
A: Pans are required when a water heater is installed in a location where a leak will cause damage.  Where a pan drain was not previously installed, a pain drain shall not be required for a replacement water heater installation (per Section P2801.6.1 of the 2015 IRC).  Due to high and variable water pressure throughout Town, PRV’s are required for all new homes.  Most existing homes have PRV’s necessitating expansion tanks for storage tank-type water heaters.

Q: Does the building code allow plumbers to install a water heater in an attic?
A: Yes. Please note, a permit is required to be obtained prior to installation and certain conditions must be followed as required by the International Residential Code (IRC).