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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a permit?
A.The Florida Building Code (101.3) states that the “code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength… and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations”.

When purchasing a home or property, it is in your best interest to ensure that all structures have been properly permitted. You are legally responsible for any un-permitted structures. 

Do I need a permit if I am Ag Exempt?

Yes, you will need a zoning approval to support your Ag Exemption.

Q. When is a permit required?
A.Per Florida Building Code (102.2), a permit shall apply to the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every public and private building, structure or facility or floating residential structure, or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings, structures or facilities. When in doubt whether a permit is needed, you can call our office at 352-463-3173 or refer to the Florida Building Code, Chapter 1.

Do I need a permit for a shed, carport, barn?

Yes, all new structures must be permitted through Zoning.  

Q. How much will my permit cost?
A. The cost of a permit varies depending on the permit type. Fee schedule is available on our web site.

Q.What happens if I choose not to obtain the required permits?
A. Building and Zoning Code Compliance will issue an advisory notice. Once a permit is obtained, the cost will be double for an After the Fact permit. Additionally, there may be fees for a third party engineering analysis if areas of work are concealed. If no action is taken, a Notice of Violation will be issued and could result in fines being levied.

Q. Do I need a contractor?
A.Not if you own and occupy the house. State statutes (489.103(7) allow the owners of real property to act as their own contractor. This exemption may only be used if you own and occupy the home. As an owner builder though, if you do not complete all of the work yourself, you must supervise the work, and hire licensed trade subcontractors (electrician, plumbing, a/c, and roof) in accordance with state law. Owners acting as their own contractor or listed as a subcontractor are required to personally appear and sign the permit application per Florida Statute 489.103(7).

Q. If I use a contractor, what guidelines should I use to choose one?
A. Ask for and check references, ask to see their state license. Check the number on the state website (www.myflorida.com) for any state complaints. If they ask you to secure the permit, beware. They may not be licensed, which puts the homeowner totally at risk.

Q. What happens after the permit is issued?
A. The list of required inspections is located on the bottom of the permit placard. Instructions on scheduling these inspections will be provided when your permit is issued. It is the applicants (Owner Builder/Contractor) responsibility to ensure that all required inspections are made prior to proceeding with work on the project. For new dwellings, once all fees are paid and all required inspections are completed, the applicant will be issued a CO (Certificate of Occupancy). Upon request, a COC (Certificate of Completion) for minor projects can be obtained.

Q. How much time do I have once the permit is issued?
A. Permits expire and become null and void if work is not started and an inspection requested within the following time frames after the date of permit issuance:  – 180 days. After work has commenced the permit will expire when work is suspended or abandoned within the same time frames. Lack of an approved inspection within this time will serve as validation that the job has been suspended or abandoned.

Q. Is there a minimum square footage required for new home?
Gilchrist County does not have a minimum size requirement. However the county does enforce the Florida Building Code. which has several minimum requirements. These requirements provide specifications for the internal floor area of dwellings and rooms as follows:


Gene Stockman
Building Official
Community Development
Building & Zoning Department
Gilchrist County, Florida
Office: (352) 463-4620
Fax: (352) 210-0411
Email: [email protected]

Tara Howell
Permitting/Office Manager

Community Development
Building & Zoning Department
Gilchrist County, Florida
Phone: (352) 463-4618
Fax: (352) 354-9113
Email: [email protected]

Community Development
Building and Zoning/Planning
209 SE 1st Street
Trenton, FL 32693

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
352-463-3173 – Office
352-354-9113 – Fax



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