Inside the Home
Building Permits are typically a two-part process with reviews from both Planning & Zoning and Building Safety. Planning & Zoning reviews your project for compliance with zoning regulations, while Building Safety reviews your project for compliance with building codes.
On this page:
Renovations and Remodels
We frequently review Building Permits for the following types of renovation and remodel projects:
- Bathroom and kitchen remodels
- Moving walls
- Basement finishes
- Egress windows
All interior renovations and remodels that involve moving, modifying or removing walls or windows require a Building Permit. Renovations involving only cabinet, flooring or counter replacements in the same general locations may not need a permit. Simple renovations, such as moving walls around or changing room configurations without creating new rooms, likely only need to go to Building Safety for permit review and can skip the Planning & Zoning review. Renovations to create a new kitchen, bedrooms or bathrooms may require a Planning & Zoning review.
We recommend getting in touch with a Planner about your project and determine exactly which documents will be required as a part of the permitting process. The requirements can change depending on the scope of the project and property characteristics.
Basement finishes, including those to create new bedrooms, will require a Planning & Zoning review to ensure the new space meets on-site wastewater permit requirements for those properties served by a septic system, and to ensure the new space is not an Accessory Dwelling Unit (see ADUs).
Any renovation that involves creating a new bedroom will require a Building Permit with a review by both Planning & Zoning and Building Safety. Properties served by a septic system should ensure that any bedroom additions meet the requirements of their On-Site Wastewater Treatment Permit issued by Jefferson County Public Health. These permits often limit the number of bedrooms that can be on a property. A bedroom is any area with a door, window and closet.
An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a secondary dwelling or accessory home on the property. Often ADUs are called mother-in-law units or granny flats. They are usually in basements, above garages, or in separate structures on a property. A basement finish may be considered an ADU if there is a kitchen or large wet bar in the space.
The County has limitations on how much accessory square footage can be on a property and how large ADUs can be. All regulations related to ADUs and accessory square footage are in the Accessory Uses section of the Jefferson County Zoning Resolution. Our Applications and Guides page also has guides for ADUs and accessory square footage.
Before applying for a Building Permit for to create a basement ADU, you will want to ensure that your plans comply with the ADU requirements, accessory square footage requirements, and requirements from your property’s zone district.
Applications and Documents
- Building Permit Application (PDF)
- Building Permit Checklist (PDF)
- Accessory Square Footage Guide (PDF)
Building Safety licenses contractors and processes electrical, mechanical, plumbing, re-roofing/re-siding permits.
Planning & Zoning has regulations that may allow you to operate a commercial business on a residential property, provided you meet all regulations and have the necessary permits. The Home Occupations section of the Jefferson County Zoning Resolution has detailed regulations about which types of home businesses are allowed.
These are typically simple home office types of home businesses that have few impacts and only one customer or visitor at a time. Here are some examples of home businesses requiring Miscellaneous Permits:
- Home offices with customers, clients or a coworker who doesn’t live there
- Small home daycares (less than six children) (state permit required)
- Tutoring, private music lessons, etc.
These are home businesses that are a little more impactful. This process involves a review by the Director of Planning and Zoning. More details on this process can be found on our Exceptions and Relief page. Some examples of businesses permitted through this process are:
- Home salons, massage and acupuncture
- Online sales and mail-order businesses (such as Etsy or Ebay shops)
- Large home daycares (less than 12 children) (state permit required)
Board of Adjustment
Home businesses that don’t fit all criteria outlined in the Home Occupations section involve a public hearing. More details on this process can be found on our Exceptions and Relief page. Some examples of businesses permitted through this process are:
- Gunsmithing and firearm transfers
- Wood shops
- Dog Training
Some Home Occupations are not allowed through these processes and may require Rezoning the property. Please get in touch with a Planner about your business plans so we can determine which process works best for you.