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Help/Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welcome to the new PPRBD web site! For more information navigating our new site, (Click Here)

What properties can you add

  • You can add any residential property that you own. If you own multiple properties in the area, you can use this account to monitor the activity on them all. This type of account can not currently be used to monitor activity on commercial properties you own, but you can lookup information about these properties by address (see How to lookup permits and How to lookup plans).
  • You can only have one primary residence. This is a home that you both own and reside in. You can get some types of homeowner permits online for your primary residence. Work done on rental properties should be performed by a licensed contractor.

Managing the Property list

  • When you first logon, you are shown a list of your properties. To get back to this list, click the Home menu.
  • Add a property. Under the Property menu, use Add to add a new property that you own. If this is your primary residence, check off this option.
  • Edit a property. Under the Property menu, use Edit to correct a property address that was incorrectly entered or to identify a different property as your primary address.
  • Delete a property. Under the property menu, use Delete to remove a property that you no longer own or that was added in error.

Information for homeowners

  • When you first logon, there are several links to important homeowner information on your home page. To get back to this page, click the Home menu.
  • From our home page page, go to the Homeowners menu for additional links to homeowner information.

Fire/Flood Information

Which web browser to use

  • This site will work best with the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Try one of these browsers if you experience any problems when using a different browser.
  • This site will also work with the Safari browser (default browser for Apple devices), but in the event of a problem you may want to try Chrome (iOS or Mac OS X) or Firefox (Mac OS X only).

How to update your password, email, or other contact information

  • Logon with your web account
  • Under the My Account menu select Edit Profile
  • Your name, email, and phone # can be updated here
  • You can update your password and your Identity Question (used to recover a forgotten username or password).
  • Use the Options tab to setup Inspection notifications. See How to sign up for email notifications when your permits are inspected

How to get help

  • Check this page for frequently asked questions
  • Some things can only be done when logged on. For those tasks, make sure you are still logged on. Your session may have expired.
  • For questions about a specific permit inspection result or plancheck entry, you can contact that Inspector or Reviewer directly. Logon with your web account. Go to the Permit or Plan Details page in question (see How to lookup permits and How to lookup plans). Click the name of the Inspector/Reviewer. The Contact page will prefill with your contact information and information about the inspection. You can type a specific question and use this page to relay that message to the Inspector/Reviewer.
  • For more general questions use the Contact Support link. There is a Contact Support link at the top of this page, at the top of your home page after logging on, and at the top of several other key pages throughout the site. Verify or enter your contact information and select a type of question to route your query to the most appropriate member of our staff.

Permits

How to find your permits

  • Logon with your homeowner web account
  • Click the "Details" menu above the list of properties. If you have more than one property, click on one of the rows first to select it. This will show all permits for your property address. If applicable, there will be a link to related plans or to older permit cards (if the structure was built prior to the early 1980's). For newer properties, there may be a Certificate of Occupancy date and a link to view that in PDF form. Elevation, if known, will also be displayed. To view the details of any of the permits listed, click the Permit # link, double-click the row, or single-click the row and click the Details menu.
  • Alternately, under the Permits menu, select List of permits. By default, this will show all open permits for all of your properties. The View menu can be used to go back to look at older permits. To view the details of any of the permits listed, click the Permit # link, double-click the row, or single-click the row and click the Details menu.
  • See also How to lookup permits

How to monitor activity on your permits

  • Logon with your web account
  • Under the Permit menu go to Recent Activity
  • This page will display all open inspection requests for all permits at your properties. It will also display all recent inspection results (by default, past 30 days). Use the View menu to go back further.

How to sign up for email notifications when your permits are inspected

  • Logon with your web account
  • When you are scheduling an inspection online, you can choose a notification option:
    • No Notification -- By default no emails are sent. Inspection Notifications need to be explicitly opted into.
    • Send email notification for this Inspection only -- You will receive an email notification when this individual inspection is complete, using the email addresses you specify here.
    • Send email notifications for this permit only -- You will receive an email notification each time there is an inspection performed for this permit, using the email addresses you specify here. You can optionally limit this to just final inspections and/or expand it to include work done by any contractor. The default is to receive a notification for all of your own inspection results.
    • Send email notifications for all my permits -- Use this option if you want to receive notifications for all of your permits, rather than opting into each permit or inspection individually. This option uses the current email from your Profile when an inspection is performed. This option can be managed from your Profile (see below).
  • Notification options can be viewed/updated from Permit Details:
    • Go to the Permit Details page for the permit (see How to find your permits and About Permit Details)
    • Under the Details menu for Permit Attachments select Inspection Notification. This option will only be present when looking at one of your own permits. The current notification options for this permit will be displayed, and can be updated from here, or when making an inspection request.
    • No Notification -- By default no emails are sent. Inspection Notifications need to be explicitly opted into.
    • Send email notification for single Inspection only -- Disabled from here. This can only be set at the time the inspection is requested.
    • Send email notifications for this permit only -- You will receive an email notification each time there is an inspection performed for this permit, using the email addresses you specify here. You can optionally limit this to just final inspections and/or expand it to include work done by any contractor. The default is to receive a notification for all of your own inspection results.
    • Send email notifications for all my permits -- Use this option if you want to receive notifications for all of your permits, rather than opting into each permit or inspection individually. This option uses the current email from your Profile when an inspection is performed. This option can be managed from your Profile (see below).
  • You can manage your desired notification options from your Profile.
    • Under the My Account menu select Edit Profile
    • Selected the desired notification on the Options tab.
    • The default is to not receive any notifications. To receive notifications, check the "YES. Send notification emails" box. You can receive notifications for only final inspections (that will close the permit if they pass) or for all inspections. You also have the option to receive notifications only for the work you perform, or receive notifications when any other contractor on one of your permits gets an inspection. You can receive notifications for all of your permits, or only for selected permits (see above to request a notification for an individual permit).
    • If you choose the "All my permits" option, the notifications will be sent to the current email address from your Profile at the time of the inspection. So if you update your email address in your profile, you will automatically receive all future notifications at the new address. Similarly, if you uncheck the option to receive notifications and save again, this will immediately stop all future notifications. To update your email address see How to update your password, email, or other contact information. If you choose the "Only selected permits" option, we will use the contact email addresses entered at the time the request was made, so updates to your profile will not impact any existing notification requests for a specific permit or inspection.
    • If you only want to receive notifications for selected permits/inspections (specified when you enter the request), either uncheck the box to receive notifications or choose "Only selected permits" to specify your default notification preferences for the selected permits.
    • For Homeowners, if you want to receive a notification when a contractor's work is inspected for a permit at your property, use the Work Done by Anyone option.
  • If you don't receive these emails (or stop receiving them), please check your Junk Mail or Spam folder.

How to request an Inspection online

ytt Video Tutorial

Note: Inspection requests can also be made by phone by calling the main Building Department number.

  • Logon with your web account
  • Go to the Permit Details page for the permit (see How to find your permits and About Permit Details)
  • Click Request Inspection on the top right side of the screen.
  • Specify the desired inspection date, inspection type and an optional comment to the inspector (such as a call ahead number).
  • Click the Request this Inspection button. A message will display at the top of the page detailing either success or error.
  • If the inspection is scheduled, it will now show up on the Permit Details page under Inspection Requests when you click the Back menu.
  • Inspections scheduled after the cutoff time in the morning will be done the following business day. There is sometimes a backlog of Reroof inspections, so those may be several weeks out.
  • To cancel an already scheduled inspection online, select the row under Inspection Requests and use the Cancel Request option on the Inspection menu.

How to view a Permit receipt online

  • Logon with your web account
  • Go to the Permit Details page for the permit (see How to find your permits and About Permit Details)
  • Under the Details menu for Permit Attachments select Attachment Receipt. This option will only be present when looking at one of your own permits.
  • You can also get to your Use Tax receipt from here by selecting Use Tax Receipt under the Details menu for Permit Attachments. Use Tax Receipt (if available) shows all the fees and use tax paid for this permit only, so can be used to separately document the payments for an individual permit when more than one permit was paid for on a single receipt.
  • See also How to view Receipts online

How to view the current status of an Inspector

  • Go to the Recent Activity page
  • Select an inspection that is scheduled for today by clicking that row
  • Click the Inspector Status menu above. If available, this will display how many inspections your inspector has today and what number they are on currently.
  • This information is also available for individual permits from the Permit Details page (see How to find your permits and About Permit Details)

How to get a new Permit

Note: Over the counter permits can be obtained online with this web account or over the phone by calling the main Building Department number. They can also be obtained in person at the Building Department office. Most construction projects (either new or remodel) require a plan review prior to issuing the permit (the exceptions are Reroof, Stucco, Siding, Glazing, Woodstove). See Residential Plan Check, Commercial Plan Check or How to submit plans for review.

To get a permit online: (Your primary address only)

  • Logon with your homeowner web account
  • Add the address of your primary residence if you have not already done so (see section on Properties )
  • Click the New Permit menu above the list of properties. If you have multiple properties, select your primary address first.
  • When getting a permit for the first time, you will be prompted to confirm that this is your primary residence.
  • Your address, name and phone number are pre-filled.
  • Select the type of project from the dropdown list and enter the total cost of materials. Some projects will have multiple different options displayed (e.g. "Replace Water Heater" and "Replace Water Heater (w/vent)"), so be sure to select the best project description. For some types of work, such as Electrical, you will be prompted for a description. Click the Calculate fee button.
  • (Note: If your type of project is not listed it may be possible to get this permit over the phone if no plan review is required. Call the main number for the building department.)
  • Click the Submit button to add this permit to your checkout queue. If applicable, multiple permits can be added to the checkout queue prior to paying for them.

How to pay for Permits in the Checkout queue

  • To get to the Checkout queue, under the Permits menu select Permit Checkout. You are directed here automatically each time you add a permit to the checkout queue.
  • Permits in the checkout queue will not be issued until paid for. Multiple permits can be added to the checkout queue prior to paying for all of them. When you checkout, you will pay for all permits currently in the queue.
  • Prior to checking out, review the list of permits in your queue. If there are any permits listed that you no longer need (or have already purchased over the phone), you can delete them from the queue.
  • Read the instructions on the checkout queue page carefully. You may be asked to select options that will determine your total fees.
  • When ready, click the Checkout menu above the list of permits in the checkout queue. If there is a problem checking out, a red error message will display at the top of the page.
  • You will be prompted to enter your payment account information (either credit or bank account). Verify the total amount that will be charged to your account and click Process Transaction when ready.
  • If the transaction is successful, you will receive an email confirmation and get a link directly to your new permit. To find this permit later, see How to find your permits and How to view Receipts online.
  • If the transaction fails, double-check your payment information. If the payment account is being declined, it will be necessary to contact your financial institution directly, because we will not have any details on why it was declined.

How to delete a Permit from the Checkout queue without paying for it

  • To get to the Checkout queue, under the Permits menu select Permit Checkout. You are directed here automatically each time you add a permit to the checkout queue.
  • Select the row for the item you no longer need (or have already purchased) by clicking it. Click the Delete menu above.
  • This will remove this item from the checkout queue and recalculate the total amount in the queue.

How to calculate permit fees

  • Under the Permit menu select Fee Calculator
  • Instructions are at the bottom of the page

How to lookup permits

  • By Permit Number -- Under the Permit menu select By Permit Number. Type the Permit # and hit the Enter key.
  • By Address -- Under the Permit menu select By Address. Enter the Address (the street name will auto-complete) and all matching permits will be displayed. Click the permit # link or double-click a row to view the details. (see About Permit Details)
  • By Date, Type, Jurisdiction, etc. -- See Permit/Plan Reports

About Permit Details

  • The Permit Details page displays all information about the permit. (see How to lookup permits)
  • The top of the page contains the basic identifying information about the permit: Permit #, Owner name, address (which is a link to other permits at the same address), County Parcel (which links to the Assessor website), Latitude/Longitude if available (which links to a search for nearby permits), Elevation if available, Project Description and Project Code (which is a link to an information page about our project codes).
  • Plan Image: For permits that have associated plan images, the Plan Image menu will be enabled and allow you to View or download. (see How to find Plan Images for more information on how to find images and which plan images you will have access to). Depending on the type of information you are looking for, you should also check the Permit Images further down the page.
  • Use the Map menu to lookup the permit's address on several different mapping sites.
  • Certificate of Occupancy: If a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for this address, this is displayed to the right of the Plan Image and Map menus. Residential Certificates of Occupancy can be viewed online from the View link to the right of the Certificate of Occupancy date. Commercial Certificates of Occupancy will only show the CO #, date and if available a link to the original building permit attachment details including occupancy types.
  • Permit Attachments: This lists all Contractor and Homeowner attachments to the permit. Double-click an attachment row to view additional details about this attachment (or select a row by clicking it and click the Details menu above). The Department and status codes in the Permit attachments table are clickable links to an explanation of those codes. The Details menu will operate on the selected permit attachment, so select the desired attachment first by clicking it. It includes menu items to view the selected attachment details or the contractor's license information.
  • Inspection Requests: This will show any open inspection requests, including which contractor's work is being inspected, the inspection code to identify the inspection, when it was requested, what inspector is currently assigned to perform the inspection and what # that inspection is in the inspector's list for the day (if the inspection is scheduled for today). Click here for additional information about scheduling inspections. Inspections can be requested or canceled by phone, or online if signed in. (see How to request an Inspection online)
  • Contractors/Homeowners: When logged on as a Contractor or Homeowner and viewing one of your own permits, there are additional options available under the Permit Attachments and Inspection Requests menus:
    • Printouts/Receipts: Under the Permit Attachment's Details menu use Print Permit to view/print a Legal copy of the permit, Attachment Receipt to view the full receipt for this permit (and any other items paid for at the same time), Use Tax Receipt (if available) shows all the fees and use tax paid for this permit only, so can be used to separately document the payments for an individual permit when more than one permit was paid for on a single receipt. If there is more than one attachment for the permit, select the desired attachment by clicking it. (see How to view a Permit receipt online)
    • Inspection Notifications: Under the Permit Attachment's Details menu select Inspection Notification to update your notification options for this permit. (see How to sign up for email notifications when your permits are inspected)
    • Inspector Status: Under the Inspection Requests Details menu is an option to view the status of the Inspector, if the inspection is scheduled for today. This will lookup how many inspections that inspector has today and what # inspection they are currently on. (see also How to view the current status of an Inspector for another way to lookup this information)
    • Request/Cancel an Inspection: Using the Inspection menu you may request an inspection for later today, or for up to 30 days from now. (as long as this is done before the cutoff time in the morning). A dropdown list of valid inspection types to choose from is automatically filled based on the type of work being done for the permit and the types of licenses you possess. Once requested, it will be visible on the Recent Activity page and on Permit Details for this permit. The Request may be cancelled from the Permit Details page. (Inspection requests for the same day must be cancelled by 9am.) If there is a problem with the request, an error message will appear at the top of the page when you submit it. Otherwise, you will receive a success message and can click Back on the main menu to return to the previous page. (see How to request an Inspection online)
    • Upload an image or PDF to an inspection request (Contractors Only): At times, the inspector will allow you to upload an image or PDF to an inspection request. To do this, select your permit then select 'Upload Inspection Image or PDF' from the 'Inspection' menu under Inspection Request. Fill out the inspection request and then select the file(s) you would like to upload (Optionally enter comments). Then click 'Upload File(s) and Request Inspection'. You will see a green confirmation on the top of the page. This feature is limited to 3 images. To combine multiple images into one, see Upload Inspection Images yt
  • Permit Notes. If available, any notes about the permit will be listed here.
  • Addtional Required Inspections. Some permits require additional inspections by agencies outside the Building Department, such as Zoning, Fire, Engineering, Health or Utilities. (see About Additional Required Inspections for a Permit)
  • Permit Images. Double-click an image row to view this document (or select a row by clicking it and click the Details menu above). For some types of projects, the plan image may be available here.
  • Inspection History is at the bottom of the page. Inspection results are ordered by department and date (most recent at the top within department). Inspections done by the Building Department will be listed first, and External Department inspections are listed in a separate table below that to make them easier to identify and find. The Inspection code and status are both clickable links to information about those codes. The Inspection code has a tooltip that identifies the code. When logged on, the Inspector name is a clickable link that can be used to contact the inspector and ask a question about a particular inspection result.
  • Printing Permit Details: You can use your browser's print menu to print this page. If the formatting of the printout does not look good, you can also try the Printer icon Print button to the right of the menu at the top of the page. This will reformat all the grids to be more printer friendly.

About Additional Required Inspections for a Permit

  • Some permits require additional inspections by agencies outside the Building Department, such as Zoning, Fire, Engineering, Health or Utilities.
  • Some of these inspections must be completed prior to to finaling the building permit or getting a Certificate of Occupancy.
  • To make this easier to keep track of (both for the person that pulled the permit and the inspectors), we maintain a dynamic list of required inspections for each permit, along with the current status. Which inspections are required is determined by the type of project, the Jurisdiction, and which outside departments approved the associated plan (if any).
  • When you are logged on and looking at one of your own permits, a list of Additional Required Inspections will be shown on Permit Details (if applicable). (see About Permit Details)
  • The required inspection list shows which external agency is requiring the inspection, an inspection code to identify the type of inspection (tooltip will display the name of the inspection, click the link to view all inspection codes) and the current status of the inspection. When the status is C, the inspection is complete and the row will highlight green.
  • Blocking vs. Non-Blocking: The Blocking? column identifies whether this external inspection will block the building permit from being finaled. If a Building final inspection is performed prior to all other required inspections being complete, we will automatically stop the permit from finalling and auto-generate an inspection comment that starts with "Additional Inspections Required:" and lists all the missing inspections. The building permit can be finaled (and the Certificate of Occupancy issued) prior to completing a non-Blocking inspection, but that inspection should still be completed when possible.

Permit/Plan Reports

  • Activity Charts -- Under the Reports menu select Activity Charts. Select the options for the types of permits or plans you are looking for and click Go. Click one of the chart bars or double-click one of the cells in the table below the chart to view the corresponding list of permits. Click the permit # link or double-click a row to view the details.
  • Reports -- Under the Permit menu select Permit/Plan Reports. Some reports are formatted for viewing or printing while others are in tab delimited format for reading into Excel or a database. Tab delimited reports are only available with a government or subscription account.

Plans

How to lookup plans

  • By Plan Number -- Under the Plans menu select By Plan Number. Type the Plan # and hit the Enter key.
  • By Address -- Under the Plans menu select By Address. Enter the Address (the street name will auto-complete) and all matching plans will be displayed. Click the plan # link or double-click a row to view the details. (see About Plan Details)
  • By Date, Type, Jurisdiction, etc. -- See Permit/Plan Reports

About Plan Details

  • The Plan Details page displays all information about the plan. (see How to lookup plans)
  • The top of the page contains the basic identifying information about the plan: Plan #, Owner name, address (which is a link to other plans at the same address), County Parcel (which links to the Assessor website), Project Description, Project Code and Submit Date.
  • Next is the Plan Image and map menu. For plans that have associated plan images (this is usually done after the plan is approved when the permit is issued), the Plan Image menu will be enabled and allow you to View or download. (see How to find Plan Images) The Map menu provides links to this address at several different mapping websites. The current location of the plan is displayed here.
  • Next is a list of all the Required plancheck departments (with current status) on the left and all the Log Entries (plancheck results) on the right. When logged on, the Inspector or Reviewer is a clickable link that allows you to contact the plan reviewer about this plan/specific review.

How to find Plan Images

  • Note: Plan images can be accessed either online or by by coming to our office (there is a public computer for this purpose). If you come to our office, you can freely lookup any plan image and pay for a copy of that PDF file or pay to print individual pages. Below are the instructions for finding the plan images online.
  • Plan images are available for many construction permits and will show the original building plans.
  • When searching permits or plans by address (How to find your permits, see How to lookup permits and How to lookup plans), the list of search results will contain an Image column. Those permits/plans with a plan image will have the text "PDF" in that image column. There is a Plan Image menu on both the search list page and the permit and plan details pages that provides access to the plan image.
  • Click the top level of the Plan Image menu to view the plan in your browser. You can also specifically select to either View or Download the image. View will open the image in your browser (and from there you can save it). Download will prompt you for a save location on your computer.
  • Depending on the type of information you are looking for, you should also check the Permit Images for the permit. On the Permit Details page, scroll down to look for a list of permit images that may include sketches, site plans, soils reports and more.
  • You may also need to sign up for a subscription account to get access to the plan image.
  • Using the methods above, you should verify that we have the particular plan images you are looking for and that they are not freely available prior to signing up for a subscription.

Plan Image Availability

  • The likely availability and quality of plan images for a particular project depends on the date that project was permited.
  • 2012 - Present: Almost all plan images from this period will be available. Plans were either scanned directly from the approved paper plans to PDF files, or (if reviewed electronically) may be the PDF versions of the plans directly from the design software (such as AutoCAD).
  • 2000-2012: Most plan images from this period will be available. Plans from this period were scanned directly from the approved paper plans to PDF files.
  • 1983-1999: Some plan images from this period will be available, more for the recent years than the earlier years. Plans from this period were scanned to microfilm. The PDF versions were scanned from the original microfilm, so the quality of the images varies.
  • 1966-1983: Some plan images from this period will be available, associated with the Permit Card. When searching an address, if there are matching Permit Cards (pre-1983 permits), there will be a link to them at the top of the search results page.
  • Pre 1966: This website is unlikely to have any information about this project since it was from before the creation of this Building Department (see History of PPRBD). You can check the County Assessor Property Search page for information about this address, but they will not have a plan image either.

How to submit plans for review

  • While logged into your web account, click the 'Plans' menu, then click 'Electronic Plans'. This page will show you the status of your electronic plans. Additionally, click 'New Plan' to start submitting a new electronic plan.
  • The plan review page contains links to our currently adopted Building Code, information about submitting plans, and Guidelines and Handouts for both Commercial and Residential projects.
  • Depending on the type of project, plans are submitted as a single paper set, two paper sets (for parallel plan review), or an electronic set of plan images submitted online.
  • About Electronic Plan Review
  • List of available Electronic Plan types

Payments/Receipts

How to update/remove a saved payment account

  • Logon with your web account
  • Under the 'My Account' Menu, select Payment Accounts
  • Edit -- To edit the expiration date of a credit card, select that row and click the Edit menu. If you have been issued a new account number, you will need to delete the current payment account and add a new one with the new number.
  • Delete -- To delete an account that is no longer valid, or that you no longer wish to be associated with your account, select that row and click the Delete menu.
  • Add -- You can add a new payment account here by clicking the Add menu. You can also add a new payment when checking out and use the Remember this Account checkbox.
  • Default Account -- If you have multiple saved payment accounts you can select one of them and click the Make Default Account menu. The next time you pay for something on this site it will default to the selected account.
  • Subscriptions -- If you have a subscription account, you can setup auto-billing using one of your saved payment accounts. You can cancel auto-billing any time by clearing that payment account, and your subscription will be allowed to expire.

How to view Receipts online

  • Logon with your web account
  • Click the Receipts menu
  • You can view/print all of your receipts from here, for transactions done online, over the phone and in person.
  • Printable receipt: Either double-click a row to view the full receipt, or click a row to select it and use the Details menu to view the receipt. Click the Back browser button when done to return to this list.
  • By default this will show the current month's receipts. Use the View menu to look at older receipts by selecting a different date range. You can even choose a custom range to view receipts from years ago.
  • The list of receipts can be Exported to Excel format using the Export menu.
  • You can also lookup the receipt for a particular permit. (see How to view a Permit receipt online)

Subscriptions

  • Contractors, Homeowners and other business users can get access to tab delimited reports and online plan images by adding a monthly subsciption to their free web account.
  • Information on what features a free web account already includes and what additional features are included with a subscription: About Web Accounts
  • To sign up for a subscription, first create a free web account. After logging on either click the "Find out about Subscriptions" link or go to Profile>Subscribe on the menu.
  • To end the Subscription, just don't renew it and it will be allowed to expire. If you have auto-billing setup, go to Manage Payment Accounts on the My Account menu to turn off this option and allow the subscription to expire (see How to update/remove a saved payment account when logged on).

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