Building and Inspections

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Building and Inspections

The Building and Inspections division of the department is responsible for issuance of building permits, construction plan review and inspections to include occupancy inspections of new commercial buildings as well as existing commercial buildings. The Development Services Package provides a brief overview of permits and inspections required and contractor registration. Other permits or inspection may be required.  Please contact the Development Services staff to ensure your project is properly permitted and inspected.

This department also enforces the requirement for contractor’s licenses relative to all phases of construction to include general contractor’s licenses, home improvement licenses, electrical contractor’s licenses and sign contractor’s licenses. Registration of plumbers, Irrigation contractors, mechanical contractor’s, fire alarm, fire sprinkler and fire suppression installers is also required.

Staff is available to assist you with all types of applications herein described and to offer you guidance in submitting plans for review and to provide you with information related to building codes and ordinances. You may access applications for contractor registration and permit applications at our Document Center. Go the the Document Center now.

Construction codes, state law and city ordinances have been adopted and apply to all phases of construction within the city. Codes establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of ingress and egress, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment. They are provided as a tool to regulate and control the design, certification, construction, alteration, modification, repair, equipment use, occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of all buildings, structures and appurtenances thereto.

Permit Requirements:

Permits are required for the following prior to commencing work:
  • Structural
  • Framing - all types
  • Fireplaces
  • Plumbing – including excavation and/or trenching of water, sewer and/or gas service systems; water heaters and water softener systems.
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Fire suppression sprinklers and stand pipes
  • Lawn irrigation systems – including installation and/or replacement of double check valves, backflow prevention assemblies, pressure reduction valves, etc.
  • Swimming pools, above and in ground type; and spas
  • Fences – new installation and/or replacement
  • Signs
  • Paving/Parking Lot Modifications - includes overlays and striping
  • Construction trailer office
  • Accessory buildings – includes storage sheds, new installation or relocating an existing shed; greenhouses, gazebos, bath/pool houses
  • Decks
  • Retaining Walls
  • Gas Tanks – installation and/or removal
  • Curb cuts
  • Street cuts
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Flood Plain Construction or Modification
  • Flatwork (concrete) includes free standing slabs, patios, curbs, sidewalks and/or driveways
  • Patio covers and enclosures including sunrooms
  • Roofing – installation and or replacement
  • Solar Panels
  • Skylights
  • Siding, soffit, fascia
  • Window replacement
  • Brick/Masonry Mail Boxes
  • Moving
  • Blasting
  • Burning
  • Tents
  • Mobile Home Parks
For any permits not specifically listed above, please contact the Development Services Department at (210) 659-0333 to inquire.

Current Building Codes Adopted By Universal City:

International Residential Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendices A thru D, G, H, J, K, N, P and Q
International Building Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendices E, F and I
International Plumbing Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendices D thru G
International Mechanical Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendix A
International Fuel Gas Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendices A thru D
International Fire Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendices B, C, and I
National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code 101 (NFPA 101 2014)
International Energy Conservation Code, 2015 Revision with amendments
International Property Maintenance Code, 2015 Revision with amendments, appendix A
National Electrical Code, 2014 Revision with amendments, appendices A thru F
International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, 2015

Amendments may be viewed and obtained by City Ordinance 370 clicking here.


The following list of inspections is designed primarily for new construction of residential and commercial buildings. However, many of the same inspections will apply to remodeling, renovations or additions to residential and commercial buildings. A specific list of inspections will be provided to you as they pertain to your particular construction project at the time of building permit issuance.

Foundation and Site Inspections:

Construction Loop/Temporary Meter Loop (Electrical)
Excavation, Forms and Reinforcing Steel
Soil Pipe In or Under Slab
Copper Pipe In or Under Slab
Underground Electric
Termite Treatment Certification

Rough Inspections:

Lead Test
Finish Wiring
Brick Lug/Lathe
Rough Plumbing
Heating and Air Conditioning
Water Line
Gas Service
Sewer Line
Top Out Plumbing
Rough Electric Wiring
Poly Seal

Final Inspections:

Heating and Air Conditioning
Driveways, Sidewalks, Etc.
Building Certificate of Occupancy

Inspection Request Phone Line:

210-659-0333, Extension 444 - 7 days a week/24 hours a day. As of November 4, 2019, please note the following change in inspection request policy.
  • The cutoff for requesting next-day inspections is no longer 4:00 pm on the previous day. Inspection requests for the next business day can now be requested until midnight the day prior. Further, please note that the prior policy of having to schedule Wednesday inspections before noon on Tuesday is no longer in effect. Wednesday inspections can now be requested until midnight on Tuesday.
  • Note that inspection cancellation requests must be made on the inspection hotline by 7:00 am the day of the scheduled inspection.
  • Note that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the City will be utilizing a third-party building inspector. Since a third-party building inspector is being used, the City cannot guarantee AM or PM inspection times. More than likely, the third-party inspector will not be in town until after 11:00 am. Please advise your staff and your clients accordingly. Except when the City is using a third-party inspector, AM or PM inspections can likely be accommodated; however, all inspections are taken on a first come first served basis. All inspections are subject to the availability of a City Official or third-party inspector.
  • Emergency Exceptions. Life, health, and safety inspections are the exceptions to the scheduling requirements above. (Loss of service, i.e. electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing service). Emergency inspections or situations where inspections are required in order to restore lost or abandoned service will be given first priority at the discretion of the department.    
Leave the following information when requesting an inspection:
Job address where inspection is to take place
Permit Number
Specific type of inspection needed
Contractor and sub-contractor company name
Contact phone number

Contractor’s License Requirements:

All contractors are required to be licensed, registered, insured and/or bonded with the city. The following is a list of contractor’s requiring license and/or registration with the city:
  • General Contractor – performs construction work of both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Home Improvement Contractor – performs construction work of only existing residential property.
  • Electrical Contractor – performs electrical construction of both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Plumber – performs construction of plumbing and gas trades to include water and sewer service work of both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Mechanical – performs construction of heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and similar mechanical systems on both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Lawn Irrigation Contractor – performs installation of lawn sprinkler systems on both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Backflow Testers - performs testing of plumbing and irrigation backflow devices.
  • Sign Maintenance Contractor – performs installation of all types of new commercial signs and replacement of all types of existing commercial signs that do not require wiring of any electrical components.
  • Commercial Sign Operator – is required to hold a valid electrical contractor’s license with the city and performs electrical wiring of commercial signs as well as installation of signs.
  • Fire Alarm Installers – performs installation of fire alarms at commercial property.
  • Fire Suppression Installers – performs installation of all fire sprinkler systems to include suspended overhead type systems and kitchen Ansul systems at commercial property.
  • Fire Sprinkler Installers - performs installation of fire sprinkler systems in commercial and residential properties where applicable.
  • Utility Contractors - performs utility work to include new installation, replacement or extension of water and sewer service lines and fire lines.
  • Underground Storage Tank Contractors - performs installation, replacement and removal of underground petroleum tanks at commercial property.
Any questions regarding the information provided herein may be directed to the staff of the Development Services Department at 210-659-0333.