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Service overview

A foundation-only building permit allows you to lay a foundation before obtaining a building permit for the entire structure. It is optional.

If you apply for this permit, the owner must assume the risk that other permits will not be approved.

The Department of Licensing and Inspections (L&I) issues this permit.

Who

Any owner or their authorized agent may apply. Authorized agents may include:

  • Service provider
  • Sound design professional
  • Lawyer
  • Authorized shipper

Terms

Permit application

Apply for this permit using an on-site work/utility permit application. The application must include the full scope of work and current owner information.

  • If the property was recently sold, submit a copy of the settlement sheet or deed with the application.
  • You must apply for all permits under the legal address established by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA).

Service provider

A licensed contractor must carry out all work. The contractor must:

  • Have an active license.
  • Be up to date on all taxes in the city of Philadelphia.
  • Have current insurance on file with L&I.

Plans

If your application requires blueprints, they must meet the blueprint requirements.

Forms and other documents

  • Geotechnical survey or soil report from a licensed engineer.
    • Must include all requirements for protection of adjacent structures and public thoroughfares.
  • Owner Liability Letter:
    • Accepts any necessary changes that may result from any ongoing or future building permit reviews
  • Request for expedited review (optional)
  • Structural Design Criteria Form
  • Documentation of special inspections
    • Agreement on duties and responsibilities signed by all parties
    • Statement of schedule for special inspections
    • Name of licensed special inspection agency qualified for all inspection categories
  • Flood protection forms: for properties located in flood prone areas.

Related Permits

You must obtain a zoning permit to obtain this type of building permit.

Prior approvals required

For all historical properties

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For encroachments on the right-of-way

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For all foundation permits only (stormwater management)

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For all permits reserved for the Foundation (public services)

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Where and when

Cost

Types of fees that may apply

Filing fee

  • Single-family or two-family dwellings: $25
  • All other buildings: $100

Permit fees

The cost of your foundation permit depends on the size of the foundation:

  • For foundations of 500 ft2 or less: $207
  • For foundations from 501 ft2 to 2,500 ft2: $362
  • For foundations larger than 2,500 sq. ft.: $621

Additional costs

  • City supplement: $3 per permit
  • State supplement: $4.50 per permit

Record keeping fees

  • Per page larger than 8.5 inches by 14 inches: $4

Expedited plan review fee (optional)

New construction applications that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Expedited requests are reviewed within 5 business days.

  • Costs: $2000
    • $350 is due when you apply. You must pay the rest once approved.

To apply, complete a Expedited Plan Review Request Form and attach to your permit application. Expedited Review Fee will not be credited towards your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Payment methods accepted

Where accepted payment
Online via the eCLIPSE app

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center of the Municipal Services Building
  • electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the cashier station in the municipal services building

(Items paid for at the cashier station will be posted within five working days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to “City of Philadelphia”.
  • The person or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be bounced

L&I will not accept checks that are missing deposit information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Postdated.
  • Startup checks without account information.

Payment Return Policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncashed funds:

  1. A $20 fee will be charged for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic funds transfer from your account to collect these fees directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may electronically resubmit your check to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit or appeal application will be cancelled.
  5. You cannot take any further action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if unpaid fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the expiration date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

How

1

Obtain all required pre-approvals before submitting your application to L&I.

2

Bring your completed application, application materials and payment to the Permits and Licenses Center.

Requests for single-family or two-family use are reviewed within 15 business days. Requests for all other uses are reviewed within 20 business days.

The applicant can expedite the application for an additional fee. Expedited requests are reviewed within 5 business days.

3

If approved, the applicant will receive a notice of payment of the balance.

If not approved, L&I will let you know what is missing or required.

Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified.

4

Once approved, schedule your inspection.

Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. Contact information and required inspections will be noted on your permit.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon completion of all required inspections.

1

2

The application will be forwarded to L&I and other City departments for review and approval.

  • Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm their association with the project.
  • Requests for single-family or two-family use are reviewed within 15 business days. Requests for all other uses are reviewed within 20 business days.
    • The applicant can expedite the application for an additional fee. Expedited requests are reviewed within 5 business days.

3

If approved, the applicant will receive a notice of payment of the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email indicating what is missing or required.

4

Once you’re approved, schedule an inspection.

When the contractor is ready to begin work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.

Approval documents will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.




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