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FAQ – Inspections and Permitting

Q: When is a permit required?

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system requires a permit.

If the project address is located within the ETJ/County and the City of Georgetown is the water, waste water, and/or electric provider, then a building permits will apply.

A permit is required for:

  • Additions
  • Attic Fan
  • Banner
  • Carport
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Deck
  • Demolitions
  • Driveway
  • Driveway Cut
  • Electrical Systems
  • Fence
  • Fireplace
  • Foundation Repair
  • Generator
  • Hot Tub
  • HVAC Systems (heating, ventilating, air conditioning)
  • Irrigation System
  • Mobile Home
  • New Buildings
  • Parking lot
  • Patio
  • Patio cover, including Pergola
  • Photovoltaic
  • Plumbing Systems
  • Prefabricated Structures
  • Remodel
  • Renovations
  • Re-roof
  • Signs (temporary and permanent)
  • Solar Tube
  • Storage Building (Shed)
  • Sun Room
  • Swimming Pool
  • Temporary Building
  • Temporary Use
  • Tenant Finish Out
  • Utility Connection
  • Water Heater
  • Water Softener

Don’t see it listed? Please email us at permits@georgetown.org

Q: Is my address within the City Limits?

Please visit our interactive maps by clicking here

Q: I live in the ETJ or County, do I need a permit?

If you live in the ETJ or County and connected to a City of Georgetown Utility System (water, wastewater, and/or electric), then permits may apply if your project involves moving, adding, and/or repairing  plumbing or electric.

For more specific information, please email us at permits@georgetown.org

Q: I am a former customer of the Western District (formally Chisholm Water) do I need a permit?

If you are adding, moving, repairing any plumbing, then permits may apply. Please email us at permits@georgetown.org for more info

Q. What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A: A Certificate of Occupancy is the approval from City which allows a person or business to occupy a building, or a portion of a building. The City will need to inspect the building prior to occupancy so it can be used for the intended purpose. Click here for more info

Q:  What Building Codes has the City adopted?

The City of Georgetown has adopted the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

All adopted International Code Council (ICC) Codes are available for purchase on the International Code Council website at www.iccsafe.org.

The City has also adopted the 2012 International Building, Fire, Plumbing, Fuel Gas, Mechanical, Existing Building and Property Maintenance Codes with amendments and the 2015 IECC for Commercial projects and the 2014National Electrical Code

As a homeowner or building owner, can I perform my own electrical, mechanical, or plumbing work?

Homeowner – Yes, however you still must meet all applicable codes, must have all required inspections performed, and the house must be your primary homestead.

Building Owner – No, State law requires all electrical, mechanical, and plumbing trades to be licensed by the State of Texas.

Q:  How do I schedule an inspection?

Inspections must be scheduled through www.mygovernmentonline.org and must be requested before 3:00pm for next business day.  Click here to visit www.mygovernmentonline.org

Q:  Can I take a picture of completed work instead of having an inspector come out?

No.  Inspectors must visually inspect all work for approval.

 

Q: What is my impervious cover?

The maximum impervious cover for development located in Residential Zoning Districts is calculated on a per subdivision basis and shall not exceed 45% except the following subdivisions:

  • Sun City – 60%
  • Georgetown Village –  50%

You can find impervious cover on the plat recorded at the Williamson County Clerks office by clicking here

 Q: Do I need a water heater expansion tank?

A Things expand when they heat up; water is no exception. So if you have a conventional water heater, you’d better have somewhere for that water to go! In some older homes, the plumbing system is “open,” meaning any water from the water heater can backflow into the water main and out of your home. Increasingly, however, plumbing systems are becoming closed off as backflow preventers are installed to protect plumbing systems from inlet water pressure, which is increasing in many areas as population increases.

Closed Plumbing Systems

A closed plumbing system is a plumbing system that does not have a way for water to flow backwards toward the meter or city supply. Put simply, if your home has a backflow preventer then you are on a closed plumbing system.

If your plumbing system is “closed,” the water in your water heater will have nowhere to go as it expands. And since water is incompressible, the increased volume will sharply increase the pressure in your unit, potentially causing damage to it or other appliances.

Water Heater Expansion Tanks

A thermal expansion tank is a pressurized tank that sits on your cold water line at or near the water heater. The tank contains a pressurized bladder that expands as water presses against it, giving that water a place to go and reducing the pressure on the rest of your water heater as the volume increases.

Before you install a water heater expansion tank, you should find out the size of your water heater and the water pressure at your home. This is important is the more water your water heater holds, the greater the volume your expansion tank has to handle. For example, 40 gallons of water heating from 50 F to 120 F will add about 1/2gallon of water from thermal expansion. You need to match the water pressure so the air bladder functions properly in your expansion tank. If the pressure coming in is greater than what your tank is rated for, it will fill up and do nothing but fail prematurely.

Q: What is an impact fee?

An impact fee is a fee that is imposed on a new or proposed development project to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to the new development. Impact fees are considered to be a charge on new development to help fund and pay for the construction or needed expansion of offsite capital improvements.

Q: How much are impact fees?

Please see Construction Fee Schedule or for a specific address, please complete the New Utility Connections form and email it to permits@georgeotown.org

Q: How can I hook up to City Sewer or City Water?

Please complete the New Utility Connection form and email it  to permits@georgetown.org for determination.

Q: How do I downsize my water meter?

Downsizing an existing water meter to a smaller water meter must meet the 2012 International Plumbing Code requirements for each water service connection and verification of “allowable water meter size” must be submitted in writing to the permits office by a Licensed Plumbing Contractor.

Q: Can I drill a water well?

If you are in the city limits of Georgetown yes you can. You will need  to provide the following:

  1. Approved TCEQ Well Permit
  2. Recorded Sanitary Sewer Easement
  3. Plumbing Permit (obtained by plumber through City of Georgetown)
  4. Installation of RPZ on customer side of domestic meter.

For the State of Texas Water Well requirements, please click here

Q: Do you need a permit to replace a fence?

A permit is not required for minimal alterations, such as replacement of pickets, panels, posts, or other materials as long as the changes do not exceed 1/3 of the facing of the fence.

Q: Do you need a permit for a garage sale?

No permit is needed to have a garage sale.  All “Garage Sale” signs shall meet the following criteria:

  • On-Premise Signs – One sign shall be allowed to be placed on the property where the garage sale is to be held.
  • Off-Premise Signs – With the permission of the property owner where the sign is to be located, up to two off-premise signs may be place on private property located not more than 1,000 feet from the property where the garage sale will be held.
  • Garage sale signs shall not exceed four square feet.
  • Signs shall be placed at least ten fee from the back of the curb or edge of pavement.
  • Signs cannot be fixed  to or located upon public property, right of way , utility poles, street sign, traffic sign or pole, sidewalk or other public way.
  • Signs shall not be posted more than twenty-four hours prior to the beginning of the sale. All signs advertising a garage sale shall be removed by the person having the sale no later than 24 hours following the sale.

Q: When is a Grease Trap required?

A grease interceptor shall be required if the drainage from fixtures and equipment with grease laden waste located in food preparation areas, such as in restaurants, hotel kitchens, hospitals, school kitchens, bars, factory cafeterias and clubs. Fixtures and equipment shall include pot sinks, pre-rinse sinks; soup kettles or similar devices; wok stations; floor drains or sinks into which kettles are drained; automatic hood wash units and dishwashers without pre-rinse sinks. Grease interceptors and automatic grease removal devices shall receive waste only from fixtures and equipment that allow fats, oils or grease

to be discharged. Where lack of space or other constraints prevent the installation or replacement of a grease interceptor, to be installed on or above the floor and upstream of an existing grease interceptor.

 

Interceptors and separators shall be provided to prevent the discharge of oil, grease, sand and other substances harmful or hazardous to the public sewer, the private sewage system or the sewage treatment plant or processes.