Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What are the design requirements?
The fastest mile wind speed is 90 mph and exposure category B.  The roof snow load is 5 lb/sq. ft.; the seismic design is category A; and the frost line depth is six inches (6").

Q. When do I need a permit?
A permit is required 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.  Separate permits are also required for swimming pools (both above and below ground), fences, signs, irrigation systems and retaining walls over four feet (4’) in height and for tree removal and grading (not completed in conjunction with a building permit).

A Right-of-Way permit is required on any work done in the public right-of-way.  This is typically the area from the curb up to and including the sidewalk.

Some items that are exempt from permits:

  • One-story detached accessory buildings not over 120 square feet.
  • Sidewalks not in the public right-of-way, driveways and decks (not more than 30 inches above grade). 
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
  • Swings and other playground equipment for one- or two-family dwellings.
  • Roof repairs (not including decking) on residences.

Please contact Building Services (buildingservices@cityofkeller.com or 817-743-4110) to determine if a specific project requires a permit.

Q. What is the cost of a building permit?
Building permit fees are based on construction value and square footage. Download the Fee Schedule

Q. When do I pay the permit fees?
Permit fees are collected and paid when the permit is issued. For new residential construction, all fees (including impact fees) are due when the application is approved and the permit is issued. For commercial construction, the plan review fee is due when the application is submitted.

Q. Do I need a permit to replace a water heater?
Yes, and the water heater must meet the current codes. A gas water heater in a garage is required to be elevated a minimum of 18 inches (18”) above the finished floor. The temperature and relief valve needs to discharge outside the building. A drain pan may be required and shall extend to the exterior of the building.

Q. As a homeowner, when can I expect the scheduled inspection for my installed water heater or repairs?
In order to accommodate our homeowners, scheduled inspections for home-occupied repairs and unit replacements (i.e. water heater change outs, gas line repairs, HVAC replacements, etc.) will be performed between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the day the inspection is requested. This policy does not apply to new construction projects, addition/alteration projects or miscellaneous-type permits.

Q. What needs to be submitted to obtain a residential building permit?
For new construction or additions/alterations, the following listed items (no larger than 24”x36”) need to be submitted with the application:

  • two (2) Site Plans,
  • two (2) Floor Plans,
  • two (2) Engineered Foundation Plans with Engineer’s letters,
  • two (2) Tree Surveys,
  • two (2) Grading Plans, and
  • two (2) Prescriptive Energy Forms.

Q. What is required on my grading plan for a specific site?
The information required on the plan submitted by the builder is as follows:

  1. Boundary of lot including dimensions.
  2. Right-of-Way (ROW) line clearly labeled.
  3. All easements shown and labeled with size and type (i.e. 5’-0” drainage and utility easement).
  4. Building line labeled and dimensioned.
  5. Finished Floor Elevation (FFE).
  6. Elevations at the property corners.
  7. Location of swales (if swales have been designed by the developer’s engineer include depth, slope, side slope and top width).
  8. Retaining walls of all heights - include length of wall, distance from property line, height at each and at bends.
  9. Flow arrows indicating direction of flow for all areas on lot.
  10. Location of floodplain, if applicable.
  11. Footprint of house and driveway with dimensions.
  12. Proposed culvert size (minimum 18”) and type if bar ditch road and/or culvert required in right-of-way.
  13. North arrow and scale (minimum 1”=20’).
  14. Lot, block, subdivision name and address.
  15. Tree survey and wall permit application (wall 4’-0” or greater from bottom of foundation to top of wall) shall be provided separately.
  16. Any other structures, including fences, hike and bike trail, existing flume, channel, etc.

These guidelines do not apply if an engineered grading plan has not been previously provided and accepted by the City of Keller Public Works Engineering Department. These requirements are used when an engineered grading plan has been “released for construction” or approved by the Public Works Director or City Engineer with the subdivision construction drawings. The grading plan submitted with the building permit application shall comply with the engineered drainage and grading plans previously accepted by the city, otherwise provide an engineered drainage study and grading plan.

Q. What needs to be submitted to obtain a commercial building permit?
For new construction or additions, a site plan must first be approved by the Keller City Council. Once it is approved, a building permit application can be submitted.

The items required to accompany the application are:

  • a CD (in PDF) of the complete set of plans;
  • Building construction plans designed by an engineer and/or architect as required by state law. State law requires the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems of buildings over 5,000 square feet be designed by a registered professional engineer.  If the building is 5,000 square feet or less, MEP plans are still required but do not have to be designed by a professional engineer;
  • Fire protection plan for fire-rated walls (if applicable).  Buildings over 6,000 square feet are required to be protected with a fire-suppression system.  A separate permit is required through the Fire Department;
  • Energy plans; 
  • TDLR number for any project over $50,000 in valuation.  Projects valued at $50,000 or less are still required to comply with Texas Accessibility Standards, but plans are not required to be submitted to the State for review.

The required items for commercial remodels depends on the type of work being done.  An asbestos survey is required on any part of the building being remodeled.

Please contact Building Services to determine what is needed on a specific project at 817-743-4110 or buildingservices@cityofkeller.com.

Q. When is a fire sprinkler system required in my house or building?
A sprinkler system is required on new construction of one- or two-family residences with over 6,000 square feet of conditioned space. If an addition or new building construction (garages, carports, porches, patios, etc) to an existing house puts the total square footage over 6,000 square feet, a sprinkler system is required to be retrofitted in the entire house. An area-separation wall cannot be used to waive this requirement.

Q. What work am I allowed to do myself as the homeowner or property owner?
As a homeowner/property owner, working on your homestead (meaning you own and live in the house), you may do any work yourself as long as you are not compensating any other person in any manner. 

Q. Do I need a permit to demolish a building or swimming pool?
Yes. A permit application must be submitted and fees paid prior to demolition. All utilities must be removed, capped and left uncovered for inspection. An inspection is requested online or through our automated inspection scheduling system. Once the inspection has passed, the building may be demolished. Commercial buildings are required to have an asbestos survey prior to any demolition.

Q. Can I build a metal building in Keller?
Accessory buildings over 200 square feet are required to be constructed with brick or stone or the same material as the main structure. Accessory buildings 120 square feet or less are exempt from exterior finish standards. Accessory buildings 120 -200 square feet may be constructed with lightweight masonry siding or sofft boards and/or manufactured pre-finished wood siding in lieu of masonry materials. However, the use of exposed metal exterior walls and finishes are only allowed for barns and agricultural structures in the SF-36 zoning districts.

All non-residential uses shall have at least 75% of the total exterior walls (excluding doors and windows) constructed of masonry or glass wall construction. Any portion that has exposure to a public or private street, residential zoning districts, or any public exposure shall be constructed entirely (100%) of stone, brick, or glass wall construction. Exposed concrete, concrete block, or metal finishes shall not be permitted. Please refer to Section 9.01.2 of the City of Keller, Unified Development Code for additional information and requirements.

Q. What is considered an impervious surface?

Impervious surfaces are any surface that will not allow rain water to pass through. This includes the footprint of the main structure, pools, pool decks, additions, accessory buildings, parking, walkways and any other flat work area. 

 

What is considered an Accessory Building?

An accessory building is a subordinate or incidental building attached to or detached from the main building, not used for commercial purposes. Carports are also considered as accessory buildings.

 

Q. What are the requirements for an accessory building?

An accessory building 120 square feet or below does not require a building permit, however, the structure must be a minimum of 5 feet from side and rear property lines (and out of any easements) and cannot exceed 10 feet in height.

Accessory buildings over 120 square feet require a building permit and the information to consider for the project and application process includes:

  • Size: the combined area of all accessory buildings (no more than 2 are allowed) on a lot must be less than 50% of the size of the house and cannot exceed 15 feet in height.
  • Masonry: accessory buildings over 120 square feet up to 200 square feet may be constructed with lightweight masonry siding and/or sofft boards or manufactured pre-finished wood siding; all other accessory buildings over 200 square feet are required to be brick, stone or the same material as the main structure.  Accessory buildings 120 square feet or less are exempt from exterior finish standards.Foundations: buildings over 400 square feet or over 10 feet in height are required to have a permanent foundation. The foundation must be designed by a professional engineer or the City of Keller’s foundation detail may be used.
  • Framing: a framing plan must be submitted showing the size, location and spacing of all framing members including rafter, ceiling joists, floor joists (if applicable), studs and any engineered beams.
  • Setbacks: all accessory buildings must meet the same yard setbacks as required for the house.

Q. Will I still get my scheduled inspection if it is raining?

All inside inspections (i.e. Perm Power, All Seconds, Building Final, etc) will be completed. In the event of a heavy rain, all outside inspections (i.e. Plumbing Rough, Foundation, etc) will be canceled. The general contractor is responsible for recalling the inspection once it is ready. In the event of a light rain, we will try to complete all inspections as weather allows. We will try to make contact with the general contractor if the inspection has been canceled.

Q. Can I apply for a permit online?

Construction permits are issued by Building Services at Keller Town Hall, 1100 Bear Creek Pkwy. Call 817-743-4110 for information or appointments. If you only need a permit for minor work, such as moving an electrical circuit or installing a water heater, permits may be issued over the counter from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or may be PULLED ONLINE.

 

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