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Permit Exemptions

Please note that the exemptions listed in this section are from Florida Building Code permit requirements only, unless otherwise noted. Other State and County regulatory departments and agencies may require approvals or permits. 

I.    Buildings and Structures
II.   Items Not Regulated by the Florida Building Code
III. Single-Family Residences, Duplexes, Townhouses, and Condominiums
IV.  Minor Repairs - Residential and Commercial Properties
V.   Satellite Antennas

I. Buildings and Structures

A. Under Section 553.73(10) of the Florida Statutes, the following buildings and structures are exempt from compliance with the Florida Building Code:

  • Buildings and structures specifically regulated and preempted by the federal government.
  • Railroads and ancillary facilities associated with the railroad.
  • Non-residential farm buildings on farms (requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Temporary buildings or sheds used exclusively for construction purposes (requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Mobile or modular structures used as temporary offices, except that the provisions of Part II relating to accessibility by persons with disabilities shall apply to such mobile or modular structures.
  • Electric utilities' structures or facilities, as defined in Section 366.02, Florida Statutes, which are directly involved in the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity.
  • Temporary sets, assemblies or structures used in commercial motion picture or television production, or any sound-recording equipment used in such production, on or off the premises.
  • Chickees constructed by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians or the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The term "chickee" means an open-sided wooden hut that has a thatched roof or palmetto or other traditional materials, and that does not incorporate any electrical, plumbing or other non-wood features (requires Zoning Improvement Permit).

B. Also, the Miami-Dade County Regulatory and Economic Resources Department does not have enforcement responsibility for:

  • Miami-Dade County School Board facilities and State Universities on State-owned property.
  • Toll collection facilities under the jurisdiction of the turnpike enterprise of the Florida Department of Transportation. Requirements of the Florida Building Code will be enforced exclusively by the turnpike enterprise.
  • Buildings and structures on private property preempted by State statute.
  • Poles, masts and towers for supporting antenna used in the operation of amateur radio stations licensed by the FCC provided that:
    • When they are attached to a supporting structure, the pole, mast or tower is 20 feet or less above the roof of the supporting structure to which it is attached.
    • When they stand on natural ground, the pole, mast or tower is 35 feet or less in height.

C. Under Section 105.2 of the Florida Building Code, permits are not required for the following:


  • Portable heating appliances.
  • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.


  • Portable heating appliance.
  • Portable ventilation equipment.
  • Portable cooling unit.
  • Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
  • Replacement of any part which does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
  • Portable evaporative cooler.
  • Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of one horsepower (746 W) or less.
  • The installation, replacement, removal or metering of any load management control device.


  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipes provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

Although the work noted above is exempt from permit requirements under Section 105.2 of the Florida Building Code, this exemption does not authorize any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the Florida Building Code.

II. Items Not Regulated by the Florida Building Code

The following construction improvements are not regulated under the Florida Building Code. Therefore, a building permit is not required. However, other regulating agencies may require a permit or approval.

  • Surfacing of floors or slabs with carpet, tile, brick, wood or Chattahoochee.
  • Kitchen cabinets, vanities or paneling installation inside residential units. Any associated plumbing, ventilation and electrical work may require a building permit.
  • Playground equipment (swings, slides, monkey bars, basketball hoops, doghouses and pump covers) for residential use. All equipment and structures must meet zoning setbacks. Any electrical service to such playground equipment requires a permit and compliance with the Florida Building Code.
  • Decorative reflective pools and/or fishponds less than 24 inches deep or less than 250 sq. ft. in area and less than 2,250 gallons in volume (Requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Excavation of swales and drainage holding areas above the water table and in compliance with the Department's environmental regulations.
  • Ironwork for decorative purposes only (security bars, doors and railings require a permit).
  • Interior or exterior painting and roof painting (water tight roof coatings require a permit).
  • Paving and drainage. (Requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Painting and wall sign. (Requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Balloon Sign. (Requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Resurfacing, re-striping or seal coating of parking lot. (Requires Zoning Improvement Permit).

III. Exemptions for Work in Single-family Residences, Duplexes, Townhouses and Condominiums

The following permit exemptions for single-family residences, duplexes, townhouses and condominiums have been established for unincorporated Miami-Dade County based upon Section 102.2.5 of the Florida Building Code. The total cost in the aggregate of all the below noted work performed by owner-builders or contractors in any 12-month period cannot exceed $5,000.00. The permit exemptions are as follows:

A. Mechanical

  • Replacement of window air conditioning unit.
  • Installation of ductless range hoods.

B. Building

  • Installation or repair of canvas or cloth covered awnings.
  • Installation or repair of rain gutters.
  • Enclosure of existing covered patios/balconies/porches with screening.
  • Installation of chain-link fences other than those intended to satisfy swimming pool barrier requirements (Requires Zoning Improvement Permit).
  • Concrete slabs outside of the building (other than screened patios and pool slabs); items such as, but not limited to, open patios, walkways or garbage containers. 

C. Electrical

  • Repair work performed by licensed electrical contractors that does not exceed $500.00 in value of materials and labor.
  • The following work is also exempt from permit requirements regardless of the value of materials and labor:
    • Repair or replacement of electrical wall switches and wall outlet devices (receptacles) 20 amps and 120 volts or less.
  • Low-voltage electrical systems in single-family residences, duplexes and townhouses (excludes condos).

IV. Exemptions for Minor Repairs on Residential and Commercial Properties

The following permit exemptions for minor repairs have been established for unincorporated Miami-Dade County under Section 105.2.2 of the Florida Building Code:

A. Electrical

  • Repair or replacement of electric water heaters 4500 watts or less. If the wattage of the new water heater to be installed is greater than the wattage of the water heater to be replaced, then a permit is required for this work.
  • Change out of air conditioning equipment provided it is of the same electrical, cooling/heating and capacity/amperage.
  • Repair or replacement of the following low voltage (under 98 volts) devices:
    • Telephone
    • Television
    • Data Cable
    • Central Vacuum
    • Burglar Alarm
    • Intercom System
  • Repair or replacement of electric wiring to pumps less than 1 h.p.
  • Repair or replacement of time clocks. 

B. Plumbing

  • Repair work performed by licensed plumbing contractors that does not exceed $500.00 in value of materials and labor.
  • The following work is also exempt from permit requirements regardless of the value of materials and labor when performed by a licensed plumbing contractor:
    • Repair or replacement of gas appliances, other than water heater, by licensed plumbing contractors.
    • Change out of an above-ground LP tank.
    • Repair irrigation system.
    • Repair domestic water service/lines.
    • Repair to building sewer line, excluding repair or replacement of interceptors/separators, by licensed plumbing contractors.
    • Repair/replacement of faucets.
    • Repair/replacement of water closet/bidet/urinal fixtures only.
    • Repair/replacement of sink/lavatory/drinking fountain fixtures only.
    • Repair/replacement of residential pool equipment other than a pool heater.
    • Repair/replacement of shut-off valve on a domestic water line.
    • Capping of waste line leading to septic tank.
    • Repair/replacement of residential disposal.
    • Repair/replacement of residential dishwasher.
    • Repair/replacement of electric water heater up to 50-gallon capacity by licensed plumbing contractors. 

C. Mechanical

  • Repair work performed by licensed mechanical contractors that does not exceed $500 in value of materials and labor.
  • The following work is also exempt from permit requirements regardless of the value of materials and labor when performed by a licensed mechanical contractor:
    • Repair of air conditioning duct.
    • Repair or replacement of coil, compressor or refrigerant piping by licensed air conditioning or mechanical contractor.
    • Repair or replacement of non-combustion heating by licensed air conditioning or mechanical contractors.
    • Repair of ventilation fans.

D. Building

  • Repair work performed by licensed building contractors that is not structural in nature and does not change the occupancy, does not affect life safety and the value of which does not exceed $2,000.00 in labor and materials.
  • The application, construction or repair of any roof covering performed by a licensed roofing contractor not exceeding $2,000.00 in value of materials and labor or work not exceeding two roofing squares in extent.

V. Satellite Antennas

Pursuant to federal law, a permit is not required for the installation or repair of satellite antennas that are one meter (approximately 39 inches) or less in diameter which are located on commercial or industrial properties. For residential properties, the installation or repair of satellite antennas attached to primary structures which are one meter (approximately 39 inches) or less in diameter are exempt from permit requirements. Note that permit exemption does not exclude dishes from being safely installed. 

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:21:53 PM

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