A plot plan (survey) stamped by an Alabama registered land surveyor must be submitted before the issuance of a permit. This survey is used to verify:

  1. Zoning regulations pertaining to use, setbacks from adjacent lot lines, and sufficient off-street parking are provided.
  2. Compliance with the City of Decatur’s floodplain management ordinance is documented by having the lowest floor of any proposed construction lying in a special flood hazard area elevated 1 foot above the Base Flood elevation shown on the December 16, 2005 Flood Insurance Rate Map.
  3. The surveyed lot is of record and file with the Planning Department parcel map and has been issued an address by that department.

For new residential construction, framing plans and elevations are required to be submitted for review and approval.  Residential plan reviews are performed to verify compliance with the currently adopted one and two family code (International Residential Code ©, 2009 Edition ).  One set of plans will be returned to the permit applicant marked up in red notation indicating special construction items such as load paths for bearing walls, thickened foundation areas supporting load paths, braced wall lines, stair geometry, emergency egress windows, and other details needing special attention in order to pass inspections.  Residential plan reviews do not cover every compliance requirement found in the code, but do guide the permit holder on some of the more important structural aspects and life safety features that field inspectors frequently find out of compliance.

New commercial and industrial construction projects require extensive and comprehensive design documents to be prepared by registered design professionals, such as registered architects and engineers. For more information on registered design professionals, please visit the Alabama Board for Registration of Architects , the Alabama Board of Registration for Interior Design , and the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors .  Plan reviews are performed to verify compliance with the currently adopted building code for the City of Decatur (International Building Code ©, 2009 Edition ). Checklists are utilized for performing plan reviews.  Plan review turn-around time is dependent on volume of reviews currently under review and thoroughness of submittal documents.

See contractor licensing section of this website for more information concerning licensed contractors and issuance of permits.

RESIDENTIAL PERMITS - (256) 341-4570
COMMERCIAL PERMITS - (256) 341-4582
Reference: Chapter 7, CODE OF DECATUR

Permit Fees

Construction permit fees are calculated differently for new residential projects and new commercial/industrial projects.  New residential construction valuation is determined by multiplying the total square footage, conditioned and unconditioned areas, by $48.  The product of this calculation is then factored into the following table to arrive at the permit fee, with an additional issuance fee of $10 added to arrive at the total permit fee.

Commercial permit fees are determined using the total contract value of the work to be performed, inclusive of all work related to site prep, design fees, overhead, etc, and applying that value to the appropriate range in the following table.  A $10 permit issuance fee is added, as well as any plan review fees applicable (see table).

Sub-trade permits related to a master permit are determined by the contract value of the work and utilizing the Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing & Fuel Gas table entry category.  Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Fuel Gas projects not part of a master permit shall have the respective fee determined as though it is a commercial/industrial project, and shall have the appropriate plan review fee applied.  In all cases, each permit issued is subject to the $10 issuance fee.

Permit Fee Table
Please Note: Actual Permit Fees are determined at time of permit issuance

Total Valuation


$1000 & less

No fee, unless inspection required, in which case a $15 fee for each inspection shall be charged.

$1000 to $50,000

$15 for the first $1000 of value, plus $5 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof up to & including $50,000.

$50,000 to $100,000

$260 for the first $50,000 of value, plus $4 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof, up to & including $100,000.

$100,000 to $500,000

$460 for the first $100,000 of value, plus $3 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof, up to & including $500,000.

$500,000 and up

$1,660 for the first $500,000 of value, plus $2 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof, with a Maximum permit fee not to exceed $200,000.

Plan Review Fees

Calculated as 1/2 of the permit fee calculated above. Residential Plan Review is not charged a plan review fee.

Moving Fee

$100, and certificate of utilities cap-off of sewer from Decatur Utilities.

Demolition Fee

Fee is based on the valuation of the job.

Permit Penalty Fees

When work for which a permit is required by any adopted code is started or proceded prior to obtaining permit there shall be a penalty of 100% of the permit fee as determined above (Does not include Plan Review Fee).

Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing & Fuel Gas sub-permit fees

1% of the first $10,000 of value of the contract work, plus 1/4% of amount exceeding $10,000.

Contact:, (256) 341-4574
Reference: Chapter 7, CODE OF DECATUR


Demolition Permit

Persons planning to demolish a structure must obtain a permit after securing evidence from Decatur Utilities that all utility services have been removed and the sewer has been plugged. The demolition permit fee is based on the valuation of the job. Demolition permit applications are available in the Building Department.

Contact Person: Judy Bosworth (256) 341-4573
Reference: Section 7-11, CODE OF DECATUR