1. Development
  2. Building & Construction Services

Building License & Permits


All commercial and residential projects requiring plan approval must be submitted online for a plan review through ePlans Review. Before using this system, please follow the instructions outlined in the steps below.


Building projects may require approval from multiple city departments, depending upon the nature and complexity of the project, including review by Planning, Zoning, Engineering, Traffic Engineering, Inspection, Water Pollution Control, Natural Resources, City Clerk and Legal. Our online ePlans Review process will help move you through each requirement.

The City recommends a pre-application review meeting for contractors and project developers before submitting a commercial project. Contact the Planning or Zoning departments at 256-427-5100 to schedule your appointment. All commercial and residential projects requiring plan approval must be submitted online for a plan review through ePlans Review.

Zoning Administration is the first step in processing most building permit applications. For residential building permit applications that do not require a plan review, applicants may still need Zoning Administration approval. To verify if an approval is needed, please contact Zoning at 256-427-5100.

All persons, firms, or corporations engaged in any exhibition, trade, business, vocation, occupation, profession, calling or conducting any type business within the corporate limits of the City of Huntsville, shall obtain a Business License from the City Clerk before engaging in business.  Zoning Administration must check for zoning compliance before approving privilege licenses.

Working with sub-contractors? You must complete the Sub-contractors Schedule C form to document proof of business licenses for each sub-contractor, per project.

Review the application information for your type of project – residential or commercial.


Commercial Property Building Permits must be submitted through ePlans Review. All plans and specifications must be sealed by a State of Alabama-certified design professional if the building is over 2,500 square feet in size, or is an assembly, educational, institutional or hazardous occupancy. Please review the following below before proceeding with your application.

  • Demolition Permits can be submitted through the ePlans Review system. Walk-ins only may use download this Building Permit Application. Visit the Department of Natural Resources for more information.
  • If the project received a Board of Zoning Adjustment variance or special exception approval, then a copy of the letter of approval must accompany the building application.
  • If the project is covered by the City of Huntsville’s Master Plan, then a letter must be submitted showing the project has been through the Planning Commission giving approval for “Location/Character/and Extent.”
  • Projects using public funding must complete an LCE Application for the City of Huntsville Planning Commission Location, Character, and Extent. Please be aware of Commission’s required turn-in dates.
  • If the project is for a building or addition in any of the Research Park Districts, an approval letter from the Research Park Board must be accompanied with the building application. Cummings Research Park has established a 75-page Design Development Guide detailing its design approval process.

Once you receive approval from Zoning Administration, you will take two (2) full sets of plans (both copies must be stamped and signed by the Zoning Administrator) to the Inspection Department to complete the building permit process.


Building permits may be submitted online through ePlans Review. All plan sheets and documents submitted online must be in a PDF format. Once the permit is processed and approved, it must be picked up in person.

For new one and two family dwellings and additions in an approved subdivision, the following information must be submitted for a building permit:

  • A site plan drawn to scale, showing the house on the lot, including measurements, and any and all easements on the lot.
  • Plans for the dwelling to include elevations: footing/foundation plans, floor plans, etc.
  • A completed Building Permit Application or Project Information Page is required.
  • If the project received a Board of Zoning Adjustment variance approval, a copy of the approval letter must accompany the building application.
  • Other items may be needed for a building permit for buildings in the 100-year flood fringe, slope development district, metes and bounds lots, historical districts, etc.
  • A permit may be purchased by a certified homebuilder licensed in the City of Huntsville who has a homebuilder’s licensure card. The owner of the property may also purchase a building permit if the property owner plans to live in the house for at least one year after final completion and closing of all permits. Homeowners must provide a copy of the recorded deed to the property to purchase a building permit. ACTING AS YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
  • Demolition Permits can be submitted through the ePlans Submittal system. Walk-ins only may use download a Building Permit Application. Most residential demolition work doesn’t require a Demolition Release from City’s Department of Natural Resources.

Alterations and Repairs

  • A completed building permit
  • A list of alterations or repairs that includes a full cost breakdown of all materials and labor of the project’s scope of work.

Minor Alterations and Repairs

  • For minor repairs and alterations that don’t require a plan review, a walk-in permit can be issued using the downloadable permit application Building Permit Application.


E-Plans Review


Most trades for electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas and as well some roofing & siding permits can be obtained online.

Any project where the site location is located in a “FEMA-Special Flood Hazard Area” must be submitted in person.

All building, and most standalone trade permits, will require a FDP-Flood Development Permit to be completed and issued prior to any other permit approval.

To locate if the property is in a flood zone, visit the City of Huntsville GIS Interactive Maps webpage. When using this mapping system, turn on filters/layers to show flood zones. Click on the “Layer List” icon at top right and select the “FEMA 2018 Flood Insurance Rate Map”.  Next, use the “Search Address or Intersection Box” at top left of the page to locate your project’s address on the map.

Online Permitting for Trade Contractors & Inspection Scheduling System

RELATED LINKS:  ePlans Review, GIS Mapping, Planning Commission, Schedule an Inspection, Subdivisions, Zoning, Business Licenses

  • Phone:


  • Address:

    Inspection Office

    320 Fountain Circle SW,

    Huntsville, AL 35801

    View Map

  • Hours:

    Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Inspector Office Hours:

    Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m., 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.