Building and Inspections

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 Note that in observance of Columbus Day, the Development Services Department will be closed on Monday, October 10th. Offices will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, October 11th. 


On May 17, 2022, City Council approved the adoption of the 2021 International Code Council (ICC) Building-related, Fire and Property Maintenance codes and local amendments with ordinance 370-P-2022. These codes will be enforced, August 1, 2022. The following are the adopted codes and appendices:

2021 International Building Code (IBC) with Appendices E, F, and H

2021 International Fire Code (IFC) with Appendices B, C, and I

2021 International Existing Building Code (IEBC)

2021 International Residential Code (IRC)

2021 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) with Appendix A

2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)

2021 International Plumbing Code (IPC) with Appendices B thru E

2021 International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) with Appendices A thru D

2021 International Mechanical Code (IMC)

2021 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC)

2020 National Electric Code (NEC) with Appendices A thru F

National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code 101

Any permit application submitted after May 17, 2022 will be subject to the requirements of the above codes. Reinspection fees incurred for these permits during the period from May 17th to August 1st will be waived provided just cause is shown that the only reason for disapproval of the inspection is based on a change from the 2015 to 2021 code cycle. For additional questions or information, please contact the Building Official at or 210-619-0724.

Building and Inspections

The Building and Inspections division of the department is responsible for issuance of building permits, construction plan review and inspections to include occupancy inspections of new commercial buildings as well as existing commercial buildings. The Development Services Package provides a brief overview of permits and inspections required and contractor registration. Other permits or inspection may be required.  Please contact the Development Services staff to ensure your project is properly permitted and inspected.

This department also enforces the requirement for contractor’s licenses relative to all phases of construction to include general contractor’s licenses, home improvement licenses, electrical contractor’s licenses and sign contractor’s licenses. Registration of plumbers, Irrigation contractors, mechanical contractor’s, fire alarm, fire sprinkler and fire suppression installers is also required.

Staff is available to assist you with all types of applications herein described and to offer you guidance in submitting plans for review and to provide you with information related to building codes and ordinances. You may access applications for contractor registration and permit applications at our Document Center. Go the the Document Center now.

Construction codes, state law and city ordinances have been adopted and apply to all phases of construction within the city. Codes establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of ingress and egress, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment. They are provided as a tool to regulate and control the design, certification, construction, alteration, modification, repair, equipment use, occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of all buildings, structures and appurtenances thereto.

Permit Requirements:

Permits are required for the following prior to commencing work:
  • Structural
  • Framing - all types
  • Fireplaces
  • Plumbing – including excavation and/or trenching of water, sewer and/or gas service systems; water heaters and water softener systems.
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Fire suppression sprinklers and stand pipes
  • Lawn irrigation systems – including installation and/or replacement of double check valves, backflow prevention assemblies, pressure reduction valves, etc.
  • Swimming pools, above and in ground type; and spas
  • Fences – new installation and/or replacement
  • Signs
  • Paving/Parking Lot Modifications - includes overlays and striping
  • Construction trailer office
  • Accessory buildings – includes storage sheds, new installation or relocating an existing shed; greenhouses, gazebos, bath/pool houses
  • Decks
  • Retaining Walls
  • Gas Tanks – installation and/or removal
  • Curb cuts
  • Street cuts
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Flood Plain Construction or Modification
  • Flatwork (concrete) includes free standing slabs, patios, curbs, sidewalks and/or driveways
  • Patio covers and enclosures including sunrooms
  • Roofing – installation and or replacement
  • Solar Panels
  • Skylights
  • Siding, soffit, fascia
  • Window replacement
  • Brick/Masonry Mail Boxes
  • Moving
  • Blasting
  • Burning
  • Tents
  • Mobile Home Parks
For any permits not specifically listed above, please contact the Development Services Department at (210) 659-0333 to inquire.

Current Building Codes Adopted By Universal City:

International Residential Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
International Building Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
International Plumbing Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
International Mechanical Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
International Fuel Gas Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
International Fire Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code 101 (NFPA 101 2021)
International Energy Conservation Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
International Property Maintenance Code, 2021 Revision with amendments
National Electrical Code, 2020 Revision with amendments

Amendments may be viewed and obtained by City Ordinance 370 clicking here.


The following list of inspections is designed primarily for new construction of residential and commercial buildings. However, many of the same inspections will apply to remodeling, renovations or additions to residential and commercial buildings. A specific list of inspections will be provided to you as they pertain to your particular construction project at the time of building permit issuance.

Foundation and Site Inspections:

Construction Loop/Temporary Meter Loop (Electrical)
Excavation, Forms and Reinforcing Steel
Soil Pipe In or Under Slab
Copper Pipe In or Under Slab
Underground Electric
Termite Treatment Certification

Rough Inspections:

Lead Test
Finish Wiring
Brick Lug/Lathe
Rough Plumbing
Heating and Air Conditioning
Water Line
Gas Service
Sewer Line
Top Out Plumbing
Rough Electric Wiring
Poly Seal

Final Inspections:

Heating and Air Conditioning
Driveways, Sidewalks, Etc.
Building Certificate of Occupancy

Inspection Request Phone Line:

210-659-0333, Extension 444 - 7 days a week/24 hours a day. Please note the following inspection request policy.
  • The cutoff for requesting next-day inspections, Monday through Friday, is midnight the day prior.
  • Note that inspection cancellation requests must be made on the inspection hotline by 7:00 am the day of the scheduled inspection.
  • Note that the City may use a third-party building inspector. If a third-party building inspector is used, the City cannot guarantee AM or PM inspection times but will make an attempt to accommodate the request as a courtesy. Please advise your staff and your clients accordingly. All inspections are subject to the availability of a City Official or third-party inspector.
  • Emergency Exceptions. Life, health, and safety inspections are the exceptions to the scheduling requirements above. (Loss of service, i.e. electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing service). Emergency inspections or situations where inspections are required in order to restore lost or abandoned service will be given first priority at the discretion of the department.    
Leave the following information when requesting an inspection:
Job address where inspection is to take place
Specific type of inspection needed
Permit Number
Contractor name and Number
Any special instructions for the inspector

Contractor’s License Requirements:

All contractors are required to be licensed, registered, insured and/or bonded with the City. The following is a list of contractor’s requiring license and/or registration with the city:
  • General Contractor – performs construction work of both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Home Improvement Contractor – performs construction work of only existing residential property.
  • Electrical Contractor – performs electrical construction of both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Plumber – performs construction of plumbing and gas trades to include water and sewer service work of both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Mechanical – performs construction of heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and similar mechanical systems on both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Lawn Irrigation Contractor – performs installation of lawn sprinkler systems on both commercial and residential property, new and existing construction.
  • Backflow Testers - performs testing of plumbing and irrigation backflow devices.
  • Sign Maintenance Contractor – performs installation of all types of new commercial signs and replacement of all types of existing commercial signs that do not require wiring of any electrical components.
  • Commercial Sign Operator – is required to hold a valid electrical contractor’s license with the city and performs electrical wiring of commercial signs as well as installation of signs.
  • Fire Alarm Installers – performs installation of fire alarms at commercial property.
  • Fire Suppression Installers – performs installation of all fire sprinkler systems to include suspended overhead type systems and kitchen Ansul systems at commercial property.
  • Fire Sprinkler Installers - performs installation of fire sprinkler systems in commercial and residential properties where applicable.
  • Utility Contractors - performs utility work to include new installation, replacement or extension of water and sewer service lines and fire lines.
  • Underground Storage Tank Contractors - performs installation, replacement and removal of underground petroleum tanks at commercial property.
Any questions regarding the information provided herein may be directed to the staff of the Development Services Department at 210-659-0333.