Constructing or Remodeling Your Building

Learn more about the rules and regulations governing construction in the City of Oakland.

Planning and Building Codes
Planning and Building Codes

Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: January 20th, 2021 7:51 PM

Once your plans are approved, you've paid the fees and you have the required permits, you can begin construction. During construction you will need to schedule regular inspections. Some types of businesses will need to be inspected by the Health Department, the Fire Prevention Bureau, Public Works, or the Building Services Department. If you don't know what kinds of inspections you will need, please talk with someone at the Permit Center.

After you pass the final inspection, the inspector will release your utilities and issue a Certificate of Occupancy, if that is needed.

Construction Site Regulations and Hours

Construction noise is only allowed during the times indicated below:

Permit OMC Section Weekdays Saturday Sunday/Holiday
Grading Sec. 15.04.780 7:00 am ~ 9:00 pm 8:30 am ~ 6:00 pm Prohibited
Building Sec. 17.120.050
Sec. 8.18.020
No restrictions on hours.
See below for sound-level restrictions.
Use For restrictions on hours, refer to Conditions of Approval.
See below for dB sound-level restrictions.
Design Review For restrictions on hours, refer to Conditions of Approval.
See below for dB sound-level restrictions.
For all construction activity including grading in a residential area:
7:00 am ~ 9:00 pm -- 70 dB for five minutes maximum sound level in one hour.
Additional Nuisance Noise Controls Sec. 8.18.020 Persistent Noise 9:00 pm ~ 7:00 am
Construction-related noise
Sec. 8.18.010 Domestic Power Tools 9:00 pm ~ 6:00 am
Domestic Power Tools
Sec. 17.120.050a Domestic Power Tools Anytime in excess of allowed residential noise standards

During construction, you must keep all roadways clear of construction materials and equipment that could block the access emergency vehicles. Park all trucks, trailers, dumpsters, heavy equipment, cement mixers, etc. on one side of the street at the construction job site and leave an open lane for traffic and emergency vehicles. Parking in posted No Parking zones and painted Red Zones is not allowed and will result in a fine.

Hill Areas
If you are building in a place within the borders of the Wildfire Prevention Benefit Assessment District of the Oakland Hills, you have to follow the rules for fire safe practices by having fire extinguishers or ready to use water hoses. Other rules include no open flames, no smoking on "Red Flag" high-fire danger days and the careful use of power tools and mechanical equipment.

Erosion Control
Always follow best management practices for erosion control to protect inland and bay waterways.

Toilet Accommodations
There must be toilets at or next to the work site as per OMC 15.04.080.

Illegal Dumping
Disposal receipts are required as part of the sign-off and closure process.

The Building Department, Fire Marshal's Office, Parking and Traffic Enforcement, Public Works Agency and the Police Department are all allowed to stop public safety violations. If you fail to obey the orders of any of these agencies, you might have your building permits suspended, get a citation, or have to pay a fine.