Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Building and Safety Division
Building and Safety Division

Hiring Design Professionals and Contractors 

The City of Berkeley is not able to recommend specific designers or contractors. However, the following resources are available for guidance. 

How do I find an Architect or Engineer?

Depending on your project, you may need to hire either an architect or an engineer. If your project includes both structural and nonstructural changes, you may decide to hire both. You can choose to hire one design professional, who can contract with additional professionals as needed.

By law, you will need a California-licensed architect or engineer for your project if it is more than two stories and a basement in height, is of any type other than conventional wood-frame construction, or exceeds four dwelling units on a property.

Hiring an Architect

Hiring an Engineer

  • SEAONC Structural Engineer Referral List - Click on "Project Types" to reveal a drop-down menu and select the appropriate type. Do not enter Berkeley under "City" or the search will only provide engineers with offices located in Berkeley. If City if left blank, the search will generate a list of engineers in the Bay Area with experience in the selected project type. This referral list does not contain the names of all licensed structural engineers.
  • License Search for Engineers - Department of Consumer Affairs

How do I Find a Contractor?

You can begin working with a Contractor either at the beginning of your project or after you have a design in progress. A Contractor can typically provide a more accurate estimate of the construction cost if you have a set of plans and specifications for your project that they can refer to in order to give you a bid for the work. However, speaking with Contractors at an early stage can be helpful in getting to know the strengths of different Contractors and developing a more realistic budget and timeline for a project.

Your engineer and architect may be able to recommend Contractors to you. Some design-build companies provide both design and construction services, which may or may not be appropriate for your project.

Ask Contractors for references and for examples of similar projects. In addition to a license from the State of California, a Contractor will also need a valid and current City of Berkeley Business License to be issued a building permit for your project.

California Department of Consumer Affairs - Contractors State License Board:


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