Reroof Permit Requirements
The on-line permit is available for most properties in Sunnyvale, depending on the zoning district. Zoning district information is available on-line by clicking on E-Zoning. If a permit is not available on-line, the permit can be obtained at the One-Stop Permit Center, City Hall, 456 W. Olive Avenue between the hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

A permit is required for all re-roof installations and repairs of more than 100 square feet prior to tear off of the existing roof or any repairs.

Following is a listing of the general requirements for permit applications based on the 2019 California Building Code, 2019 California Residential Code, 2019 California Fire Code, 2019 California Energy Efficiency Standards) and the Sunnyvale Municipal Code. This brochure is intended to provide general information, contact the Building Safety Division for any questions or additional information.

General Information
  • The Planning Division requires that the existing quality of roof material be maintained on all re-roofs. For example, if replacing an existing 30-year composition roof, a minimum of 30-year composition shall be installed. For the purposes of this requirements, a tile or shake roof is considered to be equivalent quality to a 40-year composition. (SMC 19.80.030)

  • All new roofing material installed shall have a minimum of a Class B fire rating. (SMC 16.16.090)

  • Replacement, recovering, or recoating of low-sloped roofs (2:12 pitch and less) on existing non-residential buildings are to be cool roofs and the product packaging shall be labeled as complaint with the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC). (CEC 10-113 and 150.2(b)1(H))

  • The manufacturer’s installation specifications shall be provided at the job site for the building inspector. (CBC 102.4 and CRC R102.4)

  • For torch-applied roofing systems, a minimum of one portable fire extinguisher shall be available on the roof and within 30 feet of the where the hot work is performed. (CFC 3504.2.6)

Flashing (CBC 1507 and CRC R905.2.8 – R905.2.8.4)
Provide roof flashing at all wall and roof intersections, gutters, and where there is a change in the roof slope or direction around roof openings. Flashing shall be a minimum 26 gauge corrosion-resistant galvanized metal.

Drip Edge (CBC 1507.2.9.3 and CRC R905.2.8.5)
Provide a drip edge at eaves and gables of asphalt shingle roofs. Adjacent pieces of the drip edge shall be overlapped a minimum of 2 inches. The drip edge shall extend ¼ inch below the roof sheathing and a minimum of 2 inches up the roof deck. The drip edge shall be mechanically fastened to the roof deck at a maximum of 12 inches with approved fasteners. The underlayment shall be installed over the drip edge along the eaves, and under the drip edge at gables (rake edges). Shingles can be flush with the drip edge if allowed by the manufacturer.

Attic Ventilation (CBC 1203.2 and CRC R806.2)
Provide cross ventilation at all attic and enclosed rafter spaces. The net free ventilation shall be a minimum ratio of 1:150 of the area or space ventilated (e.g. 1 square foot of ventilation for each 150 square feet of attic space). This can be reduced to 1:300 when 40% to 50% of the vents are located not more than 3 feet below the ridge or highest point and the remaining vents are eave or cornice vents.

Underlayment Materials for Low Sloped Roofs (CBC 1507 and CRC R905.1.1)
For roof slopes between 2:12 and 4:12, two layers of underlayment material shall be applied. A minimum of 19 inch wide strip of underlayment felt shall be applied parallel with and starting at the eaves, fastened sufficiently to hold in place. Starting at the eave, 36 inch wide sheets of underlayment shall be applied overlapping successive sheets 19 inches, fastened sufficiently to hold in place.

Roofs Exceeding 7.5 lbs./Square Foot
New roofs that exceed a total weight of 7.5 lbs/SF (including sheathing and roofing material) may require additional roof framing and support. Information about the existing roof framing will need to be provided to Building Division staff at the One-Stop Permit Center for specific direction on a particular project.

The Reroof Permit is NOT available on-line if you are:
  • If the new roof will exceed a total weight of 7.5 lbs/square foot (including sheathing and roofing material), additional roof framing and support information will be required as well as review by the City’s structural engineer. This may require calculations and modification to the roof framing.
  • Adding a new roof as part of a larger remodeling project.
  • Modifying the roof structure or adding skylights.
If any of the above conditions apply, the permit shall be issued at the One-Stop Permit Center, City Hall, 456 W Olive Avenue. Specific process information is available at the Building Division web site.


All re-roofs require the following two inspections:
  • An in-progress inspection to verify the ventilation, flue clearance, and material installation. An approved ladder shall be provided for use by the inspector. Following is the stage when this inspection should be scheduled:
    • Composition - All plywood nailed down, 1/2 felted with valleys felted and flashing over felt. Courses started. Drip edge at all rakes installed over felt.
    • Tar and Gravel/Foam - All areas cleaned of debris and new materials on site for inspection.
    • Tile - Furring members in place with approved fireblocking.
    • Shake - Rating of shakes identified, courses started, and felt and flashing in place.

  • The final inspection is required after all of the re-roof work is complete. The job card shall be posted on-site and an extension ladder that extends a minimum of 3’ beyond the roof eave shall be made available for the inspector. The following items will be checked at the final inspection:
    • Spark arrester is installed
    • Overflow drains are cleaned
    • Skylights are secured
    • All flues are to be extended and secured
    • Any roof equipment and/or piping is secured
    • All exposed nails are protected and caulked with silicon
    • All exposed wood, roof jacks, and metal flashing or edging are painted
    • Installed gutters are provided with means to prevent accumulation of leaves or debris.
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