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Adding on to Your Home

Updated April 6, 2020

Introduction | General Requirements | Potential Costs | Obtaining Approval | Points to Remember | For More Information


Room additions are very popular in Cerritos. A room addition can give your family more space, add new life to an older home and increase the value of your property.

This section gives a brief overview of the steps you will need to take to gain City approval and obtain necessary permits for a room addition. For more details, talk with a City staff member or check out the video called "Adding On to Your Cerritos Home" from the video section at Cerritos Library.

General Requirements

Room additions in Cerritos must:

  • Be architecturally similar to other homes in your neighborhood.
  • Maintain adequate setbacks from property lines, streets and neighboring homes.
  • Maintain adequate space for landscaping in the rear and front yards.
  • Use materials that blend well with your existing home.
  • Protect your neighbors from any negative impacts.
  • Meet all applicable Cerritos Municipal Code requirements for the size and lot coverage of your home.

Potential Costs

Room additions can be expensive. Before planning your project, talk to at least three qualified contractors for estimates of construction costs. In addition to construction costs, your project may include the following additional costs:

  • Plan check and building permit fees based on the size and value of your room addition.
  • One-time school fees of about $3 per square foot for room additions over 500 square feet.
  • Possible increase in your yearly property taxes.

Obtaining Approval

The City's Community Development Department must approve all plans and issue permits to make sure that all room additions are done safely and correctly. Here are the steps to obtaining City approval and a permit.

  1. Measure your home, yard and proposed room addition and bring a simple sketch to the Community Development Counter on City Hall's second floor. A City planner can tell you whether your project meets general guidelines.
  2. While at City Hall, pick up a room addition application packet and read the guidelines carefully.
  3. Hire an architect or contractor to manage the project and draw up detailed plans. (You may also handle the project and draw plans yourself.)
  4. Complete and sign the room addition application and return it to the Community Development Counter, along with all applicable supplemental information as required on the application.
  5. Upon submission of a completed application, a City planner will carefully review your application and plans over the next five to 10 working days.
  6. Larger room additions that are more than 900 square feet or more than 70 percent of the area of your existing home must be approved by the Planning Commission. City staff will place your project on the Commission's agenda, notify neighbors within 500 feet and ask you or your contractor to attend the meeting to answer questions.
  7. Once your room addition plans have been approved by a City planner and, if necessary, the Planning Commission, the City will keep a set of your plans and give you two sets. You can then submit your plans to the Building and Safety Department for structural plan check review.
  8. A Building and Safety Plan Check Engineer will make sure your plans meet all uniform building codes. The engineer may require changes to render your project in compliance with all applicable provisions of the building code.
  9. Once all code requirements are met, the engineer will stamp your plans and give them back to the Planning Division. A planner will compare the project to the original plans you submitted to make sure the scope hasn't changed. Upon completion of this final review your project planner will contact you to advise you that you may now obtain building permits and commence construction.
  10. During construction, call the Building and Safety Division to schedule regular inspections. An inspector will visit your home to verify that your project is meeting building and safety codes and sign your Inspection Record Card after each visit.

Points to Remember

By following these City rules and meeting all building and safety codes, you are:

  • Helping to maintain our City's high development standards;
  • Protecting Cerritos property values;
  • And most importantly, protecting your family's safety.

For More Information

Cerritos City employees want to help you meet all requirements as easily as possible, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have. For additional assistance, contact

City of Cerritos
Planning Division
(562) 916-1201
Building & Safety
(562) 916-1209

Contractors' State License Board
(800) 321-2752

Better Business Bureau
(900) 225-5222

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