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Do You Need a Building Permit?

Do You Need a Building Permit?

It is easier for us to tell you what you do not need a building permit for. If your project is not listed in the information below, you will need to apply for a permit.

You need a building permit for any kind of work except the following:

General work that does not require a building permit

  • Simple drywall repairs or carpet replacements.
  • One-story, detached non-conditioned buildings accessory to a residential structure and not more than 80 square feet in area or 10 feet in height and not being served by any electrical, mechanical or plumbing fixtures or systems.
  • Fences not over seven feet high.
  • Retaining walls which are not over three feet in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III-A liquids.
  • Private sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below, and which are not part of an accessible route or a previously approved plan.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work.
  • Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy which are less than 24 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons, and are installed entirely above ground.
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes and not including service systems.
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings.
  • Window awnings in Group R and Group U occupancies supported entirely by an exterior wall and which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall.
  • Moveable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
  • Replacement of windows in low-rise residential buildings that are three-stories or less in height.
  • Replacement of exterior siding on low-rise residential buildings that are three-stories or less in height.
  • Building energy efficiency components that (a) are required as part of a city energy efficiency program; (b) do not include any heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, solar photovoltaic and solar hot water heating systems; and (c) are inspected by a HERS rater (a Home Energy Rating System rater certified through Residential Energy Services Network) or a city licensed energy inspector as defined in chapter 4-4, "Building Contractor License," B.R.C. 1981.

Electrical work that does not require a building permit

Minor repair and maintenance work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles, radio and television transmitting stations, temporary testing systems for the testing or servicing of electrical systems or apparatus and those items in Article 90.2 (B) of the electrical code.

Gas work that does not require a building permit

  • Portable heating appliances.
  • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.

Mechanical work that does not require a building permit

  • Portable heating appliance, portable cooling unit, portable evaporative cooler or portable ventilation equipment.
  • Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of one horsepower (746 W) or less.

Plumbing work that does not require a building permit

  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the replacement of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves or pipes.

If your work does not require a permit, you are still legally bound to meet all city codes. If you read this and realize that you do need a building permit, visit the "Before you Apply" Web page.