What type of work requires a building permit?
Any building or structure that is to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished requires a Building Permit from the Building Department. However, there are some exceptions that do not require a Building Permit. Some examples of these are:
- One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet. (Note: these structures must still comply with the local Zoning setback requirements. Please check with the Planning Department to ensure that you are in compliance with their requirements. If Electrical or plumbing are to be installed – a permit will be required)
- Fences not over 6 feet high. (Note: Please check with the Planning and Engineering Departments for additional requirements concerning locations of fences.)
- Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches high.
- Retaining walls that are not over 4 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.
- Platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
- Painting, wall papering, floor covering, and similar finish work.
- Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a single-family dwelling when projecting not more than 54 inches. Check with the Planning Department for setback requirements.
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a single-family residence in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons. (State and local regulations concerning fences and barriers around pools and hot tubs must still be complied with.) Check with the Planning Department for setback requirements.
Note: While the building code may exempt certain work from building permit requirements, electrical, plumbing or mechanical work is not exempted. Examples of minor projects for which a permit is required include: Window replacement, re-roofing, kitchen/bathroom remodeling, woodstoves and other fuel burning heating appliances, water heaters and replacement of heating and cooling systems.
It is recommended that you contact the Building Division to inquire about permits and code requirements before you proceed with any development or construction activity, even if a contractor or salesperson has told you that a permit is not required. Staff can determine zoning and flood zone designations to help you better prepare your plans.
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