Requirements and Exemptions
When permits are required
Permits usually are required for the following:
- New buildings
- Additions (bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
- Residential work (decks, garages, fences, fireplaces, pools, water heaters, etc.)
- Renovations (garage conversions, basement furnishings, kitchen expansions, re-roofing, etc.)
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems
What can I do without a building permit?
The following section of the International Code describes the work that can be done without a building permit:
105.2 Work exempt from permit
Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following categories:
105.2.1 Emergency repairs
Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.
Application or notice to the building official is not required for ordinary repairs to structures, replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
105.2.3 Public service agencies
A permit shall not be required for the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution or metering or other related equipment that is under the ownership and control of public service agencies by established right.