Work Which Doesn't Require a Permit

The building code allows work to be done without obtaining a permit. While a permit is not required, the work must be in compliance with the code. The following information pertains to single family dwellings only; it does not pertain to apartments, condominiums or townhouses. (See the Commercial New Construction and Renovation section for information on these types of dwellings.) Some examples of work that does not require a permit include:

  • Adding a fence (which is not part of a swimming pool enclosure) and which is 6' or less in height - refer to subdivision covenants (if applicable)
  • Adding insulation
  • Building recreational equipment, such as swings, skateboard ramps, jungle gyms, etc.
  • Constructing or installing a storage shed, playhouse, etc., 256 square feet or less in area
  • Installing any wiring or equipment which operates at less than 50 volts
  • Installing driveways or sidewalks
  • Installing a security alarm system
  • Making ordinary repairs and improvements, including, but not limited to:
    • Installing new floor coverings, such as vinyl, carpet, or hardwood
    • Installing or refurbishing cabinetry
    • Installing or replacing doors and windows, including storm windows, where no structural change is performed
    • Installing or replacing gutters and downspouts
    • Painting the inside or outside of the house or detached structures
    • Repairing drywall, plaster, siding, etc.; re-roofing
    • Repairing or replacing handrails on a porch
    • Repairing or replacing porch flooring or deck flooring. Note: A permit is required to repair or replace the joists or girders
  • Replacing a ceiling fan to a pre-wired switch, that has a ceiling fan rated and supported box
  • Replacing electrical cook top stoves, ranges, and dryers
  • Replacing electrical fixtures, such as switches and receptacles
  • Replacing an electrical water heater with a new electric water heater
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures, such as sinks, toilets, faucets, etc.
  • Retaining walls that are for landscaping purposes only

If you should have questions about whether a permit is required please call the Building Inspection office at 804-748-1057.