What Good Does a Permit Do?
Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the minimum codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover the work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied or do costly repairs. A property owner who can show that code requirements were strictly and consistently met, as demonstrated by a code official’s carefully maintained records, has a strong ally if something happens to trigger a potentially destructive lawsuit. Your permit also allows the code official to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends or future owners.
Why do I need a permit?
Obtaining a permit will ensure your construction project is built according to code, while also reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction. You will benefit from the knowledge and experience of City staff regarding building codes and general construction practices which helps to ensure that your project is safe and built to last. If your home improvement project does not comply with applicable codes, property insurers may deny claims against unpermitted projects. In addition, at the time you sell your home, informed buyers will ask to see permits as evidence that work performed on the property was properly inspected and met building codes.
When do I need a permit?
A permit is generally required for the following:
- New Construction
- Home Additions & Garages
- Window/Door Replacement
- Decks over 30 “ in height or attached to the dwelling
- Basement Finishes
- Reroofs, Siding
- Fences over 6 ft. high
- Steps, Stoops
- Sheds over 120 sq. ft.
- Demolition of Buildings
- Moving of Buildings
- Electrical Systems
- Plumbing Systems
- Furnace, Air Conditioning and other related ductwork
If you have questions about permit requirements, please contact the Building Official at 320-226-5189.
What if I’ve hired a contractor?
Contractors are responsible to obtain appropriate permits for the work being performed. Generally, a permit will not be issued to a homeowner when a contractor has been hired as the permit holder is responsible for all permitted work. Residential contractors must be licensed with the State of Minnesota, with only a few exceptions, and a permit will not be issued without a current license. To confirm if your contractor is licensed in Minnesota, contact:
Department of Labor & Industry
Phone: 651-284-5069 or 1-800-284-5012
How do I get a permit?
Permit applications may be obtained at City Hall or on the City’s website. In most cases, the homeowner may obtain a permit when the owner is performing the work and resides in and homesteads the property.
When and how do I get an inspection?
Inspections are required at various stages of a project. All required inspections will be printed on the inspection card. Call Building Official at 320-226-5189 to schedule inspections, allowing at least 24 hours advance notice.
What does a permit cost?
The cost of a permit is generally based on the valuation of the job. The permit fee includes a plan review and a Minnesota State surcharge.
What do I submit with the permit application?
For projects involving new construction, additions, and certain types of renovations, an accurate site plan and three copies of detailed building plans must be submitted at the time of application. Building plans should show framing detail, type and size of lumber used, joist spaces, post spacing, footing detail, floor plan, etc. This may vary depending on the project. A site plan must show the property corners, lot lines and dimensions. All existing and proposed structures must be located, showing dimensions and setback distances to the lot lines and each structure. Porches that are heated may need to conform to the Minnesota Energy Code.
When are carbon monoxide and smoke alarms required?
Minnesota State law requires the installation of smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms when certain types of home improvements are made. The 2006 legislation passed a carbon monoxide law requiring CO alarms in all existing single-family homes by August 1, 2008. Alarms help save the lives of occupants, as well as the personnel responding to emergencies.