Building Permit Requirements

A common question our office is asked is "Do I need a building permit?" We have put together a list of examples below or you can refer to our Do I Need a Permit Brochure (PDF). These are intended to be general guideline; however, you should always check with our office at 616-355-1330.


  • Add Window
  • Addition
  • Change Window Size
  • Deck
  • Fence
  • Finish Basement
  • Flat Concrete Work on Private Property
  • Garage
  • Gazebo
  • New Drywall
  • New House
  • Pool
  • Re-Roof over 25%
  • Remodel Bath
  • Remove Window
  • Shed (any size)
  • Siding
  • Steps (new or rebuilding)

Not Required

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Curtains
  • Install Storm Door
  • Landscaping
  • Linoleum
  • Locks
  • New Carpet
  • Painting
  • Repair Drywall
  • Repair Steps or Ceiling
  • Replace Broken Window Glass
  • Replace Door
  • Wallpaper

So you need a permit, what next? 

  • Get your plans together.
    • Use a survey, or draw an accurate site plan. Show your property lines, all existing buildings, dimensions, and where you propose to put what. The main purpose of the site plan is to review the project for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Submit your application and plans to the Community & Neighborhood Services office by dropping it off at City Hall, Third Floor or by emailing it to
  • Once submitted it may take 2 to 4 weeks to get the plan reviewed and approved.

For New Residential Construction and Additions

For new one and two family dwellings or additions thereto, and accessory buildings in excess of 200 square feet (Michigan Construction Code), please complete both the building application and see the Plan Review List and Requirements for Submission of Sealed Plans. Please note permits are issued separately for Building, Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing work.

Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical Work

Permits are also required for plumbing, mechanical and electrical work. Unless you really know what you’re doing, it is often best to leave this type of work to the professionals. Find a list of those applications here