Home Permit...For what?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty MN 20549720

Home Permits…For what?

For all you new home owners, old home owners or, wanna be home owners the City of Minneapolis and St. Paul “enacts ordinances to regulate construction, maintenance, and remodeling so that the buildings where we live, work, and play will be safe. The City uses permits to make sure that the work is done in compliance with those ordinances.” Which pretty much means for all you DIY’ers out there here’s the scoop.

Here is a list of thing you do NOT need a permit for:

  • Repairs to windows: Replacement of glass, screens, sash cords and wood parts; installation of jamb liners for existing prime sash.
  • Installation of storm windows and storm doors.
  • Window awnings on one or two family dwellings that do not project more than 54" from the exterior wall and are supported solely by the exterior wall.
  • Insulation projects: Injecting or blowing insulation into wall cavities without removing wall finishes; adding fiberglass or cellulose insulation to attic floors in unfinished attic spaces. *
  • Installation of gutters and downspouts. Downspouts shall be directed toward the front or the rear of the property (not toward neighboring property).
  • Installing or replacing soffit or facia.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, shelving and similar finish work. * (A plumbing permit IS required if replacing plumbing fixtures.) NOTE: permits are required for Flooring in condominiums, co-ops, and apartments
  • Construction of moveable cases, counters and partitions not over five feet, nine inches in height. *

The following projects do not require a building permit but may require a zoning review and approval. If you have questions about zoning requirements please contact Minneapolis 311 (612-673-3000).

  • Retaining walls that are not over four feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge. (A surcharge includes, but is not limited to, buildings, swimming pools, parking surfaces, streets, alleys or sidewalks.) While a zoning review is not required for retaining walls under four feet in height, you may want to have a site plan review of the placement of your retaining wall. See the link to the left for more information about site plans.
  • Fences not over six feet high.
  • One-story detached accessory structures to be used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
  • Detached decks and platforms that are not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade that do not provide access into the dwelling.
  • Residential driveways, sidewalks or walkways on private property that are not part of an accessible route.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools installed entirely above ground, accessory to one or two family dwellings which do not exceed both 5,000 gallons in capacity and a 24 inch depth.
  • Swings and other playground equipment.

So for those of you who are doing something that is not listed above, here is the step by step to getting your housing permit so your dream home can become a reality.

A homeowner may obtain a permit for work on their own home.

1. You may stop in at Minneapolis Development Review between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday.Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

2. Bring two sets of your construction plans, three sets if your property or structure is historically designated, to Minneapolis Development Review on the third floor of the Minneapolis Public Services Center at 250 South 4th Street.

3. Sign in at the check in counter and staff will assist you through the process.

4. Once your plans are approved, pay the necessary fees anywhere from 35-8,000 dollars (most people pay around 100) the Minneapolis Development Review staff will provide information on required inspections. You can use the following forms of payment:  Cash; Check; Visa; Master Card; American Express and Diner's Club.  You are responsible for calling the inspector to schedule the required inspection.  Your permit will have a permit number and the last page of your permit will have your inspector’s name and phone number.

You will need the permit number and project address to schedule an inspection of the work. Your inspector’s name and phone number will appear on the last page of your permit


It is a little overwhelming and if you ask me in some cases a little silly, but in the end when your dream is a reality the little step will be a breeze.  As always, don’t forget to buy and sell with Rochelle! J

 -Rochelle Allison

Posted by

Rochelle AllisonThanks for reading our St Paul Real Estate Blog! I am a Realtor in the St Paul and Minneapolist area.  I love living in St Paul where the awesome neighborhoods and beautiful homes are my passion.  Our team works with buyers, sellers and investors.  

My concentration on homes for sale includes not only St Paul and Minneapolis, and also the surrounding Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin areas.  For more information on me or our awesome area, visit my website or email me at rochelle@rochelleallison.com.  When you're ready to sell or buy a home - we would love to help! To read what my clients have to say about us and our service, visit my Client Testimonial page.


Relocating to the Twin Cities?  Contact the Rochelle Allison Real Estate Team for information on moving to St. Paul and Minneapolis.  651.259.4683

Posted By: Rochelle Allison, REALTOR, specializing in St. Paul and Minneapolis Real Estate   651.259.4683 

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