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Required Permits
Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

Work Exempt from Permits
Exemption from the permit requirements of the code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. 

  • Building permits shall not be required for any of the following but may still require zoning approval:
    • One-story detached accessory structures, if the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58m²)
    • A fence that is not more than 7 feet (2134mm) high
    • A retaining wall that is not more than 4 feet (1219mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge
    • A water tank supported directly upon grade if the capacity is not more than 5,000 gallons (18927L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2 to 1
    • A sidewalk or driveway that is not more than 30 inches (762mm) above adjacent grade and is not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route
    • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work
    • A prefabricated swimming pool that is less than 24 inches (610mm) deep, and not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 927L), and is installed entirely above ground
    • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- or two-family dwellings
    • Window awnings in group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support
    • Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58m²) in area, that are not more than 30 inches (762mm) above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling or its accessory structures, are not within 36 inches (914mm) of a dwelling or its accessory structures, and do not serve any ingress or egress door of the dwelling or its accessory structures

  • Electrical permits shall not be required for any of the following:
    • Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles
    • Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of the code do not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for power supply and to the installation of towers and antennas
    • Temporary testing systems: Installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus

  • Mechanical permits shall not be required for any of the following:
    • Portable heating or gas appliance that has inputs of less than 30,000 BTU’s per hour
    • Portable ventilation appliances and equipment.
    • A portable cooling unit
    • Steam, hot water, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances regulated by the code
    • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter the approval of equipment or an appliance or make such equipment or appliance unsafe
    • A portable evaporative cooler
    • A portable heating appliance
    • Self-contained portable refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds (4.5kg) or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75kW) or less
    • Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid
    • An oil burner that does not require connection to a flue, such as an oil stove and a heater equipped with a wick
    • A portable gas burner that has inputs of less than 30,000 BTU’s per hour
    • When changing or relocating a gas meter or regulator, a permit is not required when installing gas piping which shall be limited to 10 feet (3005mm) in length and not more than 6 fittings.
    • When installing geothermal vertical closed loops under the supervision of a mechanical contractor licensed in HVAC as long as the company meets both of the following: 
      • Has obtained a certificate of registration as a well drilling contractor
      • Has installed the geothermal vertical closed loops in accordance with the department of environmental quality’s best practices regarding geothermal heat pump closed loops. Exemption from the permit requirements of the code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for work to be done in violation of the provisions of the code or other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction

  • Plumbing permits shall not be required for any of the following:
    • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe. If any concealed trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, then the work is considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in the code
    • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of the leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures, and the removal and re-installation of water closets, if the repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures

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.

Repairs
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 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.

Public Service Agencies
A permit shall not be required for the installation, alteration, or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering, or other related equipment that is under the ownership and control of the public service agencies by established right.

Specific Applications Where a Permit is Not Required
  • A permit would not be required for window replacements, if the window replacement does not involve any structural alterations of the opening or changes in window size. If the window size is changed it may impact the light and ventilation requirements of the room served by the window. If the opening size increases, it would require structural alterations of the wall that would require a permit. If the clear opening of the window changes, it may affect the secondary escape requirements of the code.
  • A roof may be re-shingled without a permit provided no structural alterations are performed and the application does not constitute the third application of shingles.
  • A permit would not be required for residing a structure as long as it does not impact the structural components of the building, and the window and door openings.

Exemption from the permit requirements of the code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

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6201 W. Michigan Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Ph: 734.822.3125
Fax: 734.944.1103
Inspections: 734.822.3103

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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