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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. Permits are not required for any of the following:
  • 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 (18.58m)
    • A fence that is not more than 6 feet (1829 mm) 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 (762 mm) above adjacent grade and is not over any basement or story below
    • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work
    • A prefabricated swimming pool that is less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep
    • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one- or two-family dwelling
    • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches (1372mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support
  • Electrical permits shall not be required for any of the following:
    • Repairs and maintenance - a permit is not required for minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of the approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
  • Mechanical permits shall not be required for any of the following:
    • Portable heating, cooking, or clothes drying appliances
    • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make the equipment unsafe
    • A portable heating appliance
    • A portable ventilation appliance
    • A portable cooling unit
    • Steam, hot, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the code
    • A portable evaporative cooler
    • A self-contained portable refrigeration unit that is not more than 1.5 horsepower (1119W)
    • Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid
    • Gas piping limited to 10 feet (3048 mm) in length and not more than six fittings
  • 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 reinstallation 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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