Apply For A Minnesota Building Permit

 Where do I go to apply for a building permit in Minnesota?

In order to get a building permit in Minnesota, you will need to file an application with the local government in the town where the property in question is located. Every town and city in Minnesota has a building division or permit office that is responsible for reviewing building plans and issuing the appropriate permits. In some situations, you may also need to apply for a permit from the county government as well. For instance, while all cities and townships in Dakota County are responsible for building permitting, any proposed construction taking place within a designated shoreland or floodplain requires an additional permit from the county before construction can begin.

When do I need a building permit in Minnesota?

Local regulations vary, but generally you will need a building permit for any new construction, reconstruction, or structural change to an existing building in Minnesota. This can include detached structures such as fences and decks, but not always. Substantial electrical and plumbing work will also usually require a permit, but again it depends on the city where you are located and the nature of the work you plan to undertake. In addition to building permits, you may need to get a zoning permit before you can start your project. For larger projects, you will almost certainly need to obtain both a zoning permit and a building permit before you can start construction, but some small projects may require only a zoning permit and not a building permit. For instance while Grand Rapids requires you to get a zoning permit before constructing any type of fence, Rochester only requires a zoning permit for fences of a certain size. Neither city requires you to get a building permit before building the fence, but Minneapolis requires both a zoning permit and building permit for fences more than six feet high. Because regulations can vary so much, it is important to check with your local city building division to see what permits may be required before starting any construction project.

Does my contractor need to be licensed in Minnesota in order for the building permit to be issued?

Residential building contractors are licensed by the state of Minnesota through the Department of Labor and Industry. There are different types of contractor licenses, and your city may limit the type of work a contractor can do based on which state licenses they hold. Most cities will require that you provide proof that your contractor’s state license is in good standing before issuing the building permit. Some cities like Minneapolis also issue city licenses that will allow a general contractor to work in that city even if they do not have a state license.

Do I need a license to work on my own house in Minnesota?

Generally, if you are the owner of the property and are competing construction on your own house in Minnesota, you will not need a license for general construction work. However, you may still be required to hold a license or employ a licensed contractor for certain electrical, mechanical, and plumbing projects.  


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