Exterior Remodeling and Alterations: When do I need a permit?
A permit is required:
- For all work not specifically exempt from the building code. This applies to residents, contractors, and commercial owners. Even if you are a homeowner, you need a permit to work on your own home.
- When work is structural in nature, such as adding or replacing beams, posts, joists, and rafters.
- If your construction project has accessibility issues please view the informational handouts on accessibility on our applications and forms page or at the State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry web page on accessibility.
Common exterior projects requiring a permit:
Follow the links below for more information about a specific project.
Changes to the house itself
- Detached Garages and Building Permits
- Replacement doors/windows
- Retaining walls more than four feet in height
- Stairs - exterior/interior
- Repair or replacement of brick/stone facades
Additions to the house
- Any deck, platform, stoop or ramp, regardless of height that provides direct access to the dwelling.
- Any deck, platform or ramp not attached to the dwelling that does not provide direct access to the dwelling and that is more than 30" above grade.
Outdoor living and landscaping projects
- Garages New garage or replacement of old. Installation or replacement of doors or windows.
- Sheds, greenhouses, utility buildings, and screened porches, if detached and under 200 square feet in area, do not require a permit. If these structures are attached to the house or garage a permit is always required.
- Swimming pools 24 inches deep and over 150 square feet in area (PDF)
- Demolition of buildings including garages over 1,000 square feet in floor area
- Fences over seven feet high
- Moving a structure
- When placing a dumpster or storage unit in the street or public right-of-way
Exterior projects that do NOT require a permit
For more information about a specific project, follow the links at the left.
No permit is needed for:
- Generally fences under seven feet tall
- Painting your house or trim
- Installing or replacing gutters.
- Installing or replacing soffit or fascia.
- A storage shed under 200 square feet
- Digging a new garden or planting trees or bushes
Note: Gopher State One Call can assist you in the location of some underground lines and cables.
Last updated Jan 31, 2019