Does Your Project Require a Building Permit

The City of Portage administers and enforces the State of Michigan Construction Codes, which play a major role in safe guarding and protecting the health, safety and welfare of Portage residents. In addition to safety, construction permits, inspections and approvals help ensure proper construction to protect your property value and investment. If your project does not comply with applicable construction codes, the value of your investment could be compromised and ultimately not be covered by your insurance provider. In addition, should you choose to sell your house in the future, construction activity that was not properly permitted or inspected could carry additional complications.

The Department of Community Development is ready and able to assist property owners and contractors obtain residential construction permits to make their projects a success. For convenience, applications and informational brochures pertaining to residential construction permits are provided on the City of Portage website at under the Community Development Permits and Informational Forms link. Once the construction application is processed and approved, permits will be issued and construction can begin for the resident property owner doing the work, or for a State of Michigan licensed contractor.

Some of the more common residential projects for which a permit is required include:

  • New homes.
  • Additions or structural alterations to homes.
  • Remodel work (including basement finish).
  • Accessory buildings or structures (garages, sheds, decks).
  • Swimming pools capable of holding 24-inches of water or more.
  • Fences over seven feet in height.
  • Trade permits (electrical, plumbing and mechanical) for work such as the installation/replacement of furnaces, air conditioning units, new electrical wiring and plumbing fixtures.

Property owners and contractors who need assistance or have questions in obtaining construction permits may contact the Department of Community Development at 329-4477 for additional information, application materials and related assistance.