You Might Need a Building Permit for That Home Improvement Project

Thinking of tackling a home improvement project this spring? You might need a building permit. The following is a list of some of the more common residential projects for which a permit is required:

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

The City of Portage administers and enforces the State of Michigan Construction Codes, which serve as a safeguard to protect the health, safety and welfare of Portage residents. In addition to safety, appropriate construction permits, inspections and approvals help to protect your property value and investment. If your project does not comply with construction codes, the value of your investment could be reduced and potentially not be covered by your insurance provider. In addition, when you are ready to sell your house in the future, construction activity that was not properly permitted or inspected could initiate 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. View applications and informational brochures pertaining to residential construction permits. Once the construction application is processed and approved, permits will be issued and construction can commence for the property owner doing the work, or for a State of Michigan licensed contractor.

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.