Many homeowners are not aware when a permit is required. As a general rule, the answer is YES - any construction work that is regulated by adopted building codes and fire and public safety regulations requires a permit before work can begin. The best way to find out if you need a permit is to call the Building Department. Discuss your plans with Building Department staff before you begin construction to determine whether you need a permit. The staff member will answer your construction questions and may provide valuable advice.
Here are some common construction projects that REQUIRE a building permit:
Building Permits Are Not Required For:
- To erect a new building or structure, including garages, agricultural buildings, additions, decks, swimming pools, and manufactured/mobile homes.
- Renovations (garage conversions, basement finishes, kitchen expansions, etc.)
- Commercial floor plan alterations and changes of use
- Decks exceeding 200 square feet in area, or are more than 30"above grade at any point, or are attached to a dwelling, and or serve the exit door.
- Fences greater than six feet high
- To demolish, repair, alter, add to, or move an existing building or structure
- Fireplace/wood stove installations
- Propane tank and gas line installations
- For any repairs which change or affect the structural nature of a building or structure
- Electrical work (permit required from State of Colorado Electrical Board)
- Fire alarms and sprinkler systems (acquire permit from local fire district or State Fire Marshal)
- Addition of or changing out air conditioning/heat systems
- Water heaters (all new & any replacement not installed by State Licensed Plumber or increasing in size)
- Nonstructural alterations or repairs valued over $2000
- Signs and signage (temporary or permanent)
- Roof repairs over 100 square feet and re-roofing
- Gas line installation and repairs
- Retaining walls 4 feet or higher
- Solar panels installed on roofs
- Decks not exceeding 200 square feet in area, or are not more than 30"above grade at any point, or are not attached to a dwelling, and or does not serve the exit door.
- Fences six feet high or less
- Painting, decorating, and laying carpet
- Cabinet work
- Repairs using similar or same materials for the purpose of maintenance and which do not affect any mechanical work
- " Minor work valued at less than two thousand ($2000) when such minor work does not involve alteration of structural components, fire-rated assemblies, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire-extinguishing systems, or repairs and clean up of dangerous building.
- Accessory structures (storage sheds, etc.) not greater than 120 square feet in floor area, provided a hazard is not created.
Larimer County does not issue electrical permits or conduct electrical inspections. Electrical permit forms are available in our office or at the State Electrical Board, 3842 S. Mason, Fort Collins, Colorado (223-9838).
This list does not cover all activities that require a permit, however, it gives a general overview of when a permit may be required. It is advisable to call the Building Department before starting your work if you are uncertain if a permit is required.