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Building Permit Exemptions

R105.2 Work exempt from permit. Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

Permits are not required for the following:

Residential buildings (2009 International Residential Code as amended)

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet nor 12 feet in height
  • Fences not over six-feet high
  • Retaining walls that are not over four feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the low-side grade to the top of the wall provided the horizontal distance to the next uphill retaining wall is at least equal to the total height of the lower retaining wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or IIIA liquids
  • Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1
  • Sidewalks and driveways
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work
  • Prefabricated and portable swimming or wading pools, hot tubs or spas when the walls are entirely above grade and which cannot contain water more than 24 inches deep
  • Swings and other play or playground equipment, including elevated playhouses not exceeding 120-square feet of floor area nor eight feet in height measured from the floor to the highest point of such structure, designed and used exclusively for play.
  • Window awnings on Group R, Division 3, and Group U occupancies projecting not more than 54 inches; window replacement requiring no structural alteration and when such work is determined not to be historically significant; storm window, storm door, and rain gutter installation
  • Roofing repair or replacement work not exceeding 100-square feet of covering per building
  • Minor work valued at less than $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 buildings
  • Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 m²) in area, that are not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling, and do not serve the exit door required by section R311.4

Gas and mechanical

See 2009 International Residential Code, work exempt.


The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures; the removal and replacement of fixtures, including the same size or smaller water heater, by State licensed plumbers, provided such repairs or replacements do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or vents.

Other exemptions

In addition to exemptions specified in the Code and amendments, the following items are exempt from building permits when complying with Larimer County handout:

  • Agricultural windmills used for the purpose of water generation are exempt from obtaining a building permit. Also, any decorative windmill or private wind generator that is twelve feet or less in height does not require a building permit. (See windmill handout for additional information)
  • Manufacturer's engineered portable agriculture building that has no more than three enclosed sides, is totally open on one long side, and is less than 400 square feet in floor area. A plot plan must be submitted showing allowable setback building envelope and a miscellaneous permit required. (See portable agriculture handout for additional information.)
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