Do I Need a Permit?

  1. Inspection Services
Codes Enforcement

Development Services Building

171 N Ross St

John Hoar

John Hoar

Inspection Services Director / Building Official

Are building permits necessary?

Before construction of a building or structure, an owner or the owner's builder, architect, engineer or agent shall submit an application in writing to the appropriate enforcing agency for a building permit. A permit is also required when the use or occupancy of a structure or portion thereof is changed.

A permit is not required for ordinary repairs. Ordinary repairs to structures may be made without permit, but such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exit requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs including addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.

When is a license necessary to secure a building permit?


A person engaged in the construction of a residential structure must be licensed as a Residential Homebuilder with the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board of Alabama. A person engaged in the construction of a commercial structures must be licensed as a General Contractor with the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors. The State of Alabama also requires a license when the cost of materials and labor for the repair or replacement of a residential roof is $2,500.

Do I Need a Building Permit?

The list below will give you a general idea if a permit will be required. There are a number of variations to any given project that may require the need for a permit that is not listed below. If you are unsure please contact us. If a permit is required, select the link for that particular permit or choose to return to the permit application page.

Type of Work Permit Needed ?
New Residential Home (Twin Home, Townhouse, etc.) YES
Residential Interior Alteration YES
Residential Addition YES
Painting, carpet, trim work NO
Finish Out Basement YES
Accessory Structures, Detached Garages and Carports, Barns and Gazebos YES
Deck (new or repair) YES
Retaining walls with no surcharge that are less than 4 feet measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of wall NO
Retaining walls with no surcharge, that are greater than 4 feet measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of wall YES
Siding Replacement YES
Swimming Pools YES
Window replacement other than maintenance of broken glass YES
Children’s playhouse or playground NO
Roofing YES
Carports and garages attached to the house YES
Fences over 7 feet tall YES
Commercial (new, addition, or alteration) YES
Fire Sprinkler System (new, addition, alteration) YES
Fire Alarm System, Commercial (new, addition, alteration) YES
Commercial Cooking Hood YES

Do I need a Plumbing Permit?

Type of Work Permit needed
Adding or replacing fixtures that involve piping alterations YES
Fixture Repair or replacement with no piping alterations NO
Water Heaters YES
Sewer YES

Do I need an Electrical Permit?

Type of Work Permit Needed ?
Site Pole YES
Electrical Service or Upgrade YES
New Construction YES
Alterations that involve running new circuits YES
Appliance replacement using plug in devices NO
Repair or replacement of electrical fixtures with no new circuits NO

Do I need a Mechanical (HVAC) Permit ?

Type of Work Permit Needed ?
Duct Work Replacement YES
Furnace or A/C systems replacement YES