Skip to main content

Do I Need a Building Permit?

You might wonder if you need to obtain a building permit to work on your own house. Well, a permit is not always needed, but when it is, it’s for your own good and for the good of the community. Getting a permit in Polk County means that building inspectors have reviewed your plans, making sure that they meet building codes and are safe.

You don’t need a permit for simple jobs, such as:

  • The replacement of screening;
  • Minor roof repairs;
  • Interior remodels or renovations; and
  • Minor electrical, plumbing or interior repairs.

While you can find more information about jobs you do need a permit for on the permitting page, here are some examples:

  • Construction or demolition of any building or structure, regardless of size;
  • Conversion of any non-habitable space to habitable space including the enclosure of garages, carports, porches or similar structures;
  • In-ground swimming pools and spas; and above-ground swimming pools and spas more than 24 inches deep; and
  • Decks, walkways, platforms, stairs and landings.

A building permit is like insurance for your project. By having the county’s professionals review your plans, or your contractor’s plans, you’re able to make sure that you’re not missing anything. Ultimately, this will help keep your project on track. And working without a permit on a project that requires one is a gamble. If you’re caught, you will need to undo the work you’ve done, and there may be a fine, as well.

The good news is that building inspectors understand you want to get things done as soon as possible, and they try to work with your planned schedule. You also can do a lot of inspection work virtually by visiting our inspections page.

Decorative blue swish decoration at the bottom of the page, serving as a visual element for design purposes