Building Permit FAQs

Building Permits

  • When do I need to get a building permit?
    A building permit must be obtained for any construction work completed on a building that is regulated by the building code. If you are unsure if you need to obtain a permit call 367-8670. Some examples of projects that need a building permit are:
    • Lower Level Finish
    • Additions & Remodels
    • Decks
    • Window & exterior door replacement
    • Re-shingle & Re-side
    • Storage Buildings (sheds)
    • Razing
    • Fence/placement/carport/home occupation/sign/driveway permits are required from the Zoning Department.

  • A building permit is not required for the following:
    • Retaining walls less than 4 feet in height
    • Painting, papering and similar finish work
    • Window awnings for dwellings, projecting not more than 54”
    • Kitchen cabinets
    • Swings and other playground equipment
  • Does my building permit cover the electrical, mechanical and plumbing work I will be doing?
    No. Only if licensed electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors complete the work. A homeowner who lives in and owns a single family dwelling who decides not to use licensed subcontractors must obtain separate electrical, plumbing and mechanical homeowners’ permits to do the work themselves. 

  • What information do I need to bring to get a building permit?
    An approximate cost of the work must be provided. Site plans, foundation plans and floor plans may be required. These plan specifications and diagrams must be submitted for reviews that adequately detail how the proposed work is to be completed. The submitted plans shall be complete enough that the inspector could build the project looking at said plans.

  • How much does a building permit cost?
    The building permit fee is based on the valuation of construction. A valuation and fee schedule is available at the Building Services Division. It is also available online. There is a flat $20 fee for residential installation of new siding or shingles, razing, swimming pools, or doors and windows if the rough-in opening size does not change on existing homes.

  • Why is a building permit required?
    A building permit is required to insure code compliance for structural integrity and minimum life safety for building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.

  • How long after I obtain a permit do I have to begin construction?
    Work must be commenced and an inspection requested within 180 days of permit issuance.

  • What happens if I do work without a permit?
    Work done without obtaining a building permit is always a problem for both the homeowner and the inspector. The inspector cannot inspect the work if he can’t see it; hence you will be required to remove wall and/or ceiling coverings to the extent that a proper inspection may be obtained. If any code violations are noticed during the inspection process, said violations will be required to be corrected. Additionally, an individual who refuses to obtain a building permit is subject to administrative citations through the code enforcement process.

  • What if I sell my house and have done work without a permit?
    Any homeowner who sells a house must make the buyer aware of any work which was completed without required permits or inspections on the realty disclosure form.

  • Can I get a refund if I decide not to do the work?
    Yes, 80% of the fee may be refunded, if no work is done within 180 days of issuance.

  • Can you tell me if (John Doe) is a licensed contractor in Sioux Falls?
    Yes. Simply contact Building Services at (605) 367-8672 to verify if a contractor is licensed. Building Services licenses residential contractors, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors and mechanical (heating, AC, and refrigeration) contractors.

  • How can I check to see if my contractor has a permit for work he is doing?
    All permit information is available to view online. Click the following link and enter the address for which the permit was obtained. This site is updated every Sunday. You may also contact Building Services at 367-8670.

  • What number do I call for locating underground utility lines before I dig on my property?
    A toll-free number is provided by South Dakota One Call, 811.

  • How can I contact my inspector if I have questions?
    Inspectors are available in the office Monday through Friday from 8-9am or 4:30-5 p.m. They can be reached at the following numbers:
    Building 367-8251
    Electrical 367-8250
    Mechanical 367-8252
    Plumbing 367-8253

  • How do I report dilapidated (rundown) properties?
    You can contact a Property Maintenance Inspector at 978-6900 to report rundown and unsafe housing conditions. The City also requires vacant buildings that meet certain criteria to be registered to ensure they are secured and maintained.

  • What do I need to do if I own a rental property?
    No person shall occupy, allow to be occupied, advertise for occupancy, solicit occupants of, or let to another person for occupancy any residential rental unit within the city that has not been permitted as residential rental unit by the city. All rental properties must be registered with the City to ensure they meet minimum housing standards. An application is available online or at the Building Services Department. There is no fee for this application.

  • How can I pay for a building permit?
    Cash, check or credit cards (VISA, MASTER CARD OR DISCOVER) are acceptable forms of payment.

  • Where do I obtain a building permit?
    A building permit can be obtained at the Building Services office which is located on 1st floor of City Center which is located at 231 N. Dakota Avenue.

  • What are the office hours to obtain a building permit?
    The Building Services office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.