When is a permit required?

In order to protect the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of the city, permits are required before most construction related projects begin. Permits issued through the Building Department include building, plumbing, mechanical (HVAC), swimming pools, and a number of other miscellaneous permits. The purpose of permits is ensure that work is done properly and safely, and meets the standards of the state building code and local ordinances.

What if I don’t get a permit?

Permits are required by state statutes and local ordinances. If you don’t get one when you should, the city can fine you for the violation for every day the work is not in compliance. This can be expensive for you. Projects not done according to code can affect your building’s insurability and potential sale. Prospective buyers can check the city’s building records.

Can I do my own work?

In accordance with state codes and local ordinances, most installations will need to be done by State of Wisconsin licensed contractors. In certain cases, people who own and occupy a 1 or 2 family dwelling may be permitted to do their own work. All the work must be done to code and while the inspectors can answer code-related questions you may have, they cannot help design the project for you.

What if I want to hire a contractor?

If you are like most families, your home is your most valuable possession and when your home needs to be remodeled or repaired you want competent artisans to do a quality job. Visit our Hiring a Contractor page for more information.

What codes must I follow?

There are many federal, state, and local codes, rules and standards that may apply to your project. These codes establish minimum rules for construction, electrical, plumbing, heating / ventilation / air conditioning (HVAC) installations as well as things like toilet parity and handicap accessibility. Due to the variables with each individual project, trying to list the specific requirements for each type of project is next to impossible. For assistance with code requirements for your project, please email the Building Department or call 608-848-9940.

Does my project need to be inspected?

Any projects that require a permit also require inspections. Visit our web portal page to schedule an inspection or to check the status of permits and inspections.

How long does it take to get a permit?

We can issue most permits within 2 to 3 working days. Permits for new construction, commercial plan review and some additions and alterations require greater plan review time, in most cases up to 1 week.

How do I get a permit?

It is the responsibility for the owner or owner’s agent to obtain all necessary permits and payment of all fees related to a project (i.e. structural, electric, plumbing and HVAC). We typically issue 1 permit per project which includes all associated fees. Each item below will take you to a project specific page which details the items that are required to be submitted to obtain a permit. Typically, the owner or applicant would compile this information and then submit either manually or electronically to the Building Department for review.

Can I get copies of old permits or blueprints of my property?

Visit our Material Release page for more information about open records requests.

How much does a permit cost?

Fees for permits vary as they are based upon the amount of time involved to review and issue permits, and inspect the project. The Building Department also collects fees for other departments at the time the permit is issued. All plan review, permit and impact fees are listed on the fees page. Visit our Fees page for more information.