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Building Department - Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a building permit?
All new construction and any structural modifications made to an existing structure require a building permit. Also, a permit is required for any electrical, plumbing, or heating work. All work for which a permit is required must be inspected and approved.

Any deck that is above grade or any shed or accessory structure over 200 square feet does require a permit.

However, all ordinance requirements must be followed even when a building permit is not required. Please review the building requirement handout or contact our office.

A permit must be obtained for any structural, plumbing, electrical or mechanical work done in a commercial building and the required inspections made and approved.

Who should obtain the permit?
The person that secures the permit is the person who is held responsible for the work that is done.

If a homeowner hires a contractor, the contractor should obtain the permit.

The Building Department has no jurisdiction over a contractor if the homeowner obtains the permit for his contractor.

Homeowners should confirm that the contractor is licensed and that they have secured the necessary permit and ordered the required inspections.

How and when do you schedule inspections?
You will need to contact the building department the day before you want the inspection. You can schedule an inspection up to 4:00 for the next working day. You will need the permit number and the site address when calling for inspections. All inspections will be scheduled for the following day.

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to call for the required electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and building inspections. Building inspections can be ordered only after the Electrical, Plumbing and Heating inspections are conducted and approved.

How do I file a complaint against a Builder?
If you are unable to resolve problems with your Building Contractor you have 18 months after the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued to file a complaint with the Bureau of Construction Codes in Lansing. (517) 241-9363. They will send you the required forms or you can download the forms from their web page: http://www.cis.state.mi.us/ Bring the completed paperwork to the Township Building and Engineering Department. We will make an appointment for an inspector to come to your home to verify your list of complaints. Your complaint package will then be sent back to the Bureau to be processed. A mediation hearing is then set up between the builder and yourself with an mediator, who will assist you and your contractor in reaching a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

When do I need a fill permit?
A fill permit may be needed when you are going to alter the finished approved grade. Please contact the Building Department.

What is a flood zone?
Your flood zone is determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Maps are printed indicating our communities flood hazard areas and the degree of risk in those areas. If you are told you need flood insurance it can be obtained from your insurance carrier. If you do not believe this is necessary, you may have a flood elevation certificate completed by an Engineer or Architect of your choice to determine if your home is located in a flood plane.

Do I have wetlands on my property?
You must contact the Department of Environmental Quality

Is a Building Permit required for siding and roofing?
Yes, a building permit will be needed for either type of project.

Is a permit required for a fence?
Yes.

Is a Building Permit required for replacement windows?
No, permits are not required if the opening for the window is not increased.

Yes, if you are changing the window size

Is a Building Permit required for shed?

If a shed is over 200 square feet a permit is needed. Shed's under 200 square feet must obtain a zoning permit.

Why inspect a building during construction?
It is the only way to verify independently that the building will meet all of the community’s codes. Before a home, office or store can be used, an average of 20 inspections are made to verify conformity to electrical, safety, sanitation, and structural standards.

Why Is a Building Permit required for a wood deck?
For several reasons:

  • For the safety of your family and guests
  • To ensure the economic well-being of the community by reducing potential spread of fire and disease
  • For energy conservation
  • To protect future home purchasers who deserve reasonable assurance that the home they will buy will be safe.

Whom do I contact regarding questions about water and sewer billing?
Contact Oakland County for billing questions on water and sewer at (248) 858-1110.