Required Permits

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

Work Exempt from Permit

Permits shall not be required for the following. Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet.
  • Fences not over 7 feet high.
  • Oil derricks
  • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2:1
  • Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.

  • Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, are not greater than 5000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground.
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one and two family dwellings.
  • Window awnings In Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  • Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.

Certificate of Occupancy

No building or structure shall be occupied until the Building Official has issued a certificate of occupancy. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or of other ordinances of the City of Helena.