The Building Code
The purpose of the building code is to insure public safety, health and welfare insofar as they are affected by building construction, through structural strength, adequate egress facilities, sanitary equipment, light and ventilation, and fire safety; and, in general, to secure safety to life and property from all hazards incident to the design, erection, repair, removal, demolition or use and occupancy of buildings, structures or premises.
What is a building code?
The building code controls all matters concerning the construction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location, occupancy, and maintenance of all buildings and structures and their service equipment. The 2006 Michigan Building Code went into effect statewide on August 1, 2008. Provisions for one- and two-family dwellings, townhouses and their accessory structures as identified in R101.2 are included in the 2006 Michigan Residential Code. We follow the followig building codes:
- MBC 2015 Commercial
- MRC 2015 Residential
- MPC 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code
- MMC Michigan Mechanical Code
- NEC 2017 Electrical
- ICC A117.1-2009 Accessibility
- ASHRAE 90.1 2013 Part10A Michigan Uniform Energy (Accept Comcheck or ASHRAE compliance sheets)
Are building permits necessary?
Before construction of a building or structure, an owner, or the owner's builder, architect, engineer, or agent, shall submit an application in writing to the appropriate enforcing agency for a building permit. A permit is also required when the use or occupancy of a structure or portion thereof is changed.
A permit is not required for ordinary repairs. Ordinary repairs to structures may be made without permit, but such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exit requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs including addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
When is a license necessary to secure a building permit?
A person engaged in the construction of a residential structure or a combination residential and commercial structure must be licensed as a Residential Builder with the Department of Labor & Economic Growth. There are certain exceptions in the licensing law (P.A. 299 of 1980, as amended) to this requirement.
Plans and Specifications (Construction Documents)
A set of construction documents is required with each application for a permit. The submission of construction documents may be waived by the building official when code compliance can be determined based on the description in the application. Construction documents must be sealed and signed by an architect or professional engineer in accordance with P.A. 299 of 1980, as amended. The seal and signature is not required for one and two family dwellings less than 3500 square feet of calculated floor area and public works less than $15,000 in total construction cost. For other exceptions refer to P.A. 299 of 1980, as amended.
Building Permits are required for major structural changes and renovations as well as new construction and demolition. At this time, permits are not required for siding or windows, as long as no other major modification is underway. Please remember that building materials must be disposed of correctly, utilizing dumpsters or other vehicles which are privately transferred to appropriate landfills.
Contact us by email or phone: (313) 252-0050, ext. 209
Contractor Registration II
Deck Construction Guide
Fee Schedule details and policies
Fire Alarm Application
Fire Suppression Application
Highland Park Fees
Highland Park Non-Owner Occupied Certificate
Hiring a Contractor
Returned Permit Form
When is a permit needed?
A permit is required for all construction, remodeling and maintenance except those items classified as “Normal Maintenance” in the codes. Typical projects requiring permits include, but are not limited to:
- Electrical systems and services
- Exterior concrete
- Exterior siding
- Miscellaneous residential including fireplaces, pools, decks & garages.
- New buildings
- Plumbing systems- heating, ventilating & air conditioning.
- Prefabricated structures
- Replacement of furnace or air conditioning.
- Replacement roof and/or shingles
- Replacement of water heaters
- Replacement of windows
- Residential sheds over 200 square feet.
The following repairs are considered normal maintenance if they are not part of a structural addition or remodel:
- Repair of broken windows
- Repair of faucets
- Replacement of individual electric switches or outlets.
- Replacement of kitchen cabinets with no structural, drywall, plumbing or electrical changes.
- Tuckpointing of masonry
For more information about the Building Department, please click here.