Trade Permits

Building Permits

Building permits shall not be required for any of the following:  

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (11 m2). 

  • A fence that is not more than 7 feet (2 134 mm) high. 

  • Oil derricks. 

  • A retaining wall that is not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) 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 III-A liquids. 

  • A water tank supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons (18925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2 to 1. 

  • A sidewalk and driveway not more than 30 inches (762 mm) 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, as applicable in section 101.2, that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, are not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) 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 1- and 2-family dwellings. 

  • Window awnings in group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1 372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support, as applicable in section 101.2 and group U occupancies. 

  • Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters, and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1 753 mm) in height. 

Electrical Permits

Electrical permits shall not be required, as in accordance with the Michigan electrical code, R 408.30801 to R 408.30880, for any of the following:  

  • Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles. 

  • Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of the code do not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions but do apply to equipment and wiring for power supply and to the installation of towers and antennas. 

  • Temporary testing systems: A permit is not required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus. 

Mechanical Permits

Mechanical permits shall not be required for any of the following:  

  • A portable gas heating appliance that has inputs of less than 30,000 Btu per hour. 

  • Portable ventilation appliances and equipment. 

  • Portable cooling unit. 

  • Steam, hot water, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances regulated by this code. 

  • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter the approval of equipment or an appliance or make such equipment or appliance unsafe. 

  • A portable evaporative cooler. 

  • Self-contained refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less. 

  • Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid. 

  • An oil burner that does not require connection to a flue, such as an oil stove and a heater equipped with a wick. 

  • A portable gas burner that has inputs of less than 30,000 Btu per hour. 

  • When changing or relocating a gas meter or regulator, a permit is not required when installing gas piping which shall be limited to 10 feet (3 005 mm) in length and not more than 6 fittings. 

  • When installing geothermal vertical closed loops under the supervision of a mechanical contractor licensed in HVAC if the company meets both the following: 

    • Has obtained a certificate of registration as a well-drilling contractor pursuant to part 127 of the public health code. 

    • Has installed the geothermal vertical closed loops in accordance with the department of environmental quality best practices regarding geothermal heat pump closed loops. Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for work to be done in violation of the provisions of this code or other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. 

Plumbing Permits

Plumbing permits shall not be required for either of the following:  

  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe. However, if any concealed trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the drain or pipe with new material, then the work is considered new work, and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in the code. 

  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, if the repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures.