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A building permit gives you legal permission to start construction of a building project in accordance with the approved drawings and specifications. The drawings and specifications must be approved and a permit issued by the City of Elk River prior to the project starting. The purpose of the permit is to ensure that the building project meets minimum safety, zoning, and aesthetic requirements enforced by the City of Elk River and required by the State Building Code.
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Permits are processed in the order they were received. Processing is also affected by the current work load of city staff since there is a natural fluctuation in the number of permits we are receiving on a daily basis. Therefore, turn-around times are subject to change without notice. Please allow ample time for review PRIOR to beginning your project.
To help expedite permit processing, please review the following permit requirement webpages to ensure your application and submittal documents are complete prior to permit submission:
A building permit is required for a shed, outbuilding, or any accessory structure that is larger than 200 square feet.
Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by the City, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without proper permits and inspections. If you decide to sell your home or building, the potential buyer may examine our records to make sure the proper permits and inspections were obtained.
Your permit fee also allows the code official to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety, and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends, or future owners.
Do not take out a building permit for the contractor. When the contractor signs the permit application, they are agreeing to do the work according to code. If you apply for and sign the permit application, you are liable for correcting the contractor's work if it should fall short of City or State building code standards. Make sure your contractor has a permit and that the contractor calls for inspections. An inspection card will be issued and should be displayed near the work area.When each inspection has been completed, the City's Inspector will sign the card. When the final inspection is approved, the inspectors' signatures are your assurance that the work has been properly inspected and no violations of the building code were discovered. You should pay for the work only after it has passed final inspection.
Some projects that do not require a permit include cosmetic changes such as paint, wall paper, floor covering, cabinets, countertops, tiled backsplash, vanities, trim, baseboard, interior doors, fences, retaining walls less than 4 feet in height, and sheds/accessory structure 200 square feet or less.
If you are unsure whether you need a permit, contact the Building Safety Division and explain what you will be doing. Staff will advise you if the work you are doing is regulated and whether or not a permit is required.
To apply for an electrical permit, you will need to apply through the State of Minnesota via the Department of Labor and Industry website: Homeowner Permits - Contractor Permits . All of the instructions on how to set up an account and apply for a permit can be found on their website.
Fence permits are not required in residential areas if they are 6 feet or less in height. Fence Guidelines must still be followed.
Permits are required for fences in a commercial zoned area if they are 7 feet or higher. Engineered plans must be submitted with your permit applications.
In accordance with Minnesota State Building Codes, permits expire within 180 days of issuance if no work is started and no inspections have been called in by the permit holder. Permits also expire if work has started, but then is suspended for more than 180 days and no inspections are called in by the permit holder.