Building Permits FAQ
Where do we go to get building permits?
Go to Development Services Department (56 North State Street #105). They would be happy to answer any additional questions and get you taken care of as it relates to permits.
What can you build without a permit?
There are many cosmetic changes to your home that can be done without a permit. For a fairly extensive explanation of that, you can click here.
The largest stand-alone structure that can be built on your residential lot without a permit must be detached from your home and less than 200 square feet, one-story high. It cannot include electrical, plumbing, or heating. If it does include electrical, plumbing, or heating, then it will require a permit.
On your commercial lot, the maximum size is less than 120 square feet but there may be additional steps required from Planning/Zoning.
Is there a map that shows in what areas of the city what can be built?
Our zoning department would have that map. You can also view the map here.
What restrictions apply to pre-built buildings like sheds or garages?
Pre-built buildings whether from a kit that you obtain from a manufacturer/supplier or that you buy from your neighbor that you want to move onto your lot in Orem will need to have a permit and be inspected if they are more than 200 square feet (See above).
Are building permits required for a kitchen remodel? I'll be relocating power outlets and some plumbing as part of it.
If you plan on moving power, plumbing, walls, or heating/air conditioning (HVAC) then a permit is required. It wouldn't be required if you are just painting, replacing cabinets, countertops, etc.
Can I do some non-structural framing in my basement without a permit?
No, any type of framing/adding walls requires a permit.
Is a permit required for adding a pergola over a patio if it's attached to the house?
If it's attached to the house, yes, you would need a permit.
We built our home a year ago. We want to finish our basement using the plans provided by our builder. If it is just building the interior walls, could we qualify for a permit to do the work ourselves following their plans?
As an owner of the structure, you can do any work on your own home if you live at the home. If you have anyone else work on it, they must be a licensed contractor.
Do we have to apply for a permit to finish our basement? I thought I saw that a contractor and an architect have to sign it off.
You do have to have the permit. An architect and contractor aren't necessarily required.
When you apply for a permit, do you have to specify a timeline? How much does a permit cost?
As long as work is progressing and inspections are being scheduled at least once every 180 days, the permit stays active. The cost is based on the value of the project.