Building Permits

         Building Division Policy & Procedures



    Required Permits

Ted Hanson                      Building Official

     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.

This is not intended to be a complete list, nor is it intended to cover all types of projects or conditions. Please contact the City of Benton Harbor Building Division for the specific permit requirements associated with your particular project at 269-927-8434.

Permits are REQUIRED for the following types of projects


Air Conditioning Units

Decks 30” above lowest grade within 6 ft. of deck edge*

Decks with attached Roofs, Canopies, or Overhead Arbors & Sun Screens regardless of height above grade*

Doors (New or Replacement)*

Fences greater than 6’ tall

Garages or Carports (Attached & Detached)*

Gas Piping

Lawn Sprinkler connection to the water supply (backflow)

Masonry Walls or Screens over 4 ft. tall above finished grade*

Patio & Porch Covers or Awnings*

Pools, Hot Tubs, and Spas*

Retaining or Landscape Walls (individual or in combination)

Over 4’ tall above footing or grade (requires engineering)*


Room Additions, Patio Enclosures, Screened Porches*

Siding, Stucco, Brick, etc.

Solar Panels*

Storage Sheds (Residential) greater than 200 sq. ft.*

Water/Sewer Utility repair or replacement

Replacement Windows (Same Opening Size)


Attic Fans (whole house)*

Basement Finishes*

Boiler Installation or Replacement


Doors (leading to garage)

Electrical or Gas Conversions

Electrical Modifications

Fireplaces (wood, pellet, or gas)*

Furnace Installation or Replacement

Gas Logs Installation or Replacement

Gas Piping

Plumbing Modifications


Structural Modifications*

Walls (Bearing and Non-Bearing; New, Replacement, or Removal)*

Water Heater Installation or Replacement

Ceiling Fan Installation

Permits are NOT REQUIRED for the following types of projects


Decks 30” or less above lowest grade within 6 ft. of deck edge

Fences equal to or less than 6 ft. tall,


Minor Roof or Siding Repairs or replacement (10% or less)

Minor Maintenance or Repairs


Retaining Walls less than 4 ft. tall above footing or grade,

unless on a corner lot

Storage Shed 200 sq. ft. or less (Set Back Verification Required)


Cabinet & Counter Top Replacement

Electrical switch/outlet replacement


Insulation where wall/ceiling coverings are not removed

Light fixture replacement


Plumbing fixture replacement in existing locations


All work being performed in the City right-of-way requires a City Right of Way permit.

Exemptions from permitting requirements shall not be deemed as granting authority to violate any provisions of the City of Benton Harbor Building Codes or any other laws or ordinances of the City of Benton Harbor including Zoning Setbacks.





Benton Harbor Zoning Ordinance

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Official Zoning Map

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City of Benton Harbor Building


Permits & Schedules

Note: Forms can be digitally filled out after downloading.





Public Complaint Form

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