Construction activities within the City of Minnetonka are regulated by Minnetonka City Code and the Minnesota State Building Code. The following permits may be required for your project:
Building permit: Required for any construction, alteration, repair, relocation, enlargement, demolition or change of use or occupancy to any building or structure regulated by the state building code. This includes building additions, decks, sheds more than 200 square feet, work to a permanent weather resistive surface (siding, roofing, windows) and finishing of previously unfinished spaces.
Electrical permit: Required for any installation, alteration, repair or extension of electrical work for light, heat, power and any other activity as required by the building official or electrical inspector.
Plumbing permit: Required for the installation, alteration, repair or extension of any plumbing system or individual sewage disposal system. This includes the installation or replacement of a fixture, water heater, water softener, a backflow preventer for a lawn irrigation system and any other activity as required by the building official or plumbing inspector.
Mechanical permit: Required for the installation, alteration, repair or extension of any heating, ventilation or exhaust system, refrigeration unit, air conditioning unit, manufactured gas or wood fireplaces and stoves, manufactured chimney and venting systems, hot water, low pressure steam equipment or other mechanical equipment as required by the building official or mechanical inspector.
Sewer/water permit: Required for any connection, disconnection, modification or repair to a sanitary sewer or water service distribution system.
Generally, permits for work on – or associated with – a new structure will only be issued to contractors licensed by the State of Minnesota. Permits for existing structures will only be issued to appropriately licensed contractors or to home owners who homestead the property. The exception to these general rules is mechanical work. In both new and existing structures, mechanical permits will only be issued to contractors licensed by the City of Minnetonka.
Please call 952-939-8394 to learn more or ask specific questions about your project.
Do I need a permit for a fence or retaining wall?
A building permit is required for fences more than seven feet tall and for retaining walls more than four feet tall.
Construction activities within the City of Minnetonka are regulated by Minnetonka City Code and the Minnesota State Building Code. Under these codes, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to schedule all required inspections, provide access to the area that must be inspected and provide a means for completion of the inspection. The following is a list of frequently required inspections. It is not all-inclusive. Please contact the Building Division with specific questions regarding your project.
Footing Inspections: Prior to pouring any concrete, all footing and formwork, including reinforcement and miscellaneous embedments, must be inspected.
Foundation Wall Inspections: Concrete walls must be inspected prior to pouring concrete. All foundation walls must be inspected prior to backfilling.
Utility Inspections: All site utilities, including the water service, sanitary sewer/septic system(s), storm sewer, etc., must be inspected and/or tested by the appropriate authority having jurisdiction prior to covering or concealment.
Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical and Fire Sprinkler System Work: All plumbing piping, including waste/vent and water piping must be inspected prior to concealment. All mechanical ductwork, fire dampers, flues, controls and equipment and gas, hydronic and process piping must be inspected prior to concealment. All electrical wiring, controls and equipment must be inspected prior to concealment.
Insulation/Energy Compliance Inspection: All required exterior envelope insulation and vapor barriers, and all required duct and convection pipes and apparatuses, must be insulated and approved prior to concealment.
Firestopping Inspection(s): All penetrations of any fire-resistive membrane, including walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, etc., must be inspected for proper placement and installation of the required fire-stop system. All sealing of fire-rated penetrations must be inspected and approved prior to concealment
Structural/Framing Inspection: All framework, structural and non-structural, must be inspected and approved prior to covering. All rough-in mechanical, (i.e.: plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire sprinklers, etc.) must have already been inspected and approved at this stage of work also.
Health Inspections: Inspections by Health Department personnel may be required for commercial kitchen installations, food and beverage establishments and other associated operations. Verify required Health Department inspections with the State Health Department.
Required Special Inspections: In accordance with the Special Inspection Requirements of the code, it may be necessary for special inspectors to be employed to inspect such things as soils, concrete, steel reinforcing placement, structural welding and bolting, spray-on fireproofing, structural masonry construction, smoke control systems, pilings, caissons and other inspections as deemed necessary by the Architect and/or Engineer of record. Work requiring special inspections may not be covered/concealed until required inspections are complete and approved.
Other Required Inspections: Depending on the complexity of a building or structure and the equipment specified for installation, such as for elevators, the code may require or allow for other required inspections as deemed necessary by the authority having jurisdiction.
Fire Code Inspections: Applicable State Fire Code regulations must be completed and approved by the Fire Marshal prior to final inspection and occupancy of the building or structure.
Final Inspections: A final inspection will be required for all plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire sprinklers, fire alarm, fire code, health and building code compliance issues. Upon successful completion and approval of all systems, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.
It is the responsibility of the permit applicant to schedule all required inspections with the building inspections division.
Contact the building inspections division Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM at (952) 939-8394. Please have the permit number ready when calling.
How do I apply for a permit?
The City of Minnetonka uses electronic permit application submission (ePermits) and plan review (ProjectDox) processes.
Do I need to hire a contractor or can I do the work myself?
Residential homeowners may work on their own home, as long as their property has been homesteaded. However, an owner should consider their ability. For instance, an owner who has no experience with electrical wiring or is uncomfortable doing such wiring may want to hire an electrical contractor.
Commercial property owners may do building work on their commercial property. However, a licensed contractor must perform plumbing, mechanical and electrical work.
Do contractors need to be licensed?
The State of Minnesota requires that residential builders, remodelers and roofers be licensed. Contractors must include their license number on all advertising, on contracts submitted to clients and on building permit applications. To verify whether a contractor is licensed, visit the Department of Labor's website.
The State of Minnesota further requires that licensed residential contractors be certified and trained in the use of lead-safe work practices. To become certified, licensed residential contractors must submit an application and fee payment to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). For more information visit epa.gov/lead.
If a contractor asks you to obtain a permit for them or tells you that they can do the work cheaper because they are not licensed, they should be reported immediately to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Valuation should reflect the total cost of the project including all finishing, roofing, electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and other construction work. The valuation should also include labor, even if you are doing the work yourself. Valuations are frequently compared to available cost estimators and will be adjusted by the city if the valuation provided on a permit application appears to be in error.
What type of plans do I need to submit?
The type of plans required is dependent on the type of permit being applied for. Please refer to city’s permits page. In general, plans must be neatly drawn to a common and usable scale. A typical residential plan set must include a survey, floor plan, cross section plan, elevation and details of various structural components.
Do I need an architect or engineer to prepare my plans?
Generally, residential homeowners may prepare their own plans. If your project is complex, homeowners may find it advantageous to hire a contractor, drafts person or professional designer to prepare your plan set.
Note: The city may require that a licensed engineer provide verification that plans involving complicated framing techniques or the use of steel I-beams meet the state building code.
How long does it take to get a permit?
The permit review timeline is dependent on several factors, including the number of permits under review at any given time and the completeness of those permit applications. To ensure your submission is complete, review the information, checklists and fee schedules on the city’s permits page.
Can I start work without a permit?
No. Beginning work without a permit is a violation of both city code and state law. The city may fine a property owner or contractor who begins work without first obtaining a permit.