Basements & Interior Remodels


In order to apply for a building permit you will need to be either a licensed state residential contractor or the property owner (PDF) with intent to occupy the home.  Find more information in the Basement Finish Guidelines (PDF) document. 

The following needs to be submitted when applying for permit to remodel the interior of your home:

  • A signed, completed Building Permit Application (PDF).
  • Two (2) copies of plans showing proposed layout and materials. Plans shall be drawn to scale and shall include the following information.
    • A floor plan indicating:
      • Location of area to remodeled showing the existing walls.
      • Locate of the proposed interior walls
      • Name of each existing and proposed room.
      • Location and sizes of windows and doors.
      • Wall construction materials.
      • Location of existing or proposed plumbing fixtures, including furnace and water heater.
      • Location of stairway, fireplaces, etc.
      • Location of smoke detector and Carbon Monoxide detector.
    • A cross section plan indicating:
      • Proposed finished ceiling height.
      • Wall, floor and ceiling finish materials.
      • Existing and proposed insulation and vapor barrier.
      • Rise, run and headroom on stair.

All building permit fees are based on the 2021 Fee Schedule (PDF) and are determined by the city's Building Official. Other costs include the state surcharge.

Please contact the city at 651-792-7800 to get a more accurate permit fee total for your specific project.

Building Specifications


  1. Properly sized beams and headers must be used in structural bearing conditions. Specify intended sizes of such beams and headers on plans. All loads must carry fully to foundation.
  2. Enclosed usable space under the stairs must be protected on the underside with 1/2-inch thick gypsum wallboard.
  3. Treated wood bottom plates are required where in contact with concrete floors.

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detector

  1. Smoke detectors must be installed for additions, interior alterations or repair work, when a building permit is required; or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created. Repairs to exterior surfaces only are exempt from this requirement.
  2. In new construction, required smoke detectors shall receive their primary power from the building wiring with battery backup and interconnected. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch, other than those required for over-current protection. In existing rooms, smoke detectors can be battery operated.
  3. A smoke detector shall be installed in each sleeping room and at a point centrally located in the corridor or area, giving access to each separate sleeping area. When the dwelling unit has more than one story and in dwellings with basements, a smoke detector shall be installed on each story and in the basement. Smoke detectors shall sound an alarm audible in all sleeping areas of the dwelling unit in which they are located.


  1. Foam plastic (rigid) insulation shall be protected on the interior by not less than 1/2 inch thick gypsum board or be an approved type.
  2. Fiberglass insulation must be covered on the interior by not less than 1 perm rated vapor barrier and continuous air barrier. Unfinished poly vapor barriers require a flame retardant type poly.

Inspections Needed

  1. Framing: To be made after all framing and ductwork are in place and the rough electrical, plumbing and heating systems are approved.
  2. Insulation: To be made prior to covering. Required vapor barriers must be in place.
  3. Final: To be made when work is complete, after having final approval of any heating, electrical or plumbing work.


Mechanical - Plumbing

  1. Separate permits are required for mechanical and plumbing work.
  2. Furnace rooms must be provided with outside combustion air with gravity vented appliances sized per mechanical code.
  3. Joints, regulators or fittings in gas piping may not be concealed within the wall or ceiling.
  4. Each water closet stool shall be located in a clear space not less than 30 inches in width and have a clear space in front of the water closet stool of not less than 24 inches.
  5. Each bathroom shall be provided with an operable window or a powered exhaust fan which vents to the exterior.

Stairways Handout (PDF)

Windows & Ceiling Height

  1. All habitable rooms shall have a window area equal to at least 8 percent of floor area, one half of which shall be openable. For the purpose of determining light and ventilation requirements, any room may be considered as a portion of an adjoining room when one-half of the area of the common wall is open and unobstructed. The common wall should provide an opening of not less than one-tenth of the floor area of the interior room or 25 square feet, whichever is greater. Required windows shall open directly onto a street or public alley, or a yard or court located on the same lot as the building. Mechanical ventilation and artificial light may be acceptable complying with IRC R303.1.
  2. Minimum ceiling height is 7 feet.
  3. Egress Window Requirements (PDF).

General Notes

  1. The stamped, "Approved" plan and the Inspection Record Card shall be made available to the inspectors during their inspections. It shall be posted in a prominent location in the area of construction.
  2. Separate permits are required when installing electrical wiring, heating equipment, or plumbing fixtures. Contact the Building Inspector Division for information regarding plumbing and heating, or call the contracted electrical inspector for electrical information.
  3. Call the Building Inspection Division between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to arrange for an inspection. Please provide the permit number with your request.
  4. Call the contracted Electrical Inspector between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. to arrange for an inspection. Please provide the permit number with your request.

NOTE: For specific code requirements, please contact the Building Inspection Division. Questions regarding design and cost should be referred to a professional builder or architect.