Building Permit FAQ

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  • What do I need to do if I own a rental property?

    No person shall occupy, allow to be occupied, advertise for occupancy, solicit occupants of, or let to another person for occupancy any residential rental unit within the City that has not been permitted as residential rental unit by the City. All rental properties must be registered with the City to ensure they meet minimum housingstandards. An application is available online or at the Building Services Department. There is a minimal fee forthis annual application.
  • How do I report dilapidated (rundown) properties?

    You can contact a Housing Inspector at 712-224-5216 to report rundown and unsafe housing conditions. The City also requires vacant buildings that meet certain criteria to be registered to ensure they are secured and maintained.
  • How can I contact my inspector if I have questions?

    Inspectors are available in the office Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. They can be reached at 712-224-5216
  • What number do I call for locating underground utility lines before I dig on my property?

    Iowa One Call at 1-800-292-8989.
  • How can I check to see if my contractor has a permit for work he is doing?

    You may contact Building Services at 712-224-5216
  • Can you tell me if a specific company is authorized to perform construction work in Sioux City?

    Yes. Simply contact Building Services at 712-224-5216 to verify if a contractor is licensed. The City requires a bond for contractors while the State of Iowa licenses electrical contractors, plumbing contractors and mechanical (heating, ventilation, AC, and refrigeration) contractors and we can verify those licenses for you.
  • Can I get a refund if I decide not to do the work?

    Yes, 80% of the fee may be refunded, if no work is done within 180 days of issuance.
  • What if I sell my house and have done work without a permit?

    Any homeowner who sells a house must make the buyer aware of any work which was completed without required permitsor inspections on the realty disclosure form.
  • What happens if I do work without a permit?

    Work done without obtaining a building permit is always a problem for both the homeowner and the inspector. The inspector cannot inspect the work if he can’t see it; hence you will be required to remove wall and/or ceiling coverings to the extent that a proper inspection may be obtained. If any code violations are noticed during the inspection process, said violations will be required to be corrected. Additionally, an individual who refuses to obtain a building permit is subject to administrative citations through the code enforcement process.
  • How long after I obtain a permit do I have to begin construction?

    Work must be commenced and an inspection requested within 180 days of permit issuance. Failure to initiate construction work and call for inspection will invalidate the permit.
  • Why is a building permit required?

    A building permit is required to ensure code compliance for structural integrity and minimum life safety for building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.
  • How much does a building permit cost?

    The building permit fee is based on the valuation of construction. A valuation and fee schedule is available at the Building Services Division. It is also available online.
  • What information do I need to bring to get a building permit?

    An approximate cost of the work must be provided. Site plans, foundation plans and floor plans may be required.These plan specifications and diagrams must be submitted for reviews that adequately detail how the proposed work is to be completed. The submitted plans shall be complete enough that the inspector could build the project looking at submitted plans.
  • Does my building permit cover the electrical, mechanical and plumbing work?

    Yes although only if licensed electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors complete the work.

  • When do I need to get a building permit?

    A permit must be obtained for any construction work completed on a building that is regulated by the building code. If you are unsure if you need to obtain a permit call 712-224-5216. Some examples of projects that need a permit are:

    • Basement or Lower Level Finish (if not done as part of new home construction)
    • Additions & Remodels
    • Decks more than 30” above grade
    • Window & exterior door replacement (if opening size is changed)
    • Accessory structures (garages, etc) in excess of 120 sq. ft.
    • Building Demolition
    • Fences over 72" in height and retaining walls over 48" in height