Building permits are documents issued by the City of Ann Arbor Planning and Development Department to oversee and approve any changes to structures. You must get a building permit if you plan on making home improvements yourself or with the help of a contractor, architect, or construction worker. Building permits ensure that you are in compliance with building codes that regulate the processes of demolition, renovation, installation, construction, augmentation, or other changes in the use of a building.
It's necessary to register for building permits when you are involved with property construction to help regulate the safety and purpose of buildings. For example, someone may want to convert a home into a small veterinary office. Even if they weren't doing any major renovation, they'd need a building permit. It would change the designation from residential to commercial use, provided that the property is zoned for a business.
Building permits are not just pieces of paper, but rather several stages in the process of getting your construction "permitted." At first, you will submit plans, like blueprints, of what you intend to do. A city planner will approve the idea, and then you will be allowed to begin construction. After demolition and part-way through building, the city sends a contractor to sanction what you have done so far. When construction is complete, someone else will sign off to make the building legal, official, and open for use.
Online Permits and Projects
Access online permits/projects to find up-to-date property record information including:
Building and trade permits (electrical, mechanical & plumbing)
Inspection results and scheduling
Rental property information
Site plan, annexations, zoning and other planning project information
Civil engineering plans
Every Tuesday and Thursday, permitting services for *residential homes will be offered during an in-house meeting at Larcom City Hall. Meet one-on-one with a plan reviewer to expedite the permit approval process. Please come in with complete plans as this is a plan review, not a plan design.
*Remodel projects acceptable for expedited review include:
Bathrooms | Kitchens | Basements
Decks for egress out of the home
Home remodels with limited structural changes
Remodels/repairs for flooding
How to take advantage of the expedited permitting process:
STEP #1: Staff will be available to review plans on Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m.
The applicant, contractor or owner will have the ability to correct the plans onsite as needed, and a permit will be issued while they wait. However, there may be instances where information cannot be provided/corrected, and the permit will be issued at a later date after the plans have been amended.
Go to the building department and add your name to the sign-in sheet. Reviews will be called in the order of arrival. The first 30 reviews will be done during this time period then all others as time allows.
NOTE: The time allowed for this process does not include additions, accessory structures, new homes, residential projects with a considerable amount of structural changes and commercial projects. This is only an in-house permitting process. Mailed or emailed projects will be reviewed in the normal issuance of permits.
Upon satisfactory review and approval, please wait for your permit to be issued.
The Planning and Development Department maintains records on permitted activity in the City, including licenses, permits, blueprints, plans, and other construction documents. Archival information is retained digitally and on microfilm and is available for review during regular business hours. Copies are available for $0.25 per page. Zoning and floodplain maps are also available for review (but not for purchase). Contact the county website for GIS and Map Information through their website at: www.ewashtenaw.org
Although available information varies widely, records are not generally as complete prior to 1963. If you're looking for original blueprints for your business or home, call us at 734.794.6263, then press "O" to reach assistance. For historic district information, consult the Historic Preservation Coordinator, Jill Thacher, 734.794.6000 x42608.