To ensure your project stays on track, several steps can be taken as you plan new construction or a remodel, including changing the use of a building. Learn when a building or other permits are required, and what does not require a building permit by reading, When is a Permit Required? Navigate to our Fence Plan Review, Permit and Inspections page to learn more about what is required to build a fence. 


City zoning codes inform what you can build and where you may build on your property based on zoning district. Zoning code also addresses physical requirements, such as lot size, setbacks for structures, building heights and more. Visit Planning Your Project, for detailed information about zoning.

building plan review

Building Plan Review coordinates the approval process for building permit review and issuance. Plans Examiners review proposed plans; they cannot design projects. Our team will help coordinate approval of plans with appropriate code disciplines (Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Zoning, etc.); review building plans for compliance with state codes and local ordinances governing construction; and answer questions about designs related to code.

fire safety

Fire alarm and suppression systems may be required for your project. Fire Safety has a permit process for these systems; the Fire Engineering page is a great resource.


All permits must be inspected and approved by the inspector for the permitting process to be complete. Contact your inspector before starting work so you know when inspections are required and can coordinate the work. In general, whenever you get a permit, call your inspector right away. Find your inspector using DSI's interactive inspector map.

For information on historic districts or sites, and design guidelines, please contact the City’s Heritage Preservation Commission directly.

All construction work must meet state building codes. Review our consumer guide to making residential improvements before you sign a contract. 

The City issues licenses and tests for competencies related to several trades. It's important to be sure the professionals working on your project are properly licensed.

Refrigeration and Warm Air Competency Card changes under consideration

Stakeholders are invited to review and offer feedback on Saint Paul Legislative Code's proposed changes relevant to Refrigeration and Warm Air trades. Send us your questions and ideas for improvement! 

Last Edited: November 13, 2023