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ConstructionRemember permits for construction projects this summer

While planning construction and home improvement projects this summer, please remember to stop by Denison City Hall to get a permit. Not only is applying for and receiving a permit for most projects inside the City necessary, it’s also good for your property values. Other reasons for getting permits for your project include:

  • Protecting your property value: If construction projects do not comply with building codes, the valuation of your property could be reduced.
  • Protecting your finances: Some property insurance companies may not cover damages resulting from non-permitted work. Moreover, they might not cover new mechanical or plumbing installations if they are not properly permitted and inspected.
  • Selling your property: Having non-permitted work done on your home could prevent a financial institution from loaning money to purchase your home. That reduces the number of people who could purchase your home.
  • Keeping your home or business safe: When you have a construction permit, your contractor needs to follow all applicable code requirements, including safety standards. When the building inspector signs off on your project, you can be assured that it has been done according to code.
  • Less expensive: Homeowners who do not obtain permits can be charged 150% of the original permit fee. So, it’s less expensive to pull a permit prior to the start of work.

In addition to having construction permits, property owners should also verify that their contractor has been licensed by the City of Denison to work in the City. A list of licensed contractors is available at City Hall or can be found by clicking on the link below under Building Inspector.

Residents can find permits for the following projects on our website by clicking here, or on “online forms” on our home page. Generally, they can be reviewed and approved within one or two days, depending upon the size of the project.

  • General Building Permit: This will require a site drawing and/or plans for what you want to do. Cost of the permit begins at $40, and is dependent upon the size of the project. Included under general building permits are the following:
    • Retaining walls over 4 feet in height: Cost of the permit begins at $40, and is dependent upon the size of the project. You will also need to submit a site drawing and plans for your project.
    • Decks: Any deck that is attached to the house and/or at or above 30 inches above grade at any point needs a permit. You will need to submit a site drawing and plans for your project.
    • Doors and Windows: If the size of the doors or windows are changing, a general building permit is needed. (If the replacement doors and windows are the exact same size, a permit is not needed.)
  • Plumbing and Mechanical: All plumbing and mechanical work inside the house needs a permit, including HVAC, appliances, boilers, venting, heat pumps, refrigeration, water heaters, water supply, sanitary drainage, and other mechanical and plumbing systems. Cost ranges from $25 for a new water heater to $45 for a new HVAC system.
  • Fence: Fences also require the submission of a drawing, and cost $25.
  • Sign: All signs require a permit along with a color drawing of the new sign and a site drawing of the proposed sign location. Cost of the permit begins at $40, and is dependent upon the size of the project.
  • Roof: All roofs require a permit. Cost is $25.
  • Curb Breaks, Curb Grinding, Sidewalk, and Driveways: A curb break permit is $25, and a sidewalk/driveway permit is $35.
  • Demolition: There is no cost demolition or removal of a structure, but it does require a permit.
  • Land Disturbance/Grading: Cost for this permit is $120 for the first acre, plus $20 for each additional acre.
  • Right of Way: For work done in the city right of way, a permit must be obtained first. Cost varies depending upon the size and location of the project.

Homeowners wanting to place a one-story shed or playhouse under 15 feet in height in their back yard that is not more than 200 square feet can do so without a permit, provided that they are located a minimum of five feet from the side lot line and six feet from the rear lot line. For larger accessory structures, please consult with City Hall. Other home improvement projects in the City of Denison do not require a permit, including the following:

  • Retaining walls less than 4 feet in height
  • Decks not attached to the house and less than 30 inches above grade at any point
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work
  • Swings and other playground equipment
  • Installation of new windows or doors of the exact same size as the existing ones (If the size of the windows or doors change, a building permit will be needed.)
  • Installation of new siding or gutters

If you have questions regarding your project, please contact Chris Flattery, Building Inspector, at 712-263-3143.

Building Department

Chris Flattery is the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector receives inspection requests and complaints concerning building code violations; identifies and documents building violations; investigates zoning ordinances, prepares and issues notices to comply, issues stop work orders, follows up on all corrective action by reviewing and re-inspecting sites to assure corrections have been made. The Building Inspector works in conjunction with the Planning and Zoning Commission, Housing Authority, Appeal Board, and the City to review and enforce ordinances, zoning codes and preliminary and final plats, and coordinates to keep the adoption of codes current with the state code and monitor permit fees to be uniform in cost with the industry.

If you have questions regarding ordinances pertaining to Building or Planning, please contact the Building Inspector at City Hall, 712-263-3143.

Email: Building Inspector

List of Registered Contractors -- Last updated 4/17/19

Code Enforcement

Colby Ellis is the Code Enforcer. The Code Enforcer is responsible for evaluating private properties and public grounds against local codes, answering citizen questions about the codes, and issuing citations for code violations. TheCode Enforcer works to maintain an attractive, safe community, which helps improve both property values and the quality of life of those in the community. Some code violations include unsightly lawns with long grass or weeds, trees that need to be trimmed, junk and unregistered vehicles, appliances and other junk in yards, items in the city's right of way, excess signage, nuisance animals, and illegal parking.

If you have questions regarding ordinances pertaining to Code Enforcement, please contact the Code Enforcement Officer at City Hall, 712-263-3143.

Email: Code Enforcement Officer




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