Building Permits

The purpose of a state building permit is to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment and to provide safety to firefighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

A state building permit is required prior to the start of construction for any non-exempt building being built, remodeled, moved, or undergoing a change of occupancy, except for projects located within the jurisdictional limits of a certified local government program.

In the State's jurisdiction, state law exempts the following from the need to obtain state building permits:

  1. farm and ranch buildings
  2. mining buildings on mining property
  3. petroleum refineries and pulp and paper mills (except office and shop buildings)
  4. residential buildings containing less than five dwelling units (except when serving transient guests)
  5. private garages and private storage buildings used for the owner's own use (not part of a commercial enterprise or business)

In Montana a state building permit is required prior to the start of construction for certain types of new buildings, and/or for alterations, additions and repairs. Building permits must be issued on all required projects before plumbing, mechanical or electrical permits can be issued and before work authorized under these permits can start. To obtain a state building permit, submit construction plans and a Building Permit/Plan Review Application to the Bureau of Building Codes Bureau for review and approval. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Bureau in the planning stages of their project. On average it takes three weeks for a plan to be reviewed. Plan review comment letters and the Building Permit/Plan Review fees are mailed to applicants. When all plan review comments have been satisfactorily answered in writing and the fees paid, the building permit is issued. Routine inspections are conducted at all sites with building permits. For energy efficiency information please see the Department of Environmental Quality's - Energize Montana website.

If in doubt as to whether your building must be covered by a state building permit, e-mail the Building Standards Section or call (406) 841-2056.

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