Residential Building Permits are required for all work performed on single or two-family dwellings. Work performed on all other buildings require Commercial Building Permits, this includes multifamily buildings with three or more units and mixed-use buildings with residential units and commercial spaces.
Please refer to list of work not requiring a building permit, if work to be performed is not included on this list, a building permit is required. Please note that a building permit is required for interior demolition of single or two-family dwellings.
Work Performed Under Residential Building Permit
A property owner who also uses the property as a primary residence may self perform the work for a Residential Building Permit, except for new houses. A City of Pittsburgh registered General Contractor is required for the following:
Construction of a new house.
Renovations and/or additions to rental or investment property.
Demolition of a house or garage if not self performed by homeowner without employees.
The property owner, or authorized agent, will need to first apply in person at the Zoning Counter located at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. After the work is approved by the Zoning Department, the applicant will proceed to the File Room and then then PLI's Engineering Counter, both located on the 3rd floor of 200 Ross St.
For the PLI review, the following will be required:
All new houses, two story additions, two story decks, retaining walls over 4'-0" or structural modifications will require stamped drawings prepared and sealed by a Pennsylvania licensed Architect/Engineer.
A check/money order to pay the permit fee, due when permit is issued.
Residential building permit applications not requiring stamped drawings are reviewed over the counter. All others are logged in and reviewed in the order in which they were reviewed. After the Plans Examining Engineer has reviewed the drawing, they will contact the Architect/Engineer with any revisions or notify the applicant that the permit is ready for pick up.
After the permit has been issued, the applicant or General Contractor must contact the Building Inspector, whom is indicated on the permit, to schedule inspections. Inspectors are in the office from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, and are in the field for the remainder of the day.
The following building inspections will be required:
The following additional inspections may be required, depending on the scope of work:
Footing and foundation
All Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections fees change annually. Consult the Current Fee Schedule.