Frequently Asked Questions

1.    When do I need a building permit?
You need a building permit for the following items:
  • Electrical & plumbing work
  • Any new construction or additions
  • Sheds/garages/pole barns/storage buildings
  • Porches/patios/awnings/canopy
  • Decks
  • Finishing a basement
  • Any construction on a load bearing wall
  • Roofing (new shingles)
  • ADA ramps
  • Commercial developments
  • Many other items may also need a permit (contact the building department if you are not sure if you need a permit)

2.    What types of work can I do without a permit?

  • Painting, papering, or similar work
  • Installation or replacement of storm windows, window awnings
  • Roof gutters
  • Replacement of kitchen cabinets (unless plumbing, electrical, or structural elements are changed)

3.    How do I get a building permit?

  • Fill out an application
  • Submit a detailed drawing/plot plan
  • Pay fees
  • Plans reviewed by city building inspector

4.    How long will it take to get my a building permit?

  • Most remodels and smaller items can be reviewed within 24 hours.
  • Simple add-ons or garage permits will be processed same day or up to 3 days
  • On a new residential home or commercial development a building permit can take up to 7-10 days.

5.    When are inspections required?

  • Footings: when they are formed and ready to be poured
  • Foundations: when waterproofing is completed and ready for backfilling
  • Framing: when all framing, wiring, plumbing, venting is done, wall and attic insulation is completed and walls are ready for covering
  • Final: when the project is completed and ready for occupancy
  • Plumbing: open roughed-in and final
  • Gas: open roughed-in and final
  • Mechanical work: open roughed-in and final
  • Electrical: open roughed-in, service, and final, temporary pole and meter loop

6.    When is a plumbing permit required?
Plumbing must be done by a City of Scottsbluff Licensed Plumber and the following work requires a plumbing permit:

  • All new construction, including additions
  • New or replacements of air conditioners, sewers services, furnaces, water heaters and water services
  • Installation of back flow preventer’s, water softeners, and reverse osmosis units

7.    Can I do my own plumbling and electrical work?

      All plumbing must be done by a licensed plumber.  Electrical work can be done by the property owner after completing a Homeowner Verification Form when completing the Electrical permit. 

8.    How much will the Building Permit cost?
Permit fee information can be found here.  Building permit fees are based on valuation for the project and fees can vary. Please contact the Development Services if you need additional information.

9.    Why do I need a Building Permit?
A building permit is required to ensure that a project meets standards for safety and health. It also protects all city residents and business owners today as well as in the future. It also ensures insurance companies that all new construction meet safety standards and was built to the International Building Code and other building codes (plumbing, electrical, fire, etc.).

10.    Do I need a permit to build a fence?
Yes, you can obtain a fence permit application on-line. The city reviews fence permits to make sure that a fence is not too high and does not block vehicle visibility on corners.

11.    How can I find my property lines?
You can obtain your legal description and tax information at Scotts Bluff County at: or you can also contact a surveyor and they can tell you where your property lines are located.  It is also a good idea to meet with your neighbors prior to getting a fence and discuss with them where they think the property lines may be located.

Questions about stormwater?

Building and Permitting