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Building Permit
A building permit is required to construct any new building, add to an existing building, alter any living space, and/or perform repairs or modifications that involve structural components. An altered space would include projects that create, reconfigure, or modify living space by adding or removing walls. Typical examples would be basement living spaces, kitchens, and baths. Any contractor working on a one and two family dwelling must have valid state certifications.

Permits are not required for:
  • Storage sheds, play houses, recreational structures or other accessory structures that do not exceed on hundred square feet in area and twelve feet in height.
  • Decks that are detached from the dwelling and less than twenty-four inches high above grade.
  • Re-roofing or residing unless the new material alters the original architectural style of the existing building.
  • Replacement doors or windows unless structural modifications are required and/or the new doors or window alters the orginal architectural style of the existing building.
Caution: Although a permit may not be required, the work performed must meet the applicable building and zoning codes. 

Permit Fee
Fees are charged to offset the cost of plan review and providing inspection services. The City of Wauwatosa's permit fees are one of the lowest in the Milwaukee metro area. Each permit requires a non-refundable application fee of $50 or a plan review fee if full construction plans are submitted at the time of application. There are generally two components that comprise the total fee paid for a permit: plan review and inspection. The plan review fee ranges from $50 to $500 depending on the type of plan review. The inspection fee is usually a cost per unit, a flat fee, a cost per $1,000 of value, or a cost per square foot depending on the type of permit.

Application Process
To apply, submit a completed residential application, or commercial application form, two copies of construction plans (three copies for a commercial job), three copies of a land survey, and the application fee payable to: City of Wauwatosa. Any exterior work, from a new structure or addition to most exterior remodeling, will require a review by the city's Design Review Board and is part of the permit application process.

For more information, please contact the Building & Safety Division at (414) 479-8907. | Email

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