Permit Requirements 

The City's Building Inspection staff receives many of the same general questions about permits and the building codes. In order to assist our Andover residents, we have put together a list of the most commonly asked questions.

Why You Need a Permit
Some may think that obtaining a permit means extra costs, time delays, and unwarranted regulations. However, a permit ensures that proper services are provided to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare. For most people, their home is their most important investment. If work is done improperly, such work can become unsafe for the homeowners and their families, as well as devalue their home. Realtors and lenders are aware that the law requires homeowners to have the proper permits when doing home construction. When it comes to selling a house, realtors and lenders often require that any construction work is done with permits to ensure that the house is safe for future occupants. If work was completed without a permit, this may mean that you find yourself scrambling to catch up with permits and inspections and additional repair work to meet code standards.

Through the permit process, City Inspectors will review permitted construction work and installations to ensure that they are done safely and in accordance with current state codes and building regulations. Inspections not only reveal minor problems that could lead to costly repairs, but may also identify life-safety concerns.

Work That Requires a Permit
Building Permits
Building Permits are required to construct, add onto, alter, remove, demolish or repair a structure. Permits are required for any alterations, additions or remodeling to your home. Permits are required for basement finishes, re-roofing, re-siding, swimming pools, garages, sheds, decks, gazebos, porches, etc. A building permit is required before you begin.

Mechanical Permits
Mechanical Permits are required for the installation or replacement of mechanical systems in new and existing structures. This includes Air Conditioners, Air to Air Exchangers, Furnace and Garage Furnaces and Gas Fireplaces.

Plumbing Permits

Plumbing Permits are required for fixtures in new construction or alterations in existing structures. Permits for plumbing include new construction installation, water heater replacement, lawn irrigation/sprinkler systems, wirsbo heating. When adding a new bathroom (when no rough in or original fixtures are installed) or if floor pipes are to be moved then a plumbing permit is required. If your bathroom already has the fixtures roughed in and you are just setting the fixtures, no plumbing permit is needed.

Septic Installation Permits
Septic Installation Permits are required to install new septic systems, repair existing septic systems. A design for new/repair system should be submitted to our office by a licensed Septic Designer. After approval, a permit is issued to a licensed septic installer and an inspection of the tanks and system is required. If you need a list of septic designers and installers please contact the building department.

Septic Pumping Permits
Septic Pumping Permits are required to pump a septic tank. The licensed septic pumper will obtain the permit. The cost of the pumping permit is $15.00. If you need a list of licensed septic pumpers or need a copy of the city septic ordinance please contact the building department.

Septic Maintenance Reports are reports that are mailed to Andover residents every other year. These reports are to be filled out by the homeowner. The purpose of these reports are not only to serve as a reminder to the owner to have their septic system pumped but as a way for our office to check to make sure the contractor you hired is obtaining the pumping permit.

Obtaining Permits & Inspections
A homeowner, when doing his/her own project, needs to obtain the necessary permits and call to arrange for the required inspections. If a contractor is hired, the contractor obtains the permit and works with City staff to make sure the work is completed according to code. Plans need to be submitted for any structural work that is being completed, for example a deck, porch, addition, garage, sheds (over 200 s.f.) etc. The permit process takes 3 to 5 days to review plans and complete the permit. Our Inspection Department will then contact them with cost of permit when it is completed. City staff also verifies that the contractor has a State License with the State of Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry.

Costs & Permit Fees
Building permit fees vary according to the valuation of the construction project. There are flat fees for certain projects. Mechanical permit fees are based upon the type of installation. Plumbing permits are based upon the number and type of fixtures, etc. See below for some of these permit fees. For more information on permits and inspections you may contact the Andover Building Department at 763-755-8700. Office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.