Building Permits

Building Permits

In general, permits are required for most construction activities except minor repairs, exterior/interior painting, gutters and downspout installations. Please be sure you or your contractor check with the Division of Building BEFORE starting any repair or construction work.  Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. please call 216-291-4900, press Option Number 1 with questions. It is ultimately the homeowner’s responsibility that permits are obtained. Although the Building Department in City Hall is strictly closed to the public to protect employees’ and your health, permit applications can be downloaded, filled out and mailed to The Building Department, 40 Severance Circle, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118, or put in the Drop Box at the front City Hall driveway.

If your work is being contracted, the contractor must obtain the permit(s) - this can be made clear in your contract. Permits must be posted during the period of construction.

Architectural Board of Review (ABR) Role

The Planning Department staffs the Architectural Board of Review. The Architectural Board of Review’s approval is required when a building or structure is proposed to be built or altered that would change the look of a property. Meeting dates and deadlines and application instructions are in the application: Architectural Board of Review Application (PDF). You can view additional tips in the ABR Remote Review Handout (PDF).

When Building Permits Are Required

Building permits are required for the following:

  • Any concrete or asphalt work involving replacement or asphalt resurfacing, or any paving work (brick walks, etc.)
  • Any electrical (other than minor violation corrections), plumbing, heating, air conditioning work
  • Architectural Board of Review Rules of Procedure with sample drawings (Application included)
  • Building any new structure/addition
  • Grading or regarding yard areas
  • Plans for new structures or exterior design changes must be approved by the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) before a permit can be issued. Also, commercial signage and awnings require ABR.
  • To demolish, alter, or make major repairs to any existing building structure, or any portion of that structure
  • Window replacements, new siding (except for small areas of replacement), decks, new steps (or rebuilding steps)

Submitting Building Permit Applications

Applications can be downloaded, filled out and brought to the Building Department to apply for the permit. Permit hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Stop-Work Order or Violation Notice

Please note if a permit is not obtained, a Stop-Work Order or Violation Notice will be issued, fees will double and a court summons may be issued for non-compliance for repeat offenders.