Building Permit Exempt Work

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Permit Exemptions

Permits are required for most building, electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilating work done in Kansas City, MO.

If you have any questions about permits for any job, please contact:

KCMO Permit Center
City Hall, 5th floor
414 E. 12th St., Kansas City, MO 64106;
Phone: (816) 513-1500
Fax: (816)-513-1456

Some types of work are exempt from permits.

  1.  A Building Permit Is Not Required for

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, garages, carports and similar uses, if the projected roof area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2)
  2. Oil derricks
  3. Movable cases, counters and partitions if the height does not exceed 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm)
  4. Retaining walls if the height does not exceed 4 feet (1219 mm) when measured from grade on the low side of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding flammable liquids or when adjacent to a public right-of-way
  5. Fences
  6. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,927 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1
  7. Platforms and decks not exceeding 30 (762 mm) inches above grade at any point and not over any basement or story below
  8. Temporary motion pictures, television and theater stage sets and scenery
  9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R-3 and Group U occupancies when projecting no more than 54 inches (1372 mm)
  10. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy and less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,927 L)
  11. Reroofing (replacement of roof coverings) of one- and two-family residences with light roof covering or reroofing of other structures in accordance with the requirements of the code pertaining to materials and installation methods. Exempted reroofing work does not include replacement of roof sheathing/deck or structural modifications or alterations to the building or structure.
  12. Construction or alteration of public utility generation, communication, transmission and distribution facilities used by franchised or authorized utilities. Administrative office buildings for franchised utilities do require building permits as described in subsection (a)(1) of this section.
  13. Replacement of exterior wall coverings for detached one- and two-family dwellings
  14. Replacement of doors and windows in existing openings where fire resistance, smoke control and opening protection are not required by article II
  15. Repairs of holes in plaster or gypsum board walls
  16. Installation or replacement of wall or floor mounted cabinets (kitchen, bath, etc.).
  17. Painting, papering, installation of carpeting/floor coverings and similar finish work.
  18. Installation or replacement of exterior gutters and downspouts
  19. Tuck-pointing brick and/or stone masonry
  20. Replacement of soffits and wall or roof sheathing less than 32 square feet (2.97 m2) in area for one- and two-family dwellings
  21. Replacement of interior or exterior trim-work
  22. Boarding up vacant buildings
  23. Walks, patios and driveways constructed on existing grade
  24. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems
  25. Swings and other playground equipment for one- and two-family dwellings
  26. Grading or excavation of land or premises under at least one of the following conditions:
  1. When approved by the building official, grading in an isolated, self-contained area provided there is no danger to private or public property
  2. An excavation below finished grade for basements and footings of a building, retaining wall or other structure authorized by a valid building permit
  3. Cemetery graves
  4. Refuse disposal sites authorized and controlled by other regulations
  5. Excavations for wells or trenches for utilities
  6. Mining, quarrying, excavating, processing, stockpiling of rock, sand, gravel, aggregate or clay where established and provided for by law, provided such operations do not affect the lateral support or increase the stresses in or pressure upon any adjacent or contiguous property
  7. Exploratory excavations under the direction of soils engineers or engineering geologists
  8. An excavation which is less than 2 feet in depth or which does not create a cut slope greater than 5 feet in height or steeper than a slope of 1½ horizontal to 1 vertical
  9. A fill placed on natural terrain with a slope flatter than 5 horizontal to 1 vertical and which does not obstruct a drainage course, provided that such fill is either less than 1 foot in depth or less than 3 feet in depth; does not exceed 50 cubic yards on any one lot or parcel; and is not intended to support structures

  1. A Mechanical Permit Is Not Required for

  1. Portable heating appliances
  2. Portable ventilating equipment
  3. Portable cooling units
  4. Portable evaporative coolers
  5. Replacement of any part or assembly of an appliance which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of this code
  6. Refrigerating equipment which is part of equipment that already has been permitted
  7. Replacement of grills and diffusers on existing mechanical ductwork
  8. Any self-contained refrigeration system with 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or less of refrigerant, or that is actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less
  9. Mechanical construction or alteration of public utility generation, communication, transmission and distribution facilities used by franchised or authorized utilities. Administrative office buildings for such utilities do require mechanical permits as described in subsection (a)(1) of this section.

  1. A Plumbing Permit Is Not Required for

  1. Repairs which involve only the working parts of a faucet or valve
  2. Clearance of stoppages
  3. Repairs or replacement of defective fixtures or valves if alterations or extensions of piping systems are not made
  4. Replacement and repair of lavatory and sink traps
  5. Construction or alteration of public utility generation, communication,transmission and distribution facilities used by franchised or authorized utilities for plumbing work. Administrative office buildings for such utilities do require plumbing permits as described in subsection (a)(1) of this section.

  1. An Elevator Permit Is Not Required for:

  1. Material hoists within the scope of ANSI A10.5
  2. Mobile scaffolds, towers and platforms within the scope of ANSI A92
  3. Powered platform and equipment for exterior and interior building maintenance within the scope of ANSI A120.1
  4. Conveyors and related equipment within the scope of ASME B20.1
  5. Cranes, derricks, hoists, hooks, jacks and slings within the scope of ASME B30
  6. Industrial trucks within the scope of ASME B56
  7. Portable equipment, except for portable escalators, which are covered by article IX of this chapter
  8. Tiering or piling machines used to move material to and from storage located and operating entirely within one story
  9. Equipment for feeding or positioning material at machine tools, printing presses, etc.
  10. Skip or furnace hoists
  11. Wharf ramps
  12. Amusement devices
  13. Stage and orchestra lifts
  14. Lift bridges
  15. Railroad car lifts or dumpers
  16. Mechanized parking garage equipment
  17. Line jacks, false cars, shafters, moving platforms and similar equipment used for installing an elevator
  18. Mine elevators not located in or adjacent to a building or structure Man-lifts within the scope of ASME 90.1
  19. Platform elevators installed in a ship or offshore drilling rig and used for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo, equipment and personnel
  20. Shipboard elevators
  21. Construction or alteration of public utility generation, communication, transmission and distribution facilities used by  franchised or authorized utilities for elevator work. Administrative office buildings for such utilities do require elevator permits as described in subsection (a)(1) of this section.

  1. An Electrical Permit Is Not Required for

  1. Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles
  2. Construction or alteration of public utility generation, communication, transmission and distribution facilities used by franchised or authorized utilities for electrical work. Administrative office buildings for such utilities do require electrical permits as described in subsection (a)(1) of this section.
  3. The installation, alteration or repair of electrical equipment of a power or public service company for its use in the generation, transmission, distribution or metering of electricity
  4. The installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus
  5. Replacement of snap switches, receptacles and fixtures (other than ceiling fans) where no alteration or extension of an existing circuit is required

  1. A Sign Permit Is Not Required for

  1. Advertising copy or messages on a painted or printed sign. Electric signs are not included in this exemption except for theater marquees and similar signs specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy
  2. Painting, repainting or cleaning of an advertising structure. The changing of advertising copy or messages are not considered an erection or alteration which requires a sign permit unless a structural change is made
  3. Signs placed or painted on the inside of a building or on the inside or outside of any bus, taxicab or other vehicle
  4. Signs painted or lettered directly on the wall of buildings or structures (including the surface of windows or doors) which advertises the name of the owner or lessee or sub-lessee of the building or the products manufactured, sold or stored in the building
  5. Miscellaneous traffic or other municipal signs, danger signs, railroad crossing signs, legal notices or trespassing signs, or signs of public service companies indicating danger or aids to service or safety
  6. Emergency, non-advertising signs
  7. Real estate signs advertising the sale, rental or lease of the premises on which they are maintained if there is not more than one such sign for any street frontage and the total gross area does not exceed 32 square feet (2.97m2)
  8. Tablets constructed of bronze, brass, stone or other noncombustible materials when built or attached to the walls of a building or other structure, if the tablets bear only the name of the owner, the name or use of the building, the date of erection of the building or commemorative matter
  9. Signs announcing the name of the architect, engineer and contractors of a building under construction, alteration or repair, and announcing the character of the building enterprise or the building’s purpose
  10. Signs of public service companies indicating danger, ownership of property, offices or places where their service is available to the public, when the signs are placed flat against the wall of a building or other structure
  11. Signs less than 10 square feet in area in residential zoning districts (Ord. No. 040477, § 1, 8-12-04; Ord. No. 061292, § B, 6-14-07; Ord. 071193, § 1, 1-3-08; Ord. No. 120375, § 1, 5-24-12)