Why is a Permit Needed: 

The permit and inspection process gives you, your neighbors and the City assurance that specific standards are met when expanding, altering, or repairing your property by complying with State Codes, Local Codes and Zoning Requirements.  These standards are based on well-established health, safety and environmental considerations intended to protect the integrity of the building, the safety of its inhabitants, and the welfare of the public.  Projects not completed according to code can affect your home’s insurability and potential sale.  City building records are available from our department upon request.  Prospective buyers can use these records to see if permits were obtained and if compliance was achieved for specific projects.

When Do I Need a Permit:

A permit is required prior to beginning any new construction, repairs, additions, alterations, and demolitions, including the installation of new boilers, furnaces, electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures, garages, porches, fences, decks, swimming pools, and sheds.  A permit is also needed to change the use of a building or portion thereof.  A permit may be needed when replacing or moving walls, doors, columns and beams.  Changes to required exits or means of providing natural light and ventilation (including windows) require a permit.

Questions about when a permit is needed should be directed to the Building Inspection Department.

Who is Responsible for Obtaining a Permit:

The property owner is responsible for ensuring that a permit is obtained prior to work being started.  Contractors can also apply and obtain permits on behalf of the property owner.  Under no circumstances can construction or demolition start prior to obtaining the Building Permit and posting the placard in a front window or door visible from the road.  A Building Permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance.  A building permit for a single or two family dwelling is valid for two years from the date of issuance.

Commencing work without a permit is subject to doubling of the permit fee.  When unpermitted work is discovered, a Stop Work Order will be issued and a permit that accurately describes the work must be obtained before any work may resume.

How Do I Apply for a Permit:

The process by which you obtain a permit depends on the type of work you are doing.  Generally, simple projects not requiring plan review can be permitted within a few days, provided all the necessary information is complete and accurate.  Projects requiring plan review may require up to ten (10) business days for a full review, which may include architectural, structural, electrical, fire prevention, accessibility, environmental, plumbing and HVAC refrigeration, heating and ventilation. 

How Much Does the Permit Cost:

The permit fee schedules are located on our website under “Building Permits & Fees”. 

Do I Need to Hire a Professional Architect, Engineer or Contractor to do the Work:

Unless otherwise specified by the Building Code, owner-occupants of a single-family dwelling may design their own plans.  The exception to this would be for dwellings that are located within a Flood Plain, which may require a registered architect or engineer.  All residential work must demonstrate compliance with the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) and the City of De Pere Municipal Code.

The construction and erosion control permits must be taken out by a state-certified Dwelling Contractor or by the owner who occupies the home currently or after completion.  Note that the State UDC Contractor certification verifies general liability insurance only.  It does not test the technical competency of the builder.  Each Dwelling Contractor must have a state-certified Dwelling Contractor Qualifier on staff.

The plumbing work must be supervised by a master plumber and installed by licensed plumbers.  Only after the dwelling is occupied, may an owner install additional plumbing beyond the pre-requisite kitchen sink and full bathroom, unless prohibited by municipal ordinances.

Depending upon the type of work you are doing, you may or may not be required to hire a contractor.  An owner-occupant of a single-family dwelling may take responsibility for carpentry; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); and masonry work.  In addition, an owner-occupant of a single-family residence may take responsibility for electrical work.  In all other instances, a licensed contractor is required.

The following is a summary of the requirements for different types of contractors:

Building Contractors:

Dwelling Contractor License, Dwelling Contractor Qualifier from the State of Wisconsin

HVAC Contractors:

HVAC Contractor Registration

Electrical Contractors:

Master Electrician License from the State of Wisconsin, Building Contractor Registration or Electrical Contractor Certification from the State of Wisconsin.

Plumbing Contractors:

Master Plumbing License and Building Contractor Registration from the State of Wisconsin.

Will I Need Any Permits in Addition to the Building Permit:

Depending on the project, the following permits may be required:






Curb Cut/Driveway


Soil Erosion

Change of Use/Occupancy

What Are My Responsibilities after the Permit is Issued:

The permit placard is required to be posted publicly at the construction site at all times.  If the placard is misplaced or lost, a replacement can be obtained from our office.  As construction commences, it is the responsibility of the applicant to call for the required inspections.  Depending on the type of project, a Certificate of Occupancy may be needed prior to occupancy.

What Do I Do If the Scope of the Project Changes after the Permit is Issued:

If the scope of work is being altered during construction, you must contact an Inspector.  An additional permit may be required depending on the changes made to the scope of the project.

Are There Avenues to Pursue if I have Concerns Regarding My Contractor:

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection can be reached toll free at 1-800-422-7128 or by mail at:  200 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 146-A, Green Bay, WI  54301.

What do I do if I Cannot Comply with Zoning or Building Code Requirements:

A variance can be applied for when a project will not comply with zoning or building codes.  The Zoning Board of Appeals meets once a month as needed on the fourth Monday of each month.  A variance application may be applied for when the enforcement of any provision or building code may cause unnecessary hardship, when an equally good or better form of construction or repair can be used, or when a building permit cannot be issued based upon the City of De Pere Municipal Codes.

All variance applications shall be accompanied by supporting data. 

What Is an Unnecessary Hardship:

An unnecessary hardship means that no feasible use can be made of the property without the granting of the variance, that the hardship is something which is unique to this property and not the owner of the property, that the hardship is not self-created, and that the hardship is not economic.

 What is the Cost to Apply for a Variance:

When applying for a variance, a fee of $ 168.00 is required to be submitted along with the variance application and supporting data. Variance Application  

Safety Information:

Lead Hazards:  Homes built prior to 1978 may have used lead based paint.  Remodeling work can produce dust and paint chips, which can be inhaled or swallowed.  Lead paint is poisonous, especially to children and pregnant women.  This can be a dangerous and hazardous situation.  Information is available from our Health Department at City Hall or by calling 920-339-4054.

Mold Concerns:  Information on mold is available from our Health Department at City Hall or by calling 920-339-4054.

Asbestos Concerns:  Information on asbestos can be obtained from the WI Department of Natural Resources at 608-266-3658 or 920-492-5800.  For home improvement complaints regarding asbestos, call 1-800-422-7182.


For a complete review of the regulations that would apply to your particular project, please refer to the City of De Pere Zoning Ordinance and Municipal Codes.

Inspection Requests:         920-339-4053

Planning Department:       920-339-4043

Building Department:        920-339-4053

Email Address:                 dpbldg@deperewi.gov