Step 2 - Do Your Research
Review the different kinds of permits, common projects requiring or not requiring permits, and fee information.
Missoula County requires permits for many types of work you may want to have done on your property. These permits ensure compliance with local, state and international building codes. The lists below detail work requiring, or not requiring, permits. Though extensive, they are not all-inclusive. If your project isn’t listed, call 406-258-3701, Option #2, to speak with a member of the Building Permit Intake Staff.
What's Your Project?
The kind of work you’re planning will determine what permits you’ll need. Below you’ll find two lists:
Some common projects that will likely require one or more permits:
The first list includes common projects that will likely require one or more permits. Remember, every project is different. Though this is a good guideline, your project may require additional permits not listed.
If your project is complex, consider setting up a Development Review Team meeting.
- The second list includes projects you won’t need a permit for.
Common Projects that Require Permits
- New residential or commercial construction
- Replacing a roof
- Fence (8 feet or higher)
- Water heater
- Septic system installation or modification
- Drilling a well
- Swimming pool
- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing work
- Finishing a basement
- Solar PV Permit Checklist
- Pole or Ground Mount Solar PV Permit Checklist
- Mobile home
- Commercial Licensing Renewal (Cannabis & Licensed Establishments)
Planning a project you don’t see on either list? With any residential or commercial work, it’s best to check whether you need any permits by calling 406-258-3701.
Projects that Do Not Require Permits
Planning a project you don’t see on either list? With any residential or commercial work, it’s best to check whether you need a permit by calling 406-258-3701, option #2 to speak with a member of the Building Permit Intake Staff.
Three departments issue permits related to home-improvement projects:
- Public Works Building Division
- Missoula City-County Health Department
- Planning, Development & Sustainability Department
The specifics of your project will determine what department you start with.
- Septic/well installation: If your project involves your septic system or well, you will start the application process with the Health Department. A septic permit must be finalized before the county can issue any building or construction permits. Call the Health Department at 406-258-4990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Projects impacting septic systems or wells: Even if you don’t think your project requires changes to your septic system or well, you still need to contact the Health Department. Many projects that do not involve new installation or connection require a Health Department evaluation. For example, if you are building a detached garage, the Health Department will make sure you do not build it on top of your drainfield. Also, septic systems are designed to accommodate a maximum number of bedrooms. Interior remodels that include new bedrooms require septic system review.
- For complex projects, it’s best to start with the Health Department to lessen the chance of surprises later. Call the Health Department at 406-258-4990 or email email@example.com.
- Most other projects: Other permit applications begin with the Building Division. Once submitted, either online or in person, you application will go through the intake process to insure it meet the requirements. If intake process is a success, then your project will be routed to the different permitting departments and reviewed simultaneously. You may receive a call from a reviewer needing more information about your project.
Types of Permits
Missoula County issues several different kinds of permits, some of which are listed below. The specifics of your project will determine which ones you will or will not need.
Now that you’ve educated yourself on work requiring permits, the different kinds of permits and associated fees, you’re ready for Step 3: Preparing to Apply.