Taken directly from the Building Code: Section 105.1 Required: Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
Examples of work that require permits:
- Renovating rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms
- Additions of any size.
- Enlarging existing structures, rooms or spaces.
- Creating new rooms or spaces within a structure.
- Structural changes or repairs.
- Non-structural modifications (removing non-bearing walls).
- Demolition of all or part of a structure.
- Changing exits or exit components in any way.
- New structures including sheds, gazebos, pools (above and below ground),decks, garages, carports, tents, awnings, etc.
- Above or below grade flammable and combustible liquid tank removal or installation.
- Fire protection system work (See Chapter 9).
- Changes in Use or Occupancy
- New heating plant (including replacement)
It should be noted and clarified the language in the above code section does not say nor does it intend to imply that only structural work needs permits. The codes also pertain to several facets of the non-structural parts of a building/structure.