Generally speaking, a building permit is required when any structural change or major alteration is made to a building or when any new construction is undertaken. Normal maintenance does not require a permit in most cases. Separate permits for plumbing, electrical and mechanical work are also required when applicable.
Some examples of work that generally does not require permits are; tuck pointing, plaster repair, painting, all paneling, and awnings that do not project over property lines.
Some examples of work that does require a permit: new structures of any description, including buildings, garages, carports, storage sheds, gutters, downspouts, patios, porches, decks, retaining walls, room additions and extensions or enlargements of existing rooms. Any work involving structural changes or extensive rehabilitation of a building. Siding that covers the building requires a permit and any installation of pre-cast stone. Roof replacement requires a building permit when the roof sheathing is replaced.