Permit Applications and Fees

Permit Application and Payment Procedures

Work That Requires a Permit
This list is not all inclusive. If you have any questions about permit or code requirements please contact the Building Services Department.

¿Que Trabajos Necesitan Permiso?

Submit Building and Site Plans

The City of Dubuque Building Services Department issues permits for building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and ADA work being performed. Permit applications and fees are available, please click on the appropriate permit for more information. 

Residential and Commercial Building Permit Process

  • Submit a completed permit application for review and two sets of construction plan and documents. One paper set of plans and one set of electronic plans in PDF file format is required. 
  • A site plan is required for all proposed new structures or tear-down and replacement of existing structures. The site plan must contain: 
    • Lot dimensions per side of lot.
    • Total square footage of lot.
    • Size of all existing structures and proposed structures along with distances from structures to lot lines along with total height of the proposed new structure from the ground to the peak of the roof. 
    • Location of all non-permeable surfaces such as concrete driveways and sidewalks and dimensions, and the location of the street in regards to the structure. Site plan example.
  • Permit applications must be completely filled out by the applicant.
  • Total Construction Value of the project is all associated costs of the project for labor and materials both interior and exterior including work not requiring a permit. Include all HVAC, plumbing, electrical, grading, exterior concrete work of sidewalks and driveways, fencing, landscaping, painting, cabinets and counters, and all general contractor costs. Total construction value is used to create monthly reports on our local building economy to help determine the average cost and type of homes being constructed in our community.
  • Value of Work to be Permitted is Total Construction Value minus electrical, plumbing, HVAC, carpeting, painting, cabinets and counters, sidewalks, driveways, grading, fences less than 7’ high, and retaining walls less than 4’ high.
  • Owners who perform their own work must take cost of materials x 2 to calculate the value of work to be permitted.
  • Applications must include one (1) electronic copy and one (1) paper copy of the construction plans for all proposed new structures, new interior walls or removal of existing interior walls and major interior renovations or alterations.
  • Permit applicants will be notified upon completion of the plan review process and provided a copy of
    • The stamped and approved construction plans 
    • A plan review letter. 
    • Total cost of the permit.
  • Applicants must pay the full balance due for the permit prior to issuance of the permit and work starting.
  • Upon issuance of the permit, work must commence within 180 days or the permit will expire and no longer be valid.
  • All work must be done within 365 days from the time of permit issuance unless otherwise requested at the time of issuance and approved by the Building Services Department.

Plan Review Fees: 20% of the permit fee

The City of Dubuque Building Services Department performs plan reviews on residential and commercial construction. This includes new buildings or structures in excess of 200 square feet. Plan review is also performed for residential and commercial additions and renovations. During the plan review process, our staff coordinates with all City stakeholders in the code review process. We check to make sure all life and safety items, in combination with minimum code requirements, are being met and included on the plans and specifications. Upon completion we provide the applicant with a detailed plan review letter and the approved set of construction plans. This service provides the applicant with assurance that all minimum code requirements will be met prior to construction beginning and avoids costly change orders or time delays during the project to remedy non-code compliant items.