Multifamily Building Permits

The following permits are available for construction of 4 or more multi-family residential buildings. It is important to note that in some instances acquiring the appropriate permits for the proposed project is not the only requirement of the Columbus City Code.

There are multiple historic districts and commission areas in our city that require a review of the proposed design prior to obtaining the permits to begin construction. Please refer to the following Online Zoning Map to determine if your project is located in one of these areas. A Certificate of Appropriateness will be required from the historic district or commission area for all projects located in these areas.

Depending on the scope of the project, one or more of the permits listed below will be required to construct your project. Contractors licensed and registered with the City of Columbus must perform this work. Please refer to the following links to find out the details of this requirement.

Additionally, unless it has been determined by our office that the work to be performed does not require technical expertise, a design professional will be required to submit sealed documents for plan review. Once plan review has been performed and found to meet the intent of the code, our office will be able to issue the permit.

It should also be noted that permits are issued for each and every building regardless of how many buildings are located on a project site or parcel. Each building will require a certified address prior to issuance of a permit. Please refer to the City Map Room to obtain the necessary certified address form(PDF, 245KB) for your project.

The permit information below gives a brief explanation of the types of permits available for your project. Applications and informational links are also included for your use and assistance in obtaining the required permits.

New construction
This permit is for the construction of new multi-family (4 or more) residential dwelling units.

Additions, alterations and accessory structures
This type of permit is used when modifying existing buildings, adding additions to existing buildings or building new accessory structures to multi-family residential dwelling units.

Roof, siding, doors and windows
When replacing a roof, siding, exterior door or window, it is required that you obtain the appropriate permit for this work. Any combination of the above items may be obtained under a single permit if applied for at the same time. This permit only comes with one inspection. Important: If a combination of items are applied for, complete all work prior to requesting an inspection or an additional inspection trip will be required.

This RSWD Building Permit Application(PDF, 237KB) is used for roof, siding, doors and windows.

A permit is required for a deck if any of the following conditions are applicable:

  • It's larger than 200 square feet in area.
  • Any component is 30 inches above grade at any point. It's attached to the building and serves as a landing to the required exit door.
  • It's attached to the building and serves as a landing to the required exit door.

Deck Publications:

Construction of a fence over 6 feet in height requires a building permit. Masonry walls are not considered fences and require a building permit, regardless of height.

Fence Publications:

Parking lot
Construction of a parking lot requires a building permit. If lighting is also being installed, an electrical permit is required as well.

New construction, additions, alterations, accessory structures, fences, decks and parking lots all use the Building Permit Application(PDF, 242KB).

Mechanical, electrical and plumbing
These are the specialty trade permits associated with any new construction, additions, alterations, accessory structures or replacement of existing specialty trade systems. An independent plan review may be required if the work to be performed is not associated with other work included in a building permit.

Trade permit applications:

Minor limited scope
These permits are considered to be associated with minor repair work, related to an existing multi-family residential structure that requires a permit to be obtained but only requires an inspection of 15 minutes or less and does not require plan approval.

Refer to the MLS List(PDF, 145KB).

Minor limited scope projects require one the below permit applications.

Removal Start
This permit is issued prior to plan approval to allow the owner to begin work on an existing building up to the point of first inspection. No inspections are provided with this permit and it is intended to be used for work involving fire damage, vehicle damage, weather damage, tenant improvement projects or other minor work as approved by the Chief Building Official. This is not a plan approval or permit, and the owner is performing work at his or her own risk. A follow-up building permit is required, subject to the plan approval process. Complete this form for a Removal Start(PDF, 242KB).

Secure permit
When a building is damaged, abandoned and is not secure from entry, a Secure Permit is required. This permit is valid for a 3 month period and must be renewed until the building has been brought back to a condition in which it can be safely occupied.

To apply for a secure permit you need to complete the Building Permit Application(PDF, 242KB). A permit is required per the Columbus City Code - 4109.09.

A demolition permit is required for multi-family residential dwelling units and their accessory structures.

A contractor licensed or registered with the City of Columbus is required to perform this work.

A Demolition Permit Application(PDF, 237KB) is required to complete for this type of project per the Columbus City Code - 4113.79.

Fire suppression
Fire-suppression permits may be required in multi-family residential building projects. When required, a separate plan review is also necessary.

Fire alarm, detection, suppression and activation devices
Fire alarm and other detection permits may be required in multi-family residential projects. When required, a separate plan review is also necessary.

Repair-and-replace permit
These permits are typically required when existing equipment in multi-family residential projects is being modified or repaired.

The projects above are related to fire projects. Below are forms and information that can be used to obtain permits.