When Permits Are Not Required

You do not need a building permit to do the following projects. Note: The following items are not exempt if the property is located within a flood hazard area or the property is zoned commercial.

General Construction Projects

  • Above ground prefabricated swimming pools
  • Decks, Platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below, unless the sidewalk or driveway is in the City Right of Way
  • Fences not over seven feet high (Engineered design required for fences over seven feet tall)
  • Gutters, downspouts, and storm windows
  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet, 120 square feet for any other commercial and multi-family residential property
    • Make sure you are aware of your setback requirements from property lines.
  • Painting, papering, tiling carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work
  • Replacement of like roofing materials on single-family dwellings
  • Replacement of siding on single-family dwellings
  • Retaining walls that are not over four feet in height measured from grade on the exposed side to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge (engineered design required for retaining walls over four feet tall)
  • Swings and other playground equipment
  • Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to one 1
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support
  • Window replacement where the rough opening is not altered


  • Portable cooling units
  • Portable evaporative coolers
  • Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid
  • Portable Heating appliances
  • Portable ventilation appliances and equipment
  • The replacement of any minor part that does not alter the approval of equipment or an appliance or make such equipment or appliance unsafe
    • This includes the replacement of similar appliances such as hot water heaters and furnaces that does not change the venting of such appliance.
  • Self-contained refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower or less
  • Steam, hot water or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances regulated by this code


Per South Dakota Plumbing Commission amendment 36-25-19.2. Plumbing permit not required in certain situations. No plumbing permit is required if the plumbing repair work or plumbing fixture replacement:

  • Does not involve cutting into or extending existing water and waste systems
  • Is done on buildings that are not connected to a public system of waterworks or sewerage
  • Is conducted by full-time maintenance personnel on the business premises of an employer

More Information

You can contact the Spearfish Building Department at 605-642-1335 if you have any questions or if you think you need a building permit.