Building Permit Application Process

An overview of building permits issued by the City of St. Louis.

A building permit is an agreement between the City of Saint Louis and the applicant whereby the applicant agrees to follow all codes and the City agrees to inspect the construction to ensure that all codes are followed. A building permit issued by the Building Division - Permit Section serves as a formal and legal authorization to start the construction work.    

Applicants for all construction projects ranging from the deck addition to the interior remodel to the multi-storied high rise building all come through the same office. Application should be made in person in Room 425, City Hall. The permits office is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. All building permit applications are reviewed by a professional Plan Reviewer (a licensed engineer or architect). Immediate review for most homeowner permits can be made between the hours of Noon-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays with a Plan Reviewer at the Hot Spot Desk. In many cases, permits can be issued over the counter, and 70 percent of permits are issued on a same-day basis. 

Projects generally fall into two categories:

Separate building permits for fire alarm, and fire suppression systems are required from the Mechanical or Plumbing Section. These permits must be applied for by a certified Fire Alarm or Sprinkler Contractor.    

Building  permits may also require a separate plumbing, mechanical, and electrical permit. Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits must be applied for by the appropriate licensed contractor from the Section that reviews, issues, and performs the inspection of this work.

In addition to a building permit for items such as above-ground tanks, underground tanks and commercial exhaust hoods, separate permits are required from the Fire Marshall, Air Pollution and Mechanical Sections.        

All construction work that involves encroachments, high hazard uses and special conditional use permits must be referred to and approved by the Board of Public Service before a building permit may be issued.    

If the project is in a Chapter 99 or 100 Redevelopment Area, the Building Division will request a letter of approval from the St. Louis Development Corporation - Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority before a building permit may be issued.    

All applications for building permits in City Historic Districts, City Landmarks, all projects located within a City park or paid for from City General Revenue Funds, all encroachments on or over public right-of-way and all demolition permit applications must be referred to and approved by the Cultural Resources Office before a building permit may be issued. 

Copies of design standards for the 14 historic districts or 112 landmarks can be obtained by contacting the Cultural Resources Office at (314) 622-3400 or from the Register's Office in City Hall.    

The Cultural Resources Office is authorized to require and issue permits in matters under its jurisdiction even though a building permit is not required by the Building Code. These permits are generally referred to as "CRO Only" permits.    

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