Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some of the common questions that the Inspections Division receives.  If there is any doubt, or if you have a question not listed below, please feel free to contact the Inspections Division at (507) 457-8231.

What do I need a building permit for?

All new construction, additions, remodeling, alterations and most replacements.
Sidewalks and Driveways. (Contact Engineering 507-457-8269)

What kind of work does not need a building permit ?

  1. Fences-depending on height. (Please call the Inspections Office to verify). (A variance may be required).
  2. Storage sheds less than 200 sq. ft.
  3. Painting, papering, tiling, cabinets, counter tops, floor coverings and similar finish work.
  4. Retaining walls not over 4 feet in height.
  5. Decks & Platforms not over 30″ above grade unless attached to a permanent structure.
  6. Prefabricated swimming pools above ground not exceeding 5,000 gallons and not more than 24″ deep.
  7. Window awnings.
  8. Moveable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 to 9 feet in height.
  9. Playground equipment.

Where are my property lines?

Property lines can best be determined by calling a surveyor.  Many surveyors are listed in the Winona Telephone Directory.  The City of Winona does not mark property lines.

What do I need to know about putting up a fence?

  1. Permits are not required in most cases (please call the Inspections Office to verify).
  2. Determine your property lines by contacting a surveyor.
  3. You may put your fence up to, but not on the property line.  On street sides, it must be at least one foot back from the sidewalk.
  4. Fences may be up to 6′ high in the rear (non street side) and up to 4′ high  in the front or street sides of lot. In business and industrial zoning districts, fences may be up to 8′ in the rear yard.
  5. For corner lots, please call the Inspections Division as the height regulations and setbacks differ. In any R-district on any corner lot, no fence shall be erected or maintained within 8 feet of the corner (the point of intersection of the right-of way lines), which interferes with traffic visibility across the corner.
  6. Placing the “nice” side toward the neighboring lot is a courtesy to neighbors, however, there is no code to require this practice.