Most construction projects in Norristown must be reviewed and approved by the Construction Code Official prior to the start of work. This process is commonly known as "getting a permit.”
What Requires A Permit?
Prior to the start of the construction project on your property complete the Building Permit Application(PDF). Our staff will review your application and inform you, in writing, if a permit is not required for your project. When you apply for a permit, you will need to provide a copy of your contract with the scope of work (if you are not doing the work yourself) and any construction plans. You may also view our Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code Guide(PDF) for more information on permit requirements.
What is my Building Use Group?
As part of our permit application process you will have to identify the Use Group of the building where the proposed work is to take place. Attached to each Building Permit Application packet is a Use Group Guide(PDF) for your convenience. This Use Group Guide is to be used for the sole purpose of identifying the Use of a building in accordance with the 2015 International Building Code. The building uses identified are separate of the Municipality of Norristown’s Zoning Ordinance and should not be used to identify a building’s Zoning Use.
How Long is a Permit Valid?
The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code states that a permit will become invalid if the approved construction does not commence within 180 days after the permit's issuance or if the work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days after the work has been commenced. You may request for an extension of time on a permit by submitting a Permit Extension Request(PDF) to the Department of Building & Code Enforcement.
Prior to doing any work in the Municipality of Norristown or obtaining a permit from the Department of Building & Code Enforcement, contractors are required to register with the Municipality by completing a Contractor Registration Application(PDF). Any contractor doing work within the Municipality that is not registered with the Municipality is subject to a payment of double the full annual registration fee. Contractor Registrations are valid for the calendar year (January 1st through December 31st).
Protection For You & Your Neighbors
The permit process is there to protect you and your neighbors. Norristown has adopted the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), a series of nationally recognized construction standards for everything from plumbing to electric work. Each code describes the proper and safe method to construct your project.
The Norristown Code Enforcement Department’s job is to ensure that the work you or your contractor intends to do will conform to the UCC standards by reviewing and approving construction plans and inspecting the job at certain key points during the construction process. The permit process is an added layer of protection so you won’t become the victim of incompetent or unscrupulous contractors.
Construction Plan Review
For Change of Use projects or other construction projects where plans are required, you may submit a Plan Review Application(PDF) if you would like your construction plans reviewed and approved prior to applying for the required Building Permits.
Working Without A Permit
Code Enforcement Officers are proactively patrolling the Municipality of Norristown throughout the day to ensure that any construction activity that is ongoing within the Municipality is properly permitted. Should any contractor or property owner be found to be working without a permit a Stop Work Order will be posted on the property and construction activity must immediately cease until the required permits have been obtained from the Code Department. A non-traffic citation will also be immediately issued to the contractor and/or property owner found to be working without a permit. Penalties for working without permit within the Municipality of Norristown are as follows:
1st Offense - $500 Fine
2nd Offense - $1,000 Fine
3rd Offense - $1,500 Fine and Contractor Registration with the Municipality of Norristown will be revoked
Occupancy During Construction
If you are constructing a new building, an addition, or doing significant improvements to an existing building, you will not be allowed to occupy the building until the final inspection has been performed and a Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Building Code Official.
For more information on the building inspection process, please review the Norristown User’s Guide to the Land Development and Building Permit Process.