Property Search

Recreation & Parks

Departments & Services




YTown News

Building FAQ

Color Logo Charter Township of Ypsilanti A Community of Opportunity

Civic Center w Address

Contact Building Department: (734) 485-3943

Contact Washtenaw County Building Inspection: (734) 222 - 3900

Building Department Office Hours & Location
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm (Closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm daily.)

Tilden R. Stumbo Civic Center
7200 S. Huron River Dr.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197


What do I have to get a permit for?

Any new structures such as a home, addition, garages, shed, deck, or any structural changes. Any change of current use of area within a home would require permits (e.g. finishing a basement to provide habitable space, creating a bedroom from an existing space). Nonstructural repairs and renovations within a home, or replacement of existing fixtures do not require a permit (replacement of cabinets, counters, flooring, painting, awnings attached to the home, replacement of electrical and plumbing fixtures).


Roof Installation/Repairs

Siding Installation/Repairs

Window & Exterior Door Installation/Repairs

Plumbing Installation/Repairs

Mechanical Installation/Repairs

Furnace Installation/Repairs

Air Conditioning Installation/Repairs

Water Heater Installation/Repairs

Irrigation Systems

Water/Sewer Lines Installation/Repairs

Electrical Installation/Repairs (except replacement of fixtures, switches and outlets)

Ypsilanti Township strongly recommends that electrical installation and repairs be performed by State of Michigan licensed electrical contractors.

Permits are issued only to licensed Electrical Contractors, and Homeowners, for the dwelling in which they reside, or intend to reside. Homeowner Permits will not be issued to owners of rental properties.

What do I need a Zoning Permit for?


Exterior Concrete (Washtenaw County Building Inspections Contact for driveway approaches)

Sheds (A homeowner is allowed 1 shed under 100 square feet without a zoning permit. It must meet setback requirements.)

How deep do footings have to be?

42" for a house, deck, attached garage or detached garage/utility structure over 400 square feet.

What are basic deck requirements?

1. Footings 42" deep (undisturbed soil), treated material or naturally weather resistant woods must be used (pressure treated lumber, cedar, or plastic composite are all acceptable materials). The deck is to support 40 pounds live load.

2. Guard rails are to be a minimum of 36" high and able to support 200 pounds of pressure in any direction. Spindles are required if the deck or stairs are 30" above the finish grade. Spindle spacing should be such that a 4" sphere cannot pass through openings.

3. Stairways are to be a minimum of 3' wide with a graspable handrail no more than 2 5/8" wide, located between 34" - 38" in height, measured plumb from the leading edge of each tread.

4. Stair tread height must be a minimum of 4" and a maximum of 8 1/4". Stair tread depth must be a minimum of 9" measured from nosing to nosing. Steps cannot vary more than 3/8" in the "run" of the stairs.

5. Decks constructed on new homes where posts would be located in a "disturbed soil area" must be attached to the home. Typically, 30" or so around your foundation has been "over-dug", this area is "settling" fill material and in most cases, will not support your deck adequately. All foundations must be placed upon undisturbed load bearing soil.

What is the maximum number of roof coverings that I can place on my house before completely tearing off the roof to the existing boards?

Only two roof coverings can be placed on a house before complete replacement.

What is meant by a "change of use"?

An example of this would be changing a residence into an office, daycare, or Assembly Use. In this example there are some obvious differences in the possible dangers or liabilities that might take place that would be different from a residential use. Zoning would have to allow for this new type of use change. A new Certificate of Occupancy is required for any change of Use. Inspectors of all trades must conduct inspections in compliance with current code for the new intended use before Certificate of Occupancy could be issued.

What do I have to turn in for a building permit?

Four sets of building plans

A plot plan (showing to scale the dimension of lot, location and accurate size of all existing structures, location and size of proposed structure)

Copy of builder's license

Homeowner's affidavit (if pulling own permit)

Completed permit application

What specific items should be included on a set of building plans?

Aside from an accurate site plan, all plans should include the following when applicable:

1. Footings or foundation type and size

2. Front, rear and side elevations (views) of the proposed building with accurate elevations

3. A complete floor plan, which indicates accurate dimension of room sizes, use of space, header, window, and door sizes

4. A wall sectional that identifies the stud spacing, insulation type, interior finish, joist spacing and type of flooring, all structural supports, complete specifications for pre-engineered trusses, and all other engineered wood products (I-joist, LVL, and Glue lam)

Is it the building department's obligation to help design my plans?

No. It is the building department's job to check for zoning and code compliance. Any questions regarding design or any assistance needed in producing a drawing for review should be referred to an architect or registered design professional.

What kinds of inspections are generally required on a new home in Ypsilanti Township?

Inspections are required for water/sewer installation, footings, backfill (before), underground plumbing, rough plumbing, rough electric, rough heating, rough frame, insulation, drywall, Interior slabs and porches attached to the foundation, fireplace, final plumbing, final electric, final heating, and final building. Inspections for plumbing, mechanical, and electrical must be inspected and approved before inspection for rough/final building can be conducted.

What construction codes are being used in Ypsilanti Township?

The current codes in effect are:

2012 Michigan Building Code
2015 Michigan Residential Code
2014 National Electrical Code
2012 Michigan Plumbing Code
2012 Michigan Mechanical Code
2015 International Property Maintenance Code

Moving a Home?

Any structure intended to be moved into the Township would first have to be inspected. A moved structure must comply with all current codes.

Demolition Permit?

Any application for a demolition permit should include a notice of disconnect from all utilities (electrical, water, gas).

Things All Residents Should Know

It is our intention at the Ypsilanti Township Building Department to assist in completing all building projects as smooth as possible for you, the resident. Our goal is to insure that your project meets code standards for health, safety, and welfare, for yourself as well as the general public.

Protect Yourself!

When contracting work to be done to your home

1. Always hire a State of Michigan licensed contractor, licensed in the trade in which they are doing work.

2. Always have your contractor pull permits (If you, the homeowner, pull the permit and fill out the "Homeowner Affidavit", you, the homeowner are responsible for the work.)

3. Always make sure that your contractor shows you the copy of the permit, and displays it in a visible location.


Charter Township of Ypsilanti  •  7200 S. Huron River Dr. Ypsilanti, Mi 48197  •  (734) 484 - 4700

Mon. - Fri., 8:30am - 4:30pm  •  Closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm daily