Do I need a permit or not?  See guidelines below:

Policy Proposal-Permit Requirement Guidelines for
One- and Two-family Dwellings

Address numbers
Permit not required:
Install, paint, mount or repair address numbers of neat contrasting color.

Alterations
Permit not required:
Install new or different floor coverings.
Remove a small portion of the kitchen cabinets
Minor change of the location of a stairway handrail.
Install a built-in cabinet, bookcase or hutch.
Replace one or two interior doors.
Install interior trim.
Install screen door.
Paint, wall paper or other similar installations.

Permit is required:
Install new common area door in a duplex.
Install new windows or exterior doors.
Change room openings in any way.
Change egress openings in any way.
Install a dropped or suspended ceiling.
Change the kitchen cabinet layout.
Finish a basement room.
Upgrade electrical circuits, fixtures, equipment and devices.
Relocate or add additional electrical circuits, fixtures, equipment and devices.
Relocate bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures.
Relocate plumbing water supply or drain and vent piping.
Add additional insulation and new wall board.

Basement drainage
Permit not required:
Seal or coat an interior basement wall.
Add soil around dwelling to change direction of drainage.
Install eave troughs.

Permit is required:
Install a basement drainage system with a sump pump and pit.


Driveways and sidewalks
Permit not required:
Construct sidewalks.
Permit is required:

Electrical
Permit not required:
Repair or replace an electrical device (switch or receptacle)
Replace a damaged light fixture.

Permit is required:
Install electrical service or circuit to a detached garage.
Install a new electric water heater to replace a gas water heater.
Install a new electric cook top or oven to replace a gas unit.
Install a new electric baseboard room heater.
Install a new circuit for a new light fixture, device, piece of equipment, receptacle or switch.
Relocate an existing light fixture, device, piece of equipment, receptacle or switch.

Exterior Decks, Platforms, Landings, Patios, Steps and Stairways.
Permit not required:               (Note:  In any 12 month period)
Repair or replace some of the deck surface.
Repair or replace less than ½ of the stair stringers or treads.
Repair or replace less than ¼ of the joists.
Repair or replace less than ¼ of the balusters.
Repair or replace ½ of the guardrails or handrails.
Construct an exterior step or stairway of one or two risers.  (The code still applies).

Permit is required:
Replace or reconstruct an existing structure.  (The codes have changed)
Relocate an existing deck, stairway or other.   (It must meet updated code when relocated)
Extend or reconfigure an existing deck, stairway or other.
Construct missing guard rails or handrails on an existing structure.

Exterior yard or lot drainage
Permit not required:
Add soil around dwelling to change direction of drainage.
Install eave troughs.
Construct flower beds or landscape structures 
Permit is required:

Fencing
Permit not required:
Replace broken or decayed boards if less than ¼ of total fence.
Paint, stain or apply preservative treatment.
Permit is required:
Replace or reconstruct an existing fence.

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

Permit not required:
Insulate or seal existing duct work.
Repair or replace damaged grills or registers.
Repair or replace damaged ductwork.
Repair or replace a bathroom ventilation fan motor.
Install a window mounted room air conditioner.
Replace an existing damaged electric baseboard heater with a similar wattage unit.

Permit is required:
Modify, alter or extend existing duct work.
Modify, alter or extend existing hydronic or steam piping or registers.
Install a new furnace, boiler, heat pump or any other similar piece of equipment. 
Install a new wall mount unit heater or any other similar piece of equipment.
Install a replacement heating, ventilating or air conditioning unit.
Install a new fireplace or fireplace insert.
Install new electric baseboard units.
Install a new bathroom ventilation fan unit.
Install a new electric circuit for a window mounted air conditioner.
Install or modify gas piping for any of the above.

Gas piping
Permit not required:
Connect a new or different gas cooking appliance to existing gas piping.

Permit is required:
Install any new gas piping.
Extend existing gas piping to a new location.
Relocate existing gas piping.
Repair or replace damaged, deteriorated, or rusted gas piping.
Replace existing gas piping with larger, higher capacity gas pipe.

Insulating
Permit not required:
Install insulation in the rim joist area.
Seal gaps and holes near the foundation.
Install weather stripping on doors and windows.
Insulate a water heater.

Permit is required:
Install additional blown insulation in the attic

Landscaping
Permit not required:
Add soil around dwelling to change direction of drainage.
Construct flower beds or landscape structures.

Plumbing 
Permit not required:
Repair or replace a valve or faucet.
Repair or replace an existing fixture
Repair or replace an existing garbage disposal, dishwasher or clothes washer.
Clean and reseal or caulk a tub or shower.

Permit is required:
Relocate an existing fixture
Install any water heater
Install a basement drainage system with a sump pump and pit
Install a new garbage disposal
Install a new dishwasher
Install a new clothes washer
Install underground down spout collection or storm drains

Remodel
Permit not required:
Repair or replace damaged sheet rock or plaster if limited to a small area of the room.
Repair or replace damaged or rotted flooring if limited to a small area of the floor.
Apply paint, stain or other finishing products.
Install carpet or floor coverings.
Install ¼ inch thick or less subflooring under vinyl, linoleum or other similar products.
Install floor or wall tile.
Install cement board or other similar products under tile.
Reface kitchen cabinets.

Permit is required:
Upgrade electrical circuits, fixtures, equipment and devices.
Relocate or add additional electrical circuits, fixtures, equipment and devices.
Relocate bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures.
Relocate plumbing water supply or drain and vent piping.
Add additional insulation and new wall board.

Roof
Permit not required:
Repair or replace storm, wind or hail damaged roofing if under ¼ of total roof.
Repair roof flashing when applying new siding.


Permit is required:
Install new roofing on ½ or more of the roof.
Install new or replacement rafters or trusses.
Install new or replacement roof sheathing.

Siding, Soffit and Fascia
Permit not required:
Repair or replace soffit or fascia.
Repair or replace small sections of siding or less than ¼ of one wall.
Repair or modify siding when installing deck flashing.
Repair or modify siding trim when installing new windows or window trim.

Permit is required:
Install siding on more than ½ of one wall.

Tent or tent like structures
Permit not required:
Camping or recreational tents for temporary use.

Permit is required:
Fabric covered structures of any type intended for use longer than a total of 60 days. 


Wells and alternate water systems
The City does not issue well and and alternate water system permits.  Contact the WI DNR.  

Windows and Doors
Permit not required:
Paint the window frame and trim.  
Replace and re-glaze broken window panes.
Replace screens.
Replace maximum of two windows of equal size due to storm, wind or other damage.
Repair or replace basement windows of equal size.
Install a new storm door.
Replace damaged or worn interior doors within a one- or two-family dwelling.

Permit is required:
Install a basement egress window.
Install doors or windows