Project Guide For Second Story And Dormer Addition

This guide is intended to provide you with an overview of the permitting process for second story and dormer additions to your house.

Help Me Get Started . . .

Before you start your project, you need to know what regulations apply to your property and what factors may impact your project. You'll need to consider:

Historic Landmark Status

If your property is in a local historic landmark district or is a designated landmark structure, the Landmark Preservation staff must complete a design review of your project before you begin. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine your property’s landmark status. Changes to the exterior of landmarked properties require approval from Landmark Preservation prior to the issuance of appropriate zoning, building, curb cut, or revocable permits.   Visit the design review web page for more information.


Zoning establishes standards for things like the size and location of structures and acceptable uses for your property. Before you begin construction, you need to be sure your project is in compliance with Denver's Zoning Ordinance. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine the zoning for your property. Once you've found how your property is zoned, you should look up your zone district in the Denver Zoning Code to see what that means for you.


Certain parkways and boulevards are specifically designated by ordinance to preserve their unique character. Each designated parkway has its own right-of-way width and regulations of setback distance of structures and signs. If you are unsure if you live along a designated parkway, use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine your status.

Building Code

Denver Building Code provides minimum standards for building in order to safeguard public safety, health and welfare.


Location of Existing Sewer Lines

A plumbing contractor can help you locate the sewer lines on your property. If you plan to build a new structure over or within 2 feet of the existing sanitary sewer, you will need to replace the sanitary sewer with approved materials. Contact the Department of Public Works at 303-446-3759 for more details.


Listed in the order they must be obtained. All permits must be in hand and at site before work may begin.

  1. Current City of Denver Contractor’s License Affidavit of Requirements for Owner-Occupier Permits (see Issuance of Owner-Occupier Permits (PDF) for more information). 
  2. Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness – if the project is in a designated historic district or landmark property. Visit the Design Review web page for more information.
  3. Parkways Review – if your property is along a designated parkway and the project encroaches on the parkway setback
    You will need: A completed Parkway Exception Request form and a site plan that includes property lines, parkway setback from property line, proposed type, location and dimensions of encroachment into parkway setback, location of existing residence on property and labeled streets. To get a copy of the form and additional information, contact
  4. Zoning Use Permit (PDF) (Commercial Zoning) – If you are changing the use of the structure and/or adding a dwelling unit, staff must first determine what is permitted under your current zoning.

The above must be in hand before you apply for the following:

  1. Zoning Review*
  2. #1R Building Permit (Log-In or Plan Review)* 
  3. Wastewater Sewer Use and Drainage Permit (SUDP) (Log-In or Plan Review)*
    *For a complete list of required documentation for zoning and plan review, please download the checklist (PDF) for new construction, addition or change of occupancy work.
  4. #11 Forced-Air Furnaces, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Gas Piping Permit (Quick Permit) - required for new ductwork
  5. #4 Plumbing Permit (Quick permit) - required for new or relocated plumbing fixtures
  6.  #3 Electrical Permit (Quick permit) - required for new or relocated electrical outlets or light fixtures
  7. #2 Roofing Permit (Quick Permit), including information on the number and type of shingles

SUDP application and materials may be submitted by email ( or  online via e-Plan.

#2, #3, #4 and #11 permit applications may be downloaded, filled out before they are submitted and applied for on the same day.

Sign in online or at the kiosk once for zoning review vand #1R permits (Log-In or Plan Review) and once for all Quick Permits. 

Estimate Fees
Zoning and Building permit fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials. 

For Wastewater sewer permit,  there is a $100 application fee plus other fees may apply.

There are no fees for Parkways or Landmark review.

View the permit fee schedules to estimate the fees required for your project. 

Pay Fees
Fees can be paid in person at our cashier on the 2nd floor of the Wellington Webb Building. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card, cash and personal checks at our counter.

To pay by mail, send check to:
Development Services
Wellington Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., 2nd Floor
Denver, Colorado 80202
All construction set of documents, permits and inspector signature card are to be available on site upon request.

Typical inspections for a second story addition or dormer addition include the following:

  • Pre construction meeting
  • 2nd story attachment, basement structural floor
  • Footing
  • Foundation wall
  • Foundation perimeter drain
  • Waterproofing
  • Frost wall insulation
  • Exterior Sheathing
  • Underground Electrical
  • Rough utilities (Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical)
  • Frame
  • Roofing
  • Exterior Lath
  • Batt insulation
  • Blown insulation
  • Drywall
  • Pressure test
  • Final utilities (Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical)
  • Final construction inspection


NOTE:  The inspections listed above may vary depending on the complexity of your project. 

Who Will Be Doing the Work?

Decide whether you plan to complete the project yourself or hire a licensed contractor to complete the job for you.

Do It Yourself

Do-It-YourselfYou may need to pass a Home owners exam  to demonstrate proficiency in specific trades in order to get a permit to do the work yourself. 

You will also need to meet a set of requirements established by the Denver Building Code and the Building Department Policy ADMIN 131.3 governing homeowner completed work.  This policy can be found on our Building Codes, Forms and Policies page. 


Contractors Use the Contractor license search to see if your contractor has obtained a contractor's license from the City and County of Denver. 


To view other considerations, see our Doing the Work Yourself page.

Home Projects

Every project is different.  Depending upon the complexity of your project, the permit requirements and inspection process may vary from the information presented in this guide.  If you have any questions, please contact us.


What you need to know for your project!

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View property details including zoning, landmark status, inspector districts and more.