Project Guide for Evaporative Cooler / Swamp Cooler

This guide is intended to provide you an overview of the permitting process for installing an evaporative cooler / swamp cooler.

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

Any project that involves changes to the exterior of landmark structures or properties in historic landmark districts must be reviewed by Landmark Preservation staff before you begin. The appropriate zoning, building, curb cut, or revocable permits needed for the project will be issued only after design review has been completed and the project has been approved. To determine your property’s landmark status, use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right. Then, visit the Design Review web page for more information.

 

Zoning

Zoning establishes standards for things such as 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 the Denver Zoning Code. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine the zoning for your property. In the results, click on your zone district for descriptions and definitions; then, click on your neighborhood context for more information on zoning in your area. 

As applies to this project, zoning limits where an outdoor unit may be located on your property.



Building Code

Denver Building Code provides minimum standards for building in order to safeguard public safety, health and welfare. The permitting and inspection process ensures that all home projects meet these standards and that all dwellings are safe and habitable at the time of construction.

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/Homeowner’s Exam 
  2. Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness – if the project is in a designated historic district or landmark property

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

  1. Zoning Permit (Residential Same Day Review)
    You will need: 
    - Site plan including proposed location for swamp cooler unit on property. Sample site plans: interior lot (PDF), corner lot (PDF).
  2. #1R Building Permit (PDF) (Residential Same Day Review) – if you are cutting a hole in the exterior of the home
    You will need: 
    - Description of construction involved in installation of the swamp cooler
    - Stamped letter of structural integrity, if unit will be on roof of building
  3. #11 Forced-Air Furnaces, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Gas Piping Permit (PDF) (Quick Permit)
  4. #3 Electrical Permit (PDF) (Quick Permit)
  5. #4 Plumbing Permit (PDF) (Quick permit)

#1R #3, #4 and #11 permits may be downloaded and filled out before they are submitted.
Zoning, #1R, #3, #4 and #11 permits may be applied for on the same day.
Sign in online or at the kiosk once for zoning permit (Residential Same Day Review), once for #1R (Residential Same Day Review) and once for all Quick Permits.

Estimate Fees
Zoning and Building Department fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials.  View the permit fee schedules to estimate the fees required for your project. There are no fees for Landmark review.

NOTE: When Same Day Review is required for the #1R permit, a "walk through" fee of $100 may be charged in addition to the bulding permit fees, depending on the valuation of the 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

Approved construction set of documents and permits are to be available on site upon request.

 

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. 

Contractor

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.

DevelopDENVER

What you need to know for your project!

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