Building Permit Requirements

Permitting Guidelines

The following are guidelines for residential construction/improvements only. All applications, required documents, and fees must be submitted to the Building & Code Enforcement Officer for approval:

Building Permits:

Needed for: additions, attached decks, swimming pools, and structural changes to the home. Please complete a Building Permit Application and submit with the following information:

  • Copy of your property survey
  • Copy of your contractor’s worker’s compensation insurance
  • Detailed set of building plans including a cross-section design*. 
  • (engineered or stamped drawings are not necessary)
  • These plans should be detailed enough that someone else could construct your project for you. *Not needed for a swimming pool*
  • Payment for permit (cost is calculated from construction costs)

Swimming Pools:

  • Non-corner lots. On non-corner lots, a swimming pool shall be located directly behind the applicant's dwelling and set back a minimum of 10 feet from all property lines.

  • Corner lots abutting two streets. On corner lots abutting two streets, a swimming pool shall be located behind the rear facade line of the applicant's dwelling and shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any non-street-abutting property line.

  • No swimming pool or appurtenances, including decks and shelters, shall be erected nearer to any property line than a building could be erected in the same use district as set forth in this chapter.

  • No swimming pool shall be so located as to interfere with the operation of a well or on-site septic system or to be located where there is a potential danger of a septic system discharging into the pool or onto the adjacent area around the pool.

  • No swimming pool or appurtenances shall be erected within a public right-of-way or municipal easement unless the applicant has first entered into a license agreement allowing the structure to be located within the public right-of-way under terms and conditions agreed to by Shaler Township and its Municipal Solicitor.


Must be at least 3 feet off your side and rear property lines provided it is not constructed on a corner or through lot. Descriptions of a corner or through lot can be found in Chapter 225, Attachment 1, Exhibits A & B. Sheds must also be under 144 sq ft in size
Please complete an Accessory Zoning Permit Application and submit with the following information:
  • Copy of your property survey
  • Copy of your contractor’s worker’s compensation insurance
  • $25 dollar permit fee


Can be placed on your property line, and can be up to 6 feet tall with the finished/nicer side facing out. No permit is needed. For fences on corner lots, OR in front of your property please call our office.

Helpful Hints for Decks: For assistance in designing a residential deck, you can visit and download the DCA 6 which is the Design for Code Acceptance 6.

Inspection and Occupancy

Once the permit is issued, inspections must be done at various phases of construction, depending on your project. You must give 24-hours’ notice to schedule an inspection.

1. Footer inspection – when forms are in place and prior to concrete being poured.
2. Foundation inspection – foundation walls and sill plate bolts (anchors) are to be inspected prior to framing.
3. Framing and mechanical inspection – After electrical and plumbing rough-in inspections are completed and before insulation. Inspection reports from electrical and plumbing rough-in must be provided to the building inspector
4. Electrical - Rough-in and final electrical inspections are required to be done by a third party agency certified by the State Department of Labor and Industry. Please call the Building and Zoning Department at 412-486-9700, ext . 216/222 for a listing of electrical inspectors approved by the Township.
5. Plumbing – Sewer, rough-in, final and stormwater. Arrangements should be made through the Allegheny County Plumbing Division at 412-578-8036. Plans/abstracts should be filed at the Plumbing Division office before inspections are called for.
6. Insulation – before the walls are covered
7. Wallboard (drywall) – before compound is applied
8. Final inspection – An occupancy permit will be issued after the structure is completed and prior to being occupied. All smoke detectors must be hard-wired with battery back-up. A “final electrical sticker” must be affixed to the electrical panel.

Failure to abide by the above rules will constitute a violation of the building code and you will be subject to a fine for each offense.
Please contact our office with specific questions related to your home improvement project

Allegheny County Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit Program (Act 132)

When Act 132 was signed into law Allegheny County Council amended the County Code of Ordinances, Division 4, by adding Article XI, entitled "Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit Program on November 29, 2006.  For more information visit Allegheny County Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit.
Permit Issues Cover
This program offers tax credits as incentives to new construction or renovation projects that build access for disabled individuals into residential housing. The total amount of the tax credit granted shall be the lessor of $2,500 (over a period of 5 years), or the amount of all increases in property taxes levied by Allegheny County as a result of the construction/renovation that is eligible for the Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit.