Building Permits

Getting the Permits

Please click on the PDF links below to fill out the required Building Permit Application or Trade Permit you wish to obtain.

Applications can be dropped off at City Hall or mailed to:
City of Johnston
Building Department 
6221 Merle Hay Rd 
P.O. Box 410 
Johnston, IA 50131

You can submit applications by email to: BuildingDepartment@cityofjohnston.com 

*If you do not receive a confirmation response the application has been received within 24hrs you will need to follow up using one of the other submittal options.

Applications must be submitted with all required drawings, site plans and additional forms needed. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. A typical review may last up to, if not more; 7 working days. Once plans are approved we can happily accept most Permit Fee Payments with a credit card over the phone.

Site plans can be reviewed by visiting the Polk County website

Trade Permits
Trade permit application (PDF) (Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical) 

Building Permits
Building permit application (PDF) (addition, fence, pool/hot tub, basement finish, remodel/repairs) 


Accessory Building Permit Application (PDF)

Deck/Pergola Application (PDF)

New Residential Home Application Packet (PDF)

All certificates of occupancy require a minimum of two business days to produce. Plan your final inspections accordingly. 

All building permits must be submitted with a site plan.

Site Plan Checklist:

  • North arrow
  • Adjacent street names 
  • Documented property lines
  • The footprint of proposed and existing structures with dimensions of proposed structures 

The following information is available to assist you in preparing and supplying the appropriate information for your permit:

Plans that will use engineered wood products are required to contain:

  • Detailed plans showing the layout
  • Correct beam sizing
  • Proper span size of truss
  • Floor or ceiling joist (stamped)
  • Indicate blocking, bracing, and re-enforcement

Determining Fees

Fees for most permits are calculated by determining the value added to the property or the cost of construction. This value is used with the fee tables as published in the appropriate code governing the work.

Flat Fees

There are some routine items that are “flat fee” permits such as fences, seasonal or temporary pools, and non-covered decks between 1-300 square feet in size.

How to get a Quote

We are happy to help estimate the permit fees for a project but until an application is submitted and reviewed an exact fee cannot be given. All fees are calculated by the building official.

Site Maintenance

The contractor will be responsible for all debris on the site and should take all necessary measures to ensure it does not blow away from the site. Subcontractors hauling debris will be required to cover all loads and a trash containment system is required at all sites; approved styles are:

  • Dumpster type container
  • Trailer
  • Fenced in containment area

Site maintenance will become a part of all inspections as well as inspections on a random basis.

Concrete Regulations

The City of Johnston uses the National Weather Service’s 24-hour prediction to reflect when/how concrete may be poured as follows:

  • 10° or below - No concrete may be poured
  • 25° or below - Concrete must be covered for a minimum of 48 hours

Stormwater Management Development Standards

Information on stormwater calculations, grading permit information and stormwater management development standards can be found here.