Building Department

The Building Department is located on the top floor of City Hall.

Permits are required for most building projects within the City of Ely.  Please contact the building official for further information.


 Inspection Process

To Schedule Inspections call Doug Whitney at   218-504-5142     


Inspection Requirements
It shall be the responsibility of the owner or his representative to notify the City of Ely Building Department (218-504-5142 ) when the project is ready for each of the inspections listed, providing notice sufficiently in advance so as to allow adequate time for the inspection to be made without causing unnecessary delays in the construction. A 24 HOUR NOTICE SHALL NORMALLY BE CONSIDERED ADEQUATE, and inspections will be made during the hours of 8:00 A.M. through 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. You will always need the name, site address and permit number when calling to schedule. You may leave a request for an inspection on voice mail as long as you have complete information, but it will not be considered confirmed until you speak directly with a staff person.

  1. FOOTING INSPECTION: To be made after excavating and forms for footings are complete and any required reinforcing steel is in place. Inspection is to be made prior to pouring the footings.

  2. FOUNDATION INSPECTION: To be made after all foundation walls are constructed and damp-proofed, prior to backfilling. (For poured concrete foundations an inspection is required when the forms and reinforcing steel is in place, prior to pouring concrete).

  3. ROUGH IN HEATING INSPECTION: To be made prior to or at the same time as a frame inspection, rough-in warm air supplies and cold air returns will be reviewed at this time. No inspection will be performed on supplemental heating systems unless specifically requested.

  4. ROUGH IN PLUMBING INSPECTION: To be made as prescribed by the Minnesota Plumbing Code, Section 4715.28, prior to or at the same time as a frame inspection. Equipment, material, power and labor necessary for testing inspection shall be furnished by the plumbing contractor. This inspection consists of a visual and an air test on drain, waste and vent lines. (5 lbs. for 15 minutes.) Underground plumbing shall be left exposed for inspection prior to covering. For hot water radiant heat, a pressure test is required.

  5. ROUGH ELECTRICAL INSPECTION: To be made before installing insulation. For the permit (usually taken care of by electrical contractor) contact the Minnesota State Electrical Inspector Richard Jenko, at  218-258-2215  

  6. FRAME INSPECTION: To be made after the roof, all framing including windows, pan flashing, house wrap and stairs, fire blocking, and bracing are in place and all pipes, chimneys and vents are complete. Truss specifications shall be on site during frame inspections. All rough inspections to be completed prior to or at the same time as framing inspection. Fireplaces must be inspected and the manufacturer's installation instructions should be on site for inspection.

  7. INSULATION AND VAPOR BARRIOR INSPECTION: To be made before the sheetrock is applied.

  8. LATH INSPECTIONS FOR EXTERIOR STUCCO OR MASONRY VENEER shall be made after water resistive barriers, lath, and weeps are in place and before any plaster or veneer is applied.

  9. SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION: On any project which includes the installation of a sewage disposal system, this inspection shall be made when all components of the system, beyond the foundation, have been installed, and before any part of the system is covered. (See septic permit for list of all inspections required during installation). If the property is served by city sewer and water, contact the city office for the name and number of the person who will inspect the hookups.

  10. FINAL PLUMBING INSPECTION: To be made as prescribed by the Minnesota Plumbing Code, Section 4715.28. Equipment, material, power, and labor necessary for inspection and testing shall be furnished by the plumbing contractor. This is a visual inspection after all fixtures are placed and includes a manometer test.

  11. FINAL ELECTRICAL INSPECTION: To be made before occupying the structure. Contact Electrical Inspector (See number 5 above for name and number).

  12. FINAL HEATING INSPECTION: To be made after all heating and ventilating equipment, controls, grilles/diffusers are installed. Gas lines shall be tested by a manometer test. Equipment and labor for test shall be furnished by the heating contractor.

  13. FINAL INSPECTION: To be made after building is completed and ready for occupancy. If the building has an onsite septic system, our office must receive an “As Built Record” from the septic system installer. A certificate of occupancy (CO) will be issued upon the request of the owner.