Building in Richland County


This is the second of a series of building articles to provide information that relates to the land use requirements and regulations. More information can be found at or for assistance contact the Building Inspection Office at 115 2nd ST SE, Sidney, MT 59270 or call (406) 433-2809

What are permits and why do I need one?

Permits are the way Richland County keeps track of construction. This is to ensure that all construction in the county is safe. The safety of the occupants of buildings is the primary reason for having construction codes; to find out what codes the county has adopted please visit or contact the Building Inspector at (406) 433-2809.

There are several different types of construction permits; building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical. Most people need more than one type of permit. The county only gives out building permits. The rest should be obtained from the State of Montana. The best place for information on receiving permits from the state is online at or call (406) 841-2056.

Obtaining permits is just the first step in the process. In this step a person may need to submit plans to show what improvements are being made. Once the plans are approved you are required to build the project to those plans. If any material alterations or changes are made to the plans they must be made with the Building Department’s approval.

How do permits protect a home?

Permits ensure that a certified inspector will inspect the construction project or installation. Inspections make sure work is done safely and to code. When a city or county inspector approves work, a homeowner can get questions answered and know that the work has been checked for any safety violations. This is of particular value to the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t make installations every day. Incorrect installations can result in house fires, flood damage, and/or structural problems.

When can I start work?

When an actual construction permit is issued to you, work can begin. The permit must be available on the job site and available to the inspector.

Where do I get a permit?

Building permits are issued by Building Inspector, Alton Hillesland, at 115 2nd Street SE. The Building Office is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or you can find the permit application online at This application will still need to be taken to the Building Inspector for approval. For electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits please contact the State of Montana at or call (406) 841-2056.


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