For all its beauty, people love to move and build here.
To keep the Valley Isle from becoming over-built with different types of structures, Maui has a series of building codes to control unfettered construction. The codes are designed to govern the design, construction, repair or alteration, and maintenance of structures of all kinds to protect the occupants, as well as public safety, health, and welfare.
For most projects, you’ll need a permit to build in Maui for most projects to comply with these codes.
The Maui County Website states, “A building permit is required for the construction, alteration, moving, demolition, repair, and use of any building or structure within the county.” This broad statement means that just about anything you’re interested in the building will need a permit.
Maui, and the entire state of Hawaii, have codes that are specific to the particular geography. This includes provisions for things like earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as guidelines for new construction to fit in with the architectural style. This can include things like setbacks and heights. The County of Maui is especially concerned about protecting the natural environment, cultural resources, and historic areas.
Remodeling will also require a permit, as well as remediation of unpermitted work (unless you’re applying for an “after the fact” building permit.)
Just like putting something up, you’ll need a permit to take it down. Why? Basically for the same reason to get a building permit.
Structures over 50 years of age are considered “historic,” and require specific permits and processes to document the work and to ensure that it’s carried out correctly.
In 2017, contractors began removing a historic wall on Lower Honoapiilani Road near Fleming Beach. The intent was to take down parts of it, repair it, and then replace the historic rocks, but the work started prior to the issue of any permits.
An existing structure that was “legally erected” that was damaged during a disaster or civil defense emergency that resulted in a proclamation from the governor. The structure must be registered as damaged during the emergency through the Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
Prior to issuance, the Development Services Administration and the Department of Planning must first review and approve the permit.
However, anything that was “illegally constructed,” that is, without a permit, is not eligible under emergency permits. Non-permitted work still has to go through the process of applying for and obtaining the proper building permits, and the owner is still responsible for them.
Projects That Don’t Require A Permit to build in Maui
Even with the requirement of a permit for “any building or structure within the county,” there are some projects that do not require a permit in Maui, including:
- Interior work such as painting, wallpaper, flooring, shelving, or cabinet installation
- Single-story detached accessory buildings of 12-0 square feet or less that are primarily used as playhouses, tool sheds, and other similar uses
- Playground equipment, i.e., swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, dugouts, chain-link fences, and the like
- Agricultural buildings less than 200 square feet
- Fences under six feet
- TV and radio antennas for residences
- Retaining walls under six feet of total height and with three feet or less of retainage between the finish grade on each side
- “Temporary tents” used for camping and private family events
- Temporary structures used in conjunction with legally permitted construction, such as jobs site offices, tool sheds, and fences.
- Property site work, such as planter boxes, sidewalks, curbs, and parking lots
- Swimming pools that are above-ground and prefabricated
Note that this is not a complete list of projects that do not need a permit. Consult with your architect or builder if you’re unsure.
Permit to Build in Maui For Your Construction Project? Call Pro Draft
When you’re ready to begin building, remodeling, or adding to your current property, call us. Pro Draft can help with architecture, drawings, blueprints, permits, and answer all of your questions before the first day of construction. We also offer project management services to our commercial clients to help keep the project on track and on budget. Call Pro Draft today at (808) 579-9050 or 1-800-499-4699 from the Mainland.