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Bureau of Codes

About Us

The primary mission of the Harrisburg City Bureau of Codes is to ensure the safety of its residents by adhering to the building standards of Pennsylvania, enforcing the legislation approved by City Council and demonstrating a professional approach to every task. Inspections of construction processes, rentals, complaints and violations have all proven to enhance our efforts as part of our mission.

The Bureau processes all permits related to building construction and performs inspections required for building construction. We also issue licenses for electrician’s, plumber’s, rooming houses and oversee the Residential Rental Property Ordinance. 

The Bureau Health Officer enforces all state and local health code provisions relating to food establishments and also lead-based paint hazards in residential structures. Health licenses are issued for all food establishments.

The City Fire Code is found in E-Code 360. 

Important Documents & Links

Current Codes

Effective February 14, 2022 as amended and adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the City of Harrisburg follows the codes as set forth by the PA UCC. 

Codes set forth by the PA UCC are:

2018 IRC, ISPSC, IECC, IFGC, IMC, IPC, IEBC, IBC, IFC only where referenced in IBC Ch. 35, 2017 NEC (NFPA-2017) and the ICC A117.1- 2009

Contact the Deputy Codes Administrator for additional information at 717-255-6553. 

Please reference the attachment for a printable list of all current codes

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I speak with about heating complaints, mold, roof leaks and other violations by my landlord?

For heating complaints, you can contact the Bureau of Codes office; an inspector will be contacted immediately. At which time, the codes inspector will contact the landlord who will be given 24 hours to provide some form of heating. A landlord/tenant complaint form will need to be submitted for all other complaints. Please be advised, we do not take care of any mold issues, but will check for leaks that cause mold.

What are my first steps upon purchase of a rental property?

If the property is condemned you must secure permits to lift the condemnation within 30 days of purchase. If the property is not condemned you must register as a rental unit within 10 days of purchase. Forms for both are posted above.

Can I mail my permit application to the Bureau of Codes Administration?

Yes, as long as all the pertinent information and permit fees accompany your application. Your permit application will then be processed in the order it was received. Applications should be sent to: The Martin Luther King Government Center, Bureau of Codes, 10 N 2nd Street, Suite 205, Harrisburg, Pa. 17101. 

How long will my permit take to process?

In accordance with the adopted Statewide Building Code, residential permit applications must be approved within 15 business days, 5 days if it is stamped by a licensed design professional. Additional time if Historic Review Board is required. Commercial permit applications must be approved within 30 business days, additional time if Zoning or Historic Board review is required.

If I have a multi-phase job must I take a permit out for the entire job or can I take out permits as I go?

You may take out permits as you go, it’s called fast tracking, securing progressive permits for each phase of construction. As long as each phase has passed progressive inspections you may continue fast tracking until the job’s completion.

What if my project involves street excavation or a curb cut or sidewalk replacement?

You should Visit the City Engineering Office at 1002 N. 7th St. Harrisburg or contact by phone at: 717-255-3091

What if my project involves questions about water charges, water meters or tapping into the water or sewer line?

You must contact the Capital Region Water at 888-510-0606. 

What if I change contractors in mid-course of my project?

You must send the current contractor a certified letter stating their removal from the project with a copy of such being sent to the Bureau of Codes Administration. Your new contractor will be required to secure a new permit for the work with the knowledge that they will be assuming full responsibility for all past and future work on the project. 

What if my work involves the blocking of a public parking area?

You need to contact Parking Enforcement for more information at 717-255-3040. 

What if my project is in a municipal Historic District and I am doing exterior improvements?

Your project may require further review and approval by the City’s Planning Bureau to assure compliance with historic standards. You would have to contact the City’s Planning Bureau at 255-6419. 

What if my project exists in the 100-year flood plain?

It will depend on the nature of the work proposed. If it is new construction or extensive rehabilitation you will need to contact the Bureau of Planning for approval. If your work involves either repair or replacement of building components then a standard building permit will suffice.

What if for some reason I cannot complete the work proposed on my building permit application and I delay in finishing the work in a continuous manner?

Your building permit will expire after 6 months if work is not continuous. In this case you will have to reapply for a new building permit. 

What activity on my property requires a permit?

Permits are required for:

Demolition of any existing building or structure

Constructing any new building or structure

Additions or alterations to any existing building or structure

Changing the use and occupancy type of any building or tenant space within an existing building

Converting an unfinished space into habitable space

Constructing or renovating swimming pool, hot tub or spa

Constructing a sport court, example: basketball or tennis court

Adding solar panels to a building or erecting freestanding array of solar panels


Replacement windows and doors

Renovation of a Residential building

Exterior decks

Retaining walls 4 feet or greater in height

Signs – detached and attached to a building



Event tents

What trades require a license?

A trade license is required for:

Electrical work

Plumbing work

Do I need a City of Harrisburg Business privilege license?

All contractors doing work in the city of Harrisburg must have a Business Privilege License

Can I begin work on my property after an emergency situation or natural disaster before I submit a permit.

Yes, emergency repairs or replacement of equipment may be made without first applying for a permit if a permit application is submitted to the building code official within 3 business days of the repair or replacement.


10 N. 2nd St. Suite 205

Harrisburg, PA 17101

Mon – Fri  8am – 4pm




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