BSD Entrance

If you are planning any new building or remodeling projects this year, please contact the Building Safety Division (formerly called the Building Department) before you start.  Let us help to make your project flow smoother.  All permit applications can be obtained from the Building Safety Division, now located in the east end of the Niles Fire Department Complex at 1345 E. Main Street.  Diane Powers, the Building Safety Division's Executive Assistant, will be happy to assist you. 
Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Sign, Zoning Compliance Permits, Landfill Vouchers, and Garage Sale Permits are obtained from the Building Safety Division.
Meet Caleb O'Toole, City of Niles Building Inspector

What Do City Building Inspectors Really Do? 
Just as the contractor generally seeks to make a profit, the homeowner tries to get construction and remodeling work done as inexpensively as possible. So it's the job of the building inspector to give an unbiased opinion to both contractors and homeowners as to what is acceptable and required for all building jobs.
The inspector's primary function is to ensure everyone's safety by insisting that uniform codes and standards of the building industry are used in all construction and remodeling projects. Electrical, mechanical and building codes are put in place so that everyone knows what the expected result of a project should be. This requires the inspector to have a good knowledge of many different areas regarding building construction. And as we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch. That's where the permit fees come in.
At the time, permit fees might seem costly, but in actuality, they only amount to 1 percent or less of the total value of the project. It's very difficult to get an unbiased opinion at that price (especially one with your best interest and safety at heart). The permits cover the cost of the Building Safety Division's operations. In Michigan, as in most other states, the operations of the building offices of a city are not specifically paid by taxes but rather by the generation of revenues through permit fees.
So the next time you see your friendly building inspector, don't think of him as the guy who's going to charge you all sorts of fees. Think of him as a person who may save your life and the lives of your family members by making sure the building you work or live in meets uniform code standards. Building Inspectors Ensure Safety.

Building Safety Division's Executive Assistant Can Help

Diane Powers

The City’s Building Safety Division offers more services than you might realize.  Come in or call Diane Powers for questions regarding the issuance of building, mechanical, or electrical permits. This division also has lots of information to help you with garage sales, sign, pool or deck installation & fence permits. If you are not sure if your project requires a permit or if you need fee information or want to schedule an inspection on an existing permit, give Diane a call.  Do you have questions regarding the registration of your rental property?  Need to schedule your annual rental inspection?  Have a question regarding code enforcement complaints? Call Diane directly at 269-683-2374  ext. 5050 or e-mail her at  She’ll be happy to help.

Looking for a permit?  The building permit can be found to your left under the "Building Permit" tab.  Please keep in mind that owners of houses or buildings located in our Local Historic District may need additional consideration when building or altering their property.  For more information regarding our Local Historic District and its requirements, visit our webpage here.