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Design and Permitting

The design and permitting process can seem daunting to many. At Natural Environments Corporation, we are experts at drafting designs that follow local rules and regulations. With us by your side, you can get your project approved quicker, so you have permission to install it. As local landscapers with 40 years of experience, we’re very familiar with the permitting process and the applicable rules. We’ll let you know whether you need to get a permit for the design. Request a quote from us today. 

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What Is Permitting and Why Is it Necessary?

Permits are required on many projects to ensure compliance with local rules and regulations and to ensure compliance with safety standards. After the permits have been obtained, qualified government inspectors will periodically come to your property and examine the work to ensure that it is being constructed as shown on the approved plans. This process helps ensure that the project is constructed in a professional manner and that the completed product meets the current safety standards.

How Are Permits Handled?

If you don’t have a good roadmap, you’re unlikely to reach a fruitful outcome. Given this, step number one of the design and permitting process is to start off with a quality design that accounts for local rules and regulations. This will help the permitting process go smoothly since you won’t need to modify the design. The design process is also centered around the client’s needs, and should include:

  • The feasibility of the site: Not all projects work for every landscape. For example, you might want to install a pool but your yard may not be large enough to accommodate one. 
  • What the client wants: Since the design is for the client, it should focus on their desires. 
  • The aesthetic the client is looking for: The style you’re looking for will also affect the design.
  • The functionality of the design: Designs shouldn’t only be beautiful but also functional. For example, if you want a rain garden, the garden will need to be positioned so it can collect storm runoff. 
  • The maintenance needs: If the client wants a low-maintenance design, it should use materials that fit this need. 
  • The budget: The budget will affect the material choices and what’s possible for the design, so it is an important factor to consider. 


Ideally, the design should weigh all these factors and deliver. The design elements will be added to drawings, which are then submitted to your local government agency for approval. Once the design is approved, the installation process can begin. Sometimes local governments will send someone to inspect the property and ensure the project is completed correctly.

What Happens if Design and Permitting Handled Correctly?

Considering that the design is the basis of the entire project, it is vital to get it done correctly. Making mistakes during the design can adversely affect the permitting and installation process down the line. When trying to get the permit, you’ll likely have to start and stop or fail to get the project approved altogether. It’s never a good idea to get someone inexperienced to handle the design and permitting process. 

Besides delays, they may also give incorrect advice on whether you need a permit or not. If you don’t get a permit when you need one, the project will be non-compliant and may be torn down. You also might be prevented from selling your property. Plus, when the project is installed, it likely won’t meet your expectations if it’s not handled by someone who’s skilled in design and permitting. That’s why you should never skip the most important step: to design it and create a plan. 

If you want help from skilled designers, request a quote from Natural Environments Corporation today.  

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Natural Environments Corporation Frequently Asked Questions

Not all projects require a permit, so yes, it is possible to build without a permit. Which projects require a permit and which ones don’t are determined by your municipality. We recommend speaking with a skilled designer that understands local rules and regulations as they’ll be able to give advice for your situation. 

If you do need a permit, there is no way to avoid getting one. You’ll usually be charged a fine and forced to tear the project down. It’s also not a good idea to go without a permit since permits are designed to make your property safe and create safe working conditions for anyone building the project.  

As mentioned, permit requirements are determined by your local municipality, so the requirements vary depending on where you live. An experienced professional, like Natural Environments Corporation, can help you determine if a permit is needed for your project.

Typically, construction projects will require drawings that show the design to scale, including measurements and the materials that will be used. Usually, two copies are needed. 

Yes, in some cases, projects may require more than one permit. This is often the case when there is more than one government agency with rules governing your project. As an example, if you are building a deck on a property that is within a certain distance of a lake, you may need a building permit from the city and an erosion control permit from the local watershed district. Getting the proper permits can be complicated, so always engage a professional to guide you through this process. 

No, there is no difference between building and construction permits. They are just two different terms that refer to the same concept. 



Our landscaping services in Minneapolis St. Paul – Twin Cities include landscape design, retaining walls, boulder retaining walls, stone walls, rip rap, shoreline erosion control, patios, driveways, helical piers and more.


Phone: (763) 544-8002
Email: Contact us