MN Rules Chapter 1300.0160  states “The applicant for a permit shall provide an estimated value at time of application.  Permit valuations shall include total value of all construction work, including materials and labor, for which the permit is being issued, such as electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing equipment and permanent systems.”

If a property owner is doing his/her own work, the valuation should include what it would cost to pay someone to perform the work.  If a property owner has all or some of the materials donated, second hand, or at a favored discount, the valuation should include the cost of the materials if they were purchased.  This is done to keep the permit fees fair for everyone, so that if two people were building the same deck, for instance, the cost of the permit would be the same – even if one person was building the deck himself with free materials, and the other had to pay a contractor and purchase materials.