The Michigan Building Code states "Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain a required permit."
In general, exterior work, fence, siding, windows, roofing, and concrete require a permit. Any interior work that requires a structural change will require a permit. Interior cosmetic work does not require a permit (i.e. painting, replacing tile, carpeting).