If you are doing a remodel and it touches the following functions you will need permit from the city. This is not all inclusive, there are many more. But check with your city for complete and accurate requirements.
1. Room additions - adding square footage to the home.
2. Doing any kind of Electrical work.
3. Doing any Gas work.
4. Plumbing changes should be permitted. But if you add a extra water tap outside, this may not be problem.
5. All structural changes to the home - this includes adding decks.