When is a permit required?

A building permit is generally required when changes or alterations are made to a residential building or when any new construction is undertaken. Mechanical and plumbing work also require permits and inspections. Electrical permits are obtained at Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

Examples of when permits are required:

  • New construction of a single-family dwelling
  • New construction of a duplex or accessory dwelling unit
  • Additions, alterations, and remodels to existing structures
  • Adding a garage, carport, deck over 30” in height, or a covered patio
  • Adding or removing wall(s)
  • Converting basement, attic, or garage into living space
  • Changing the footprint of an existing structure in any way
  • Adding a second story
  • Reroofing/siding
  • Window replacement
  • Sheds over 200 square feet
  • Fence over 42”
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Water heaters, toilets, and sinks
  • Retaining walls over 4” in height 
  • A/C units, furnace, or ductwork
  • Woodstove or pellet stove
  • Grading (moving or disturbing) earth over 50 cubic yards

Examples of when a permit is not required:

  • Fences less than 42” in height
  • Decks less than 30” in height
  • Sheds 200 square feet or less
  • Painting, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work
  • Patio and concrete slabs on the ground
  • Window replacement (same size)

Show All Answers

1. Why is a permit required?
2. When is a permit required?
3. What is needed to apply?
4. What is the Residential Building Permit Review Process?
5. What are setbacks?
6. When is Structural Engineering Required?
7. Do I need a permit for electrical, mechanical, and/or plumbing work?