In Clark County, you need permits and follow-up inspections for new residential construction and for most additions and remodeling projects. A permit technician can help you determine your project requirements and related fees.
Fees are established by county ordinance and are calculated automatically by computer during the application process. You will receive a fee estimate during your initial visit to our office and a final cost when you submit your application. Permit fees cover the cost of processing, plan review and inspections.
Small remodeling projects
Decks - In general, decks require permits; however, decks not exceeding 200 square feet in area, that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve a required exit door are exempt from permit. All decks must meet minimum setback requirements and be constructed to building code standards even if a permit is not required.
Fences - Fences seven feet or less in height do not require a permit.
Garden sheds, tool sheds, and play structures - Structures less than 200 square feet do not require a permit.
Lawn sprinklers - A permit is required for the backflow prevention between the sprinklers and the water supply.
Retaining walls - A permit is required for retaining walls over four feet in height, when measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, and/or for walls that support a load (i.e. slope, driveway, footings). Engineering by a Washington State registered engineer is required for all retaining walls requiring a permit.
Roofing - Re-roofing permits are required for all buildings in Clark County. A separate permit may be required if structural work such as replacing roof sheathing is necessary. Generally, a maximum of two layers of roofing may be applied to a residential structure.
Siding and windows - A permit is required to replace any windows or siding on a structure.
Water heaters, toilets, and sinks - A plumbing permit is required for installation of any plumbing fixtures.
Building a home
- Homebuilder submits application, pays plan review and other fees
- Plans examiner reviews plans
- Permit technicians process application
- Permit technician issues permit
- Work may begin
- Inspector inspects construction at important stages
- Permit technician issues Certificate of Occupancy
For additions and new construction, required permits such as plumbing, heating and cooling, water/sewer connection and road approach will be included in a Residential Combination Permit. Lawn sprinklers and woodstoves require separate permits. In some instances, environmental permits may also be required.
If your project involves electrical work, connection to public water or sewer, or connection to an existing septic system, you will need additional permits and approvals from other agencies.
- Residential building permit application and submittal checklist - Checklist for building and plot plans and other items needed to submit your application.
- Residential plot plan - Checklist and example for simple plot plan for subdivisions and lots less than one acre, no environmental constraints, and no well/septic. Plot plans are not required for interior remodels.
- Residential construction guide - Worksheet and construction drawings that can be used for additions or one-story free standing structures of 800 square feet or less.
- Residential plan review - Partial list of common code items.
- Sample residential plan - A plan set showing typical requirements.
- Erosion control plan - All land disturbing activities require a signed erosion control agreement before a building permit is issued.
- Fire separation requirements - Requirements for buildings on residential lots.
- Structural design information - Structures not conforming to the prescriptive criteria must meet these specifications.
- Construction details - Typical details provided for common code requirements.
LEAN Review Process and Tutorial
The Permit Center is re-instating the LEAN review process effective December 1, 2020. A soft start began in October.
LEAN will be required for all lots that are eligible which are lots within a recorded subdivision or short plat that meet other LEAN eligibility requirements. LEAN is only available for new home construction permits. LEAN provides a quicker review, approval and issuance timeframe which allows you to start construction of your new home faster.
LEAN certification is required to submit an application packet for the LEAN review process beginning December 1.
Accurately prepared applications with no corrections are issued and ready for pickup within the scheduled five-day turnaround timeframe.
A LEAN review process tutorial is now available to guide you through the process. This tutorial covers timelines, eligibility, submittal guidelines, and examples. When you complete the tutorial, you will access a certificate for downloading and printing. A copy of your certificate must be included with each new home construction permit application packet submittal.
Master Plan Program
Building Safety's Master Plan Program offers production-oriented builders an opportunity to have repetitive models pre-reviewed for more efficient permitting. The final Master Plan is stored as an electronic file to improve access and efficiency.