Residential permits

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When is a residential permit 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 or deck/patio cover
  • Adding or removing walls
  • Converting basement, attic or garage to a living space
  • Changing the footprint of an existing structure in any way
  • Adding a second story
  • Sheathing repair or replacement
  • Adding or replacing a driveway or RV pad

When is a residential permit NOT required?

Work exempt from a permit still must meet building code requirements as well as local code requirements such as  setbacks, heights, etc.

  • Fences 7’ tall or less, footing must be inward facing
  • Decks 30” or less above grade, except when used for hot tub or pool
  • Sheds 200 sq. ft. or less, must meet setbacks and easements
  • Painting, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work
  • Patio and concrete slabs on the ground grade, may not be built on easements

Types of Permits

  • NHC – new home construction
  • ADS – additional dwelling structure, accessory to an existing residential structure
  • ARS – minor alterations, repair, specialty
  • DEM – demolition
  • MBH – mobile/manufactured home

For additions and new construction, required permits such as plumbing, heating and cooling, water/sewer connection and road approach will be included in ADS (additional dwelling space) and NHC (new home construction) permits. Lawn sprinklers and woodstoves require separate permits. See our residential forms and checklists page for more information.

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. See Residential Permit Information handout.

    Applying for a permit

    This video will walk you through the process of applying online for your New Home Construction permit. Use our forms and checklists and follow our application guidelines.

     

    Small 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. See our Garden sheds, gazebos, and play structures handout.

    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. See our Roofing, siding, and windows permit handout.

    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. See our Plumbing application

    Electrical permits

    Clark County does not issue electrical permits. Visit lni.wa.gov/licensing-permits/electrical/electrical-permits-fees-and-inspections/ or call 360.896.2300.