Step 6 - Permitting

6.2 DEFINE YOUR PROJECT: Does your residential project need a permit?

You may need several types of permits/approvals for your residential project depending on the complexity. Review the table below to identify which permits apply to your project.

If you are uncertain about whether your project requires a permit or if you have questions, contact the Building Safety Division at 509-585-4276.

Types of Projects Not Requiring a Permit
The following project types do not typically require miscellaneous residential permits or building permits before proceeding with work.
  • Detached accessory structures that do not exceed 200 square feet in floor area (must meet setback requirements and not encroach on or over any easement)
  • Retaining walls that do not exceed four feet in height (measured from the footing to the top of the wall)
  • Certain water tanks supported directly on-grade (check with the building department before proceeding)
  • Finish work including painting, tiling, carpeting, cabinetry, and similar light finish work that does not impact overall structural rigidity of the home
  • Prefabricated swimming pools less than 24 inches deep
  • Swings and other playground equipment
  • Window awnings that project no more than 54 inches from the wall and do not require additional support (must meet setback requirements and not encroach on or over any easement)
  • Garage sales
  • Temporary land uses that do not exceed ten days (may require a business license)
Stand-Alone and Miscellaneous Permits
The following permit types may be utilized when a construction trade is performed that does not require the issuance of a complete building permit, and typically represents minor repairs and alterations that do not affect structural systems.
  • Mechanical Permit – for the installation, maintenance, alteration, and inspection of mechanical systems utilized for heating, air, and fuel gas-fired appliances
  • Plumbing Permit – for the erection, installation, alteration, repair, relocation, and replacement of plumbing systems
  • Swimming Pool and Spas – for the installation, alteration, movement, renovation, replacement, repair and maintenance of pools and spas connected to a circulation system
  • Residential Miscellaneous Permits – for the installation, alteration, and repair of windows, siding, roof systems, and wood/pellet stoves
Stand-Alone and Miscellaneous Permits
A Residential Building Permit is required for all home remodels, alterations, and construction not otherwise covered under a stand-alone permit.

These tools are provided for guidance purposes and should not be used as a substitute for codes and regulations. The user is responsible for compliance with all requirements, regardless of whether they are referred to or contained within these documents.