Text Size: A+| A-| A   |   Text Only Site   |   Accessibility

When do I need a building (structural) permit?


A permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, move or demolish any one- or two-family dwelling or related structure. For example:


  • Add a room.
  • Build, demolish, or move a carport, garage, or shed of more than 200 square feet.
  • Finish an attic, garage, or basement to make additional living space.
  • Cut a new window or door opening, or widen existing openings.
  • Move, remove, or add walls.
  • Apply roofing when all of the old roofing is removed and new sheathing is installed.
  • Build a stairway.
  • Build a retaining wall more than four feet high.
  • Building a deck more than 30 inches above grade.
  • Put up a fence more than six feet high.


If you are not sure if you need a permit, call the building department responsible for your area.


What information will I need to get a permit?


  1. The address and legal description of the property.

  2. A description of the work proposed.

  3. The owner's name, address, and phone number.

  4. If a contractor is doing the work, the contractor's name, address, phone number, and state license number.

  5. Four sets of plans for new construction of homes (three for remodeling) that clearly show all work on the building and where the building sits on the property.

    Typical plans include a site plan, floor plans, and cross sections showing construction details.


Who must review my project?


An Oregon-certified plans examiner will review your plans to ensure the proposed project meets the requirements of the One-and Two-Family Dwelling Specialty Code. If additional information or changes are necessary, you will be contacted by phone or mail and asked to furnish the information.


Who gets the permit?


As the owner of a one- or two-family dwelling, you can hire a contractor registered by the Construction Contractors Board or you can get the permit and do the work yourself. An immediate family member, a friend, neighbor, tenant, or other relative can legally work on your one- or two-family dwelling only if the work is not for compensation.


How long does it take to get a permit?


A plan review generally takes up to two weeks for one- and two-family dwellings. Time frames can change, depending on the complexity of the project and the completeness of the information you submit with your application.

When you submit your plans, you will be asked to pay the plan review fee. You may also pay the structural permit fee at that time or when the permit is issued.

When your plans have been reviewed, stamped "approved" and signed, one set will be returned to you with your permit.


When can work start?


When your permit has been issued and one set of your approved plans returned, work can begin. The permit and plans must be on the job site and available to the inspector.

To change your plans from what was originally approved, you must show the changes on two additional sets of plans and take them to the Building Codes Division field office or the jurisdiction responsible for your area. Do not mark the approved set.


How do I get an inspection?


Any work done under a permit must be inspected by a certified inspector.

You may call the inspection request line at the building department in your area within 24 hours of completion of any phase of the project. A minimum of 24 hours' notice is usually required for inspections.

When you call, you will be asked for the permit number, homeowner's name, project address, type of inspection needed, and date on which inspection is desired. Be prepared to furnish detailed directions to the job site.

Unless all of the work is outside and accessible, an adult needs to be at the site to provide access for the inspector.



Get Adobe Acrobat ReaderAdobe Reader is required to view PDF files. Click the "Get Adobe Reader" image to get a free download of the reader from Adobe. Available for Macintosh or Windows.