Residential Projects

Building Inspector at WorkFrequently Asked Questions 

When do I need a permit?

Permits are required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, convert, replace or move a building or electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing systems.


  • Adding a room
  • Building, demolishing or moving a carport, garage, or shed more than 200 square feet in area
  • Finishing an attic, garage or basement to make additional living space
  • Cutting a new window or door opening, or widening existing openings
  • Moving, removing or adding walls
  • Applying roofing material when all of the old roofing material is removed and new sheathing is installed
  • Building a stairway
  • Building a deck more than 30 inches above grade (residential deck guide)
  • Putting up a fence more than 6 feet high
  • Moving more than 50 cubic yards of earth or any amount of cut/fill on sites affected by waterways or slope hazards

What projects may I do without a permit?

Many minor projects do not require a permit on a one- or two-family dwelling.


  • Paving a walkway
  • Putting up shelving
  • Retrofitting insulation
  • Adding storm windows

Read more about projects that do not require permits

Apply for a Permit

Residential permit applications 

Apply for a permit online 

Links and Resources

Electronic Plan (ePlan) Review 

Residential Code Summary for Structural and Mechanical Requirements 

Residential Construction Submittal Packet 

Residential Permits Monthly Report 

More Information

Contact Permit Services with specific questions at 503-618-2845 or the Planner on Duty at 503-618-2780, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.