Do you need a permit?
Permitting services are available online via this website and MyBuildingPermit.com. For details and information about our location and office hours, see our Customer Service Bulletin.
NOTE: Even if you don’t need a permit, your work must meet applicable code requirements.
Permits we offer in unincorporated King County
In general, you need a building permit to change the occupancy of, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, or demolish a building or structure.
You don’t need a building permit for…
- A storage shed with a floor area of 200 square feet or less, that is accessory to a residential house or agricultural use
- Fences 6 feet high or less
- Most retaining walls 4 feet high or less
- Replacement of roofing or siding for detached one- and two-family houses
- Uncovered decks that are 30 inches or less above the ground
- Interior finishes (like carpet, hardwood flooring, tile, paint, and wallpaper)
- Window and door replacement-like for like, no structural changes do not require a permit. However, life safety concerns such as basement egress windows should be brought to current code where possible-permit is required.
- Roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels that weigh less than 4 pounds per square foot on residences
Building Permits, Residential and Non-Residential & Multi-Family
You need a fire system or event permit for…
- Installing, enlarging, altering, or replacing a fire system such as fire sprinklers, alarms, or fire department connection
- Placement of temporary tents or canopies that are larger than 400 square feet and certain special events (see Special Event Permit)
- Firework stands and displays or shows
You may also need an operational permit for business uses such as hazardous storage or assembly.
You need a grading permit for…
- Grading within a critical area
- Excavations greater than 5 feet deep or 100 cubic yards
- Any fill greater than 3 feet deep or 100 cubic yards
- Creation of more than 2,000 square feet of new impervious surface
- Hazard Tree; If a tree poses an "imminent hazard" to an area frequented by persons, then the tree can be removed without a clearing permit as it is exempt per King County Code chapter 16.82. Imminent hazard means the tree could fail at any moment. If the tree is a "hazard" meaning it has disease, structural defect, lean, etc., and it is not imminent, then the hazard needs to documented by a certified arborist and a clearing permit is required. If you decide to proceed under the imminent hazard provision you should take before and after pictures and keep them as a record of the removal.
You need a mechanical permit to install, enlarge, move, or replace mechanical equipment.
- Installing a new fireplace or wood-burning stove
- Installing a new furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump
Building - see Residential Mechanical Permit or Non-Residential and Multi-Family Permit handouts.
Temporary use (e.g., gathering/events)
You need a temporary use permit for uses (gathering/events) that are not otherwise permitted in a given zone. This permit allows the use, if compatible, for limited times and/or frequencies, or allows limited expansion of any use that is otherwise allowed in the zone but that is outside the intended scope of the original land use approval.
Building - see Temporary Use Permits packet
Permits we don’t offer, and where to go for them
See our Inspection scheduling handout, which has contact information for other permitting agencies, including…
- On-site sewage systems
- Water wells
Still not sure?
Call us at 206-296-6600, or email us.
These special conditions may require permits…
- Critical areas
- Established clearing limits
- Flood zones
- Historically sensitive areas
- Setback areas
- Steep slopes
- Total impervious lot coverage
- Our office in Renton:
King County Local Services
919 SW Grady Way, Suite 300
Renton, WA 98057
- Customer service hours:
Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri:
9-11 a.m. & 12:30-2:30 p.m.