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Our lobby services are closed. All permit applications can now be submitted online.

King County Permits has suspended lobby services in our Snoqualmie and Vashon Island offices. See available and alternative services

To ensure the safety of all customers and staff members, King County employees are following Public Health-Seattle & King County guidance and the Governor’s pandemic guidelines.

NOTE: Even if you don’t need a permit, your work must meet applicable code requirements.

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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

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

You need a mechanical permit to install, enlarge, move, or replace mechanical equipment.

Examples:

  • Installing a new fireplace or wood-burning stove
  • Installing a new furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump

You need a temporary use permit for uses 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.

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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…

  • Electrical
  • On-site sewage systems
  • Plumbing
  • Water wells
Inspection scheduling handout
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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
  • Shorelines
  • Steep slopes
  • Total impervious lot coverage
  • Wetlands
  • Our office in Snoqualmie:
    King County Local Services
    Permitting Division
    35030 SE Douglas Street
    Suite 210
    Snoqualmie, WA 98065-9266
  • 206-296-6600
  • Office hours:
    Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri:
    7:30-11:30 a.m. & 1-3 p.m.
    Wed: Closed