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Permitting services are available online via this website and 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.

Fire Permits

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.

Land Use - Clearing and Grading Permits

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.

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


step 2

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
step 3

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 Renton:
    King County Local Services
    Permitting Division
    919 SW Grady Way, Suite 300
    Renton, WA 98057
  • 206-296-6600
  • Customer service hours:
    Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri:
    9-11 a.m. & 12:30-2:30 p.m.
    Wed: Closed