What is the Seattle Permit Process Like?

Before beginning a construction or home improvement project in Seattle, it is essential that you first obtain a permit. This brief overview of the Seattle permit process will walk you through the necessary steps you will need to take in order to secure your building permit.

Permits Issued by City of Seattle

As you begin planning your project, you will need to understand the various types of permits that are issued by the City of Seattle, and know which type is required for the work you intend to do. Some common permits issued by the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections include:

  • Construction Permit- Addition or Alteration- This permit covers a remodel to your building, as well as any rooms or floors that are being added onto an existing building, including new structures that are an accessory to an existing house (backyard cottages, etc.)
  • Construction Permit- New Building, Single-Family Residential or Duplex- If you are building a new home, either single-family or duplex, this is the permit you will need. Please note that this permit only covers the construction itself; additional permits are required for any electrical, HVAC or plumbing work involved in your project.
  • Electrical Permit– Anytime you have a project that involves electrical wiring installation, alteration, extension or connection to electrical equipment such as a sign, you must apply for an electrical permit first.
  • Mechanical Permit– This permit encompasses installation of mechanical equipment including HVAC equipment and kitchen exhaust hood systems; however, as separate permit is required for plumbing, sprinkler lines, gas lines, or refrigeration equipment.\

What’s Next?

Once you have determined the type of permit(s) you will need for your project, the next step is application. Be advised that applying for a permit does not guarantee that the permit approval will be granted until all project plans have been reviewed. Your preliminary application must be accompanied by a project plan which details the proposed work to be done, including any drawings or maps which pertain to the project. You may submit your preliminary application materials here through the Seattle DCI Project Portal. Once your plans have been reviewed and approved, the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections will issue your permit, and you can begin work on your project.

How Much Will My Permit Cost?

The cost of your permit depends on several factors, including the size of your project, the value of the work you are doing, the amount of time it takes to review your application and plans, any inspection fees which may be required, and whether any additional permits are required for your project. Use this handy 2016 Fee Estimator spreadsheet on the SDCI website to calculate the estimated cost of the permit or permits necessary for your project.

Still have some questions about the Seattle Permit Process, or not sure what to do next? Let Permit Place help you out. We specialize in navigating the sometimes-tricky permit process in Seattle and can assist you with everything you need to obtain or change a permit. Request a free quote using our online form to see how we can help


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