144 E. 14th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
541-484-9043
800-358-8034

PARTNERING WITH GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE EXCELLENT SERVICE

Permits protect the safety and value of your home.

How do permits protect a home?
Permits ensure that a certified inspector will inspect the construction project or installation. Inspections make sure work is done safely and to code. When a city or county inspector approves work, a homeowner can get questions answered and know that the work has been checked for any safety violations. This is of particular value to the do-it-yourselfer who doesn't make installations every day. Incorrect installations can result in house fires, flood damage, and/or structural problems.
Permits ensure that licensed contractors do the work if the homeowner doesn't handle the job. Only Construction Contractors Board (CCB) licensed contractors, and those who carry a trade license (such as plumbers and electricians) are allowed to legally work in Oregon. State and local building departments issue permits only to contractors who are properly licensed and bonded.

What about value?
Inspections ensure that work meets the building code. Not only do they reveal minor problems that could lead to costly repairs, but also liability and life-safety concerns like structural weaknesses, dangerous wiring or defective plumbing.
When it comes to selling a house, realtors and lenders require that any construction work is done with permits to ensure that the house is safe for future occupants. Instead of closing on their home, homeowners have to scramble to catch up with permits and inspections -- and additional repair work if the installations are not made to code.

Here's what homeowners can do to protect themselves:
Insist on permits! It simply doesn't pay for homeowners to cut corners when it comes to their biggest financial asset, their home.
Check a contractor's CCB license to ensure that the contractor is legally licensed and bonded to work in Oregon. Beware of a contractor willing to work without permits.
Use -- or insist that the contractor uses-- only licensed plumbers and electricians. Along with homeowners working on their own homes, only licensed plumbers and electricians are legally allowed to do plumbing or electrical work in Oregon. Their professional license reflects four years of intense training and annual continuing education. A plumber's or electrician's license is insurance that they are qualified to do the work.

FAQs

When am I required to get a building permit?

When am I required to get a electrical permit?

When am I required to get a plumbing permit?

When am I required to get a mechanical permit?

Why do I have to buy a permit to build on my own property?

Who is responsible for obtaining permits?

How do I obtain a construction permit?

When can I start work?

How do I get an inspection?

When am I required to obtain local zoning approval?

Where do I get permits?

Can I get a permit application by mail or fax?

How do I determine fees for a permit?

When does my permit expire?

Why do I need a plumbing permit to replace or install a water heater?

When do I have to hire an architect or engineer to design my project and prepare the plans?

When are plans required?

What technical information do I need to submit with my plans?

Can a permit be issued before the plan review is approved?

How can I contact a plans examiner or inspector?

What's the reason for the surcharge on all building permits?

WOODSTOVES
Smoke created from wood burning can be a significant source of air pollution and can have serious health consequences for those with asthma, respiratory or heart conditions, or other illnesses. Children and the elderly are especially at risk. DEQ has developed the statewide woodstove program to promote the use of cleaner burning woodstoves, and to help homeowners burn more efficiently and with less pollution. Your community may have additional rules governing the use of woodstoves and fireplaces. Check with your city or county government to ask about local wood smoke ordinances.

http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/woodstoves/index.htm


Common questions about obtaining permits.


When am I required to get a permit?
Permits are required for any new construction and alterations or additions to existing buildings, including structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, manufactured dwelling, boiler, and elevator work. However, there are some exceptions to permit requirements. If you are not sure whether or not you need a permit, call the jurisdiction responsible for your area.

A building permit is required to:
• Add a room.
• Build, demolish, or move a carport, garage, or shed. (Check with your local jurisdiction for exceptions.)
• Finish an attic, garage, or basement to make additional living space.
• Cut a new window or door opening, or widen existing openings.
• Move, remove, or add walls.
• Apply roofing when all old roofing is removed and new sheathing is installed.
• Build a stairway.
• Build a retaining wall.
• Build a deck more than 30 inches above grade.
• Put up a fence more than six feet high.
• Move more than 50 cubic yards of earth or any amount of cut or fill on sites affected by waterways or slope hazards.

back to top

An electrical permit is required to:
• To install or alter any permanent wiring or electrical device.
• Run any additional wiring, put in an electrical outlet or light fixture, install receptacle for a garage-door opener, or convert from fuse box to circuit breakers.
• To install or alter low-voltage systems such as security alarms or stereo or computer systems.

A plumbing permit is required to:
• Replace water heaters, alter piping inside a wall or ceiling or beneath a floor, and for plumbing in all new installations.
• Do emergency repair, alteration, or replacement of freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, if new piping exceeds 3 feet.
• Remodel or add onto your one-or two-family dwelling when existing plumbing is to be relocated. This includes installation of building sewers, water service, and rain drains outside the building.

back to top

A plumbing permit is not required:
• When a property owner does ordinary minor repairs to plumbing systems on his or her own property.
"Ordinary minor repairs" means repair, replacement, or maintenance of existing accessible fixtures, parts, and appliances and their related water and drain attachments. Do not alter an existing plumbing system without a permit.
• When a property owner or licensed plumber performs emergency repairs to, or replacement of, freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, provided new piping doesn't exceed 3 feet in length.
• If you are not sure if you need a permit, call the building department responsible for your area.

A mechanical permit is required to:
• Install or change any part of a heating or cooling system that must be vented into any kind of chimney, including unvented decorative appliances.
• Install a woodstove, fireplace insert, pellet stove, or related venting.
• Install, alter, or repair gas piping between the meter and an appliance (indoors or outdoors).
• Install bath fans, dryer exhausts, kitchen range exhausts, and appliances that are required to be vented.

back to top

Why do I have to buy a permit to build on my own property?
Oregon law requires you to obtain permits - even on your own property - to ensure that minimum building standards are met for your own safety and for the safety of future property owners and occupants.

Who is responsible for obtaining permits?
The property owner or contractor is responsible for obtaining structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and manufactured dwelling setup permits. For electrical work, Oregon law requires that if an electrical contractor performs the work, the contractor is responsible for obtaining the permit. Electrical permits are non-transferable.

How do I obtain a construction permit?
To get a construction permit, you must complete a permit application. Permit applications are available from the local building department in your area. Take or mail the permit application to your local planning department for required land use approval and to the local sanitation authority or Department of Environmental Quality for required sanitation or septic approval. Information that may be required includes:
• The address and legal description of the property.
• A description of the work proposed.
• The owner's name, address, and phone number.
• If a contractor is doing the work, the contractor's name, address, phone number, and state license number.
• Generally two sets of plans for new construction of homes or remodeling that clearly show all work on the building and where the building sits on the property. Typical plans include a site plan, floor plans, and cross sections showing construction details.

back to top

When can I start work?
When an actual construction permit is issued to you, work can begin. The permit must be available on the job site and available to the inspector. If you've submitted plans and specifications, one set of plans stamped "Approved" will be returned to you. These approved plans, along with the construction permit, must be available on the job site and available to the inspector.

How do I get an inspection?
Any work done under a permit must be inspected by a certified inspector.
You may call the inspection request line at the building department in your area within 24 hours of completion of any phase of the project. A minimum of 24 hours notice is usually required for inspections.. When you call, you will be asked for the permit number, homeowner's name, project address, type of inspection needed, and date on which inspection is desired. Unless all of the work is outside and accessible, an adult needs to be at the site to provide access for the inspector.

When am I required to obtain local zoning approval?
Before submitting permit applications, you are required to obtain local land use/zoning approval for any new structure and for any work that increases the area or height of a structure or changes the use of a structure. You may be required to obtain local zoning approval for electrical and plumbing work before a permit will be issued. For more information, contact your local planning zoning department.

back to top

Where do I get permits?
You can get permits by calling or visiting the local building department in the area where you plan to perform work.

Can I get a permit application by mail or fax?
Yes. Call the local building department in your area.

How do I determine fees for a permit?
Fee schedules and valuation tables are available to help you determine permit fees. Call the jurisdiction for your area.

When does my permit expire?
Your permit expires if work isn't started within 180 days from the date of issue. Once you have begun work, your permit expires if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days or more. If you can't work within a 180-day period and don't wish to abandon the project, you may submit a written request to extend your permit for an additional 180-day period.

Why do I need a plumbing permit to replace or install a water heater?
Oregon law requires plumbing permits for water heaters because of fire, electric shock, or explosion safety hazards.

back to top

When do I have to hire an architect or engineer to design my project and prepare the plans?
An architect or engineer is not required for any occupancy building that has a ground area of 4,000 square feet or less and is 20 feet high or less, or any farm agricultural building, or any accessory building to a single family dwelling or farm agricultural building. You must have engineered plans for alterations or repairs to the structural portion of existing buildings with a ground area of more than 4,000 square feet or more than 20 feet in height, or when the occupancy classification requires a fire-and-life-safety review, regardless of the building's size.

When are plans required?
You must submit structural plans or drawings for any new construction, or for addition or alteration to an existing building. You also must submit plans for commercial plumbing projects. Plans aren't required for nonstructural repairs and work for which a permit isn't required. However, a change in use or occupancy may require plans even though there are no structural alterations. Check with your local planning or zoning department to determine whether a permit for change in use or occupancy is required.

What technical information do I need to submit with my plans?
You may be required to submit some or all of the following: plot map, floor plans, specifications, elevations, mechanical, plumbing, & electrical drawings, foundation plan, energy documentation, structural calculations, and required fire-protection equipment. For information, call the building department in
your area.

back to top

Can a permit be issued before the plan review is approved?
No. All plans must be approved before permits are issued. However, with special permission from the local building department, a partial permit for footing only or foundation and footing only may be issued.

How can I contact a plans examiner or inspector?
You may contact a plans examiner or inspector by calling your local building department.

What's the reason for the surcharge on all building permits?
The State of Oregon collects a surcharge on all building permits to pay the state's costs of administering building codes programs (five percent), inspection (two percent), training and other educational programs (one percent), and e-permitting (four percent).

back to top