What are common building permits?

1. Standard Residential Building permit: Most common permit type for Single Family Residence (SFR) built using the International Residential Building Code (IRC). This will cover a one- or two-family residence, or accessory structure up to 35 feet in height and 3 stories tall. Standard building and energy codes apply.

2. Commercial Building permit:  This permit involves new construction AND changes in occupancy from one class to another for commercial uses like: offices, mercantile, assembly, retail,  or storage. ALL occupancy classes will be governed by the International BUILDING Code (IBC) and Washington state commercial energy code.

3. Remodel/Addition permit: Typically this type of permit covers major changes to an existing structure, or expansion of the existing footprint. 

4. Plumbing/Mechanical permit, or Single trade: Relatively simple projects such as installing a LPG tank, heater, furnace or water heater, are also referred to as "single trade" projects. Typically such projects only require a Plumbing or Mechanical permit. If you are adding square footage, or remodeling a house, you must apply for a standard building permit (Residential or Commercial)

5. Demolition ("Demo") permit: Used when one wants to remove a structure completely. Demo permits are required to remove the structure from the tax assessor’s inventory. Moved structures require Demo permits.

6. Relocation permit: Used when moving an existing approved building to a new location, even when on the same lot. Permission to move on County roads is required. Moving a structure requires permitting and approval PRIOR to placing it at a new location.

7. Revision: Permit to revise or change scope of work from approved plans. Revisions are required when adding additional square feet, increasing the height of a building, siting the building at a different location on the same lot, changing number of bedrooms or egress, or adding fixtures not previously approved. Changing the construction of the building, like changing roof type, or revised engineering, requires new plan review.

8. Owner Builder permits (for occupied structures)  and Owner Builder Exemptions (for non-occupied structures): San Juan County is unique in that we offer a different permit type which allows an owner to build their own structures under certain circumstances. There are some restrictions; please refer to the San Juan County code for details.

Applications can be found here: Permit applications.

Show All Answers

1. What are the Design Criteria and building codes for San Juan County?
2. I would like to build something. Where do I begin?
3. How can I get information on code that governs my project/permit?
4. What is a site plan, when do I need it and how is it made?
5. What are common building permits?
6. Is there a checklist of application documents?
7. How do I apply?