Do I Need A Permit?

Why Do I Need a Permit?
The purpose of a permit is to ensure your construction project meets City codes and is safe for the public. This compliance protects you in several ways. By following the code(s), your project will meet minimum standards of safety. Property insurers may only cover work done with a valid permit. If you decide to sell your property, a permit will assure buyers the standards of your work. And, in the case of a lawsuit, a property owner can show that code requirements were strictly met when working with a permit.

How Do I Verify My Contractor has a Valid License?

Verify a Contractor, Tradesperson or Business with Department of Labor & Industries

When Do I Need a Building Permit?

A building permit is required for any building or structure constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished per the Kenmore Municipal Code (KMC). A building permit is not required for the following per KMC 15.30.205 (provided that is entirely on your private property and your property is not located within any critical areas):

  • One-story detached accessory structures accessory to residential buildings constructed under the provisions of the IRC used as tool and storage sheds, tree-supported play structures, playhouse and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2),  the height does not exceed 10 ft, and the structure is located in accordance with all land use regulations.
  • Fences not over eight feet high.
  • Oil derricks.
  • Retaining walls which are not over four feet (1,219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III-A liquids.
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
  • Sidewalks, driveways, decks, and steps not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work; provided, that existing, required accessible features are not altered.
  • Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets, and scenery.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a one- and two-family dwelling or Group R3 occupancy, which are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,925 L) and are installed entirely above ground.
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes and not including service systems.
  • Swings, slides, and other similar playground equipment.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of one- and two-family dwellings or Group R-3 and Group U occupancies which do not project more than 54 inches (1,372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  • Nonfixed and movable cases, counters and partitions not over five feet nine inches (1,753 mm) in height.
  • Satellite earth station antennas six and one-half feet (two meters) or less in diameter or diagonal dimensions in zones other than residential zones.
  • Satellite earth station antennas three and one-quarter feet (one meter) or less in diameter in residential zones; and
  • Video programming service antennas three and one-quarter feet (one meter) or less in diameter or diagonal dimension, regardless of zone.
  • Replacement of nonstructural siding on IRC structures except for veneer, stucco, or exterior finish and insulation systems (EFIS).
  • In-kind window replacement for IRC structures where no alteration of framing members is required and when the window U-values meet the prescriptive requirements within the Washington State Energy Code.
  • Job shacks that are placed at a permitted job site during construction may be allowed on a temporary basis and shall be removed upon final approval of construction. A job shack is a portable structure for which the primary purpose is to house equipment and supplies, and which may serve as a temporary office during construction for the purposes of the construction activity.
  • In-kind reroofing on IRC structures, provided roof sheathing is not removed, replaced or added.


When Do I Need a Mechanical Permit?
A mechanical permit is required to install, alter, repair, replace or remodel per International Mechanical Code. A mechanical permit is not required for the following per Kenmore Municipal Code 15.30.205:

  • Portable heating, cooking, or clothes drying appliances.
  • Portable ventilation appliances and equipment.
  • Portable cooling unit.
  • Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances regulated by the construction codes.
  • Replacement of any part which does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
  • Portable evaporative cooler.
  • Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of one horsepower (746 W) or less.
  • Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected.


When Do I Need a Plumbing Permit?
A plumbing permit is required for any installation, alteration, repair, replacement or remodel of any plumbing system per Uniform Plumbing Code. A plumbing permit is not required for the following per KMC 15.30.205:

  • The stopping and/or repairing of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe; provided, however, that should any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe become defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, the same shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
  • Reinstallation or replacement of prefabricated fixtures that do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves or pipes. [Ord. 10-0310 § 4 (Exh. C).]


When Do I Need a Sign Permit?
Permits are required for all new signs or expansions of existing signs in Kenmore. No permit is needed for repainting, cleaning, or other normal maintenance and repair of a sign, or for sign face and copy changes that do not alter the size or structure of the sign. In addition, per KMC 18.42.030, sign permits are not required for the following:

  • Historic site markers or plaques, gravestones, and address numbers.
  • Signs required by law (i.e., traffic directional signs, official or legal notices issued and posted by any public agency or court).
  • Plaques, tablets or inscriptions indicating the name of the building, date of erection, or other commemorative information, which are an integral part of the building structure or are attached flat to the face of the building, which are nonilluminated, and which do not exceed four square feet in surface area.
  • Incidental signs, which shall not exceed two square feet in surface.
  • State or Federal Flags.
  • Religious symbols.
  • Flag of a commercial institution. No more than one on-site flag is permitted per business premises, and the flag does not exceed 20 square feet in surface area.




Last updated: Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:27am