You need a construction permit to build a new multifamily, commercial, mixed use, or industrial building.
Fees are based on the value of your project. You pay approximately 75 percent of your fee when you submit your plans. If your project includes shoring (supporting unstable soil or structure) near a right-of-way, you will need to pay an additional $2,500 at your intake appointment for Seattle Department of Transportation review. We will also charge hourly fees for certain reviews, such as drainage and geotechnical; see our Fee Subtitle for details.
We try to finish our initial review in 8 weeks. How long it takes to get your permit depends on how complex your project is, how many corrections you need to make, and the completeness of your correction responses. We recommend planning for 4 weeks per correction cycle, with an average of 2 correction cycles. After all of our reviews are complete and approved, allow an additional 6 business days for final review and preparation.
Get your property information. Find property information to help you plan your project
Determine restrictions to your project. Research the Land Use Code to determine allowable uses, building size limits, setbacks, and parking requirements; research the Seattle Building Code (SBC) to determine construction and life/safety requirements.
Find incentives for your project. Research the City's different incentives that might apply to your project.
Determine if you need a land use permit. Find out early if your project will need a land use permit in addition to a construction permit. We need four to eight months (or more) to review land use permits. You must submit your land use permit for review before you submit your construction permit application.
Attend a coaching session. We offer 20 minutes of free coaching at the Applicant Services Center to answer drainage, land use, geotechnical, or construction permit questions. If you need a longer session with a land use planner or a geotechnical engineer, we offer one-hour sessions for a fee.
Request a pre-application site visit. If you submitted your preliminary application online, the site visit request was completed at the same time. You can also submit a hardcopy request form. Our site inspectors will visit your site and conduct a preliminary review of your project. At the same time, your project will be reviewed by us, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), City Light, and Seattle Public Utilities to identify major project requirements. You’ll get a preliminary assessment report with information about your site’s conditions, next steps, what to include in your plans, and what to provide at your intake appointment.
Note: If your project requires street improvements, SDOT may require you to submit plans to them at least 5 days before your permit intake appointment. We will not accept your project at intake if you haven't submitted these plans.
Request a pre-submittal conference. You need to attend a construction pre-submittal conference for high-rises and buildings with atriums. We also recommend pre-submittal conferences for complex projects, including buildings with unusual structural systems, work in environmentally critical areas (ECA) or shorelines, or zoning complications. One-hour pre-submittal conference fees vary depending on the type of conference selected.
Apply for exemptions. You may need an exemption if your project is located in an environmentally critical area or near the shoreline.
Prepare your plans. Plans should be to scale and easy to read and microfilm.
Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits or approvals from other agencies. These are the most common agencies you may need to work with for your permit type:
Get your project screened. We screen your application to make sure it is ready to submit. Screening is available on a walk-in basis at the Applicant Services Center or through your Seattle DCI Project Portal.
Schedule an intake appointment. Call (206) 684-8850 to schedule an intake appointment at the Applicant Services Center, or schedule an electronic appointment. You may schedule an appointment without screening if you are a consistently prepared applicant with a rating of 80 percent or better.
Pay fees. Approximately 75 percent of your permit fees are due at intake. Fees are calculated based on your project value.
Make corrections and resubmit your plans. Your project reviewer will send you a corrections letter if changes are needed.
Pay fees. You will need to pay all outstanding fees to pick up or print your permit.
Pick up or print permit. You will be contacted when your plans are approved. You can pick up your permit and approved plans at the permit issuance counter in the Applicant Service Center. If you submitted your plans electronically, you can print your permit and approved plans from your Seattle DCI Project Portal.
Display your permit. Place your permit in a visible location on the project site.
Get related permits. You may need to get additional permits or approvals from other departments.
Request an inspection. See the construction inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.
Get special inspections. If we assigned special inspections as part of your permit, some parts of your project will need to be inspected during construction. See the special inspections page for more details.
Receive your certificate of occupancy.
Close out Special Inspections for your project. See the Special Inspections page for information on how to submit a final letter to us for review.
Close your permit. After passing the final inspection, your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.