We want to help you to protect your home against earthquake damage by speeding up the application process for Earthquake Home Retrofit Permits (also known as Project Impact). We also provide you with suggestions, called prescriptive plan sets, on how to retrofit your home. These plan sets help you obtain the Earthquake Home Retrofit Permit quickly and easily. They also eliminate the need to hire a design professional to develop drawings. If your project does not meet the requirements of our prescriptive plan set, you can also submit a voluntary seismic retrofit designed by an engineer.
Our home retrofit plans address two common kinds of earthquake damage: the wall between the foundation and first floor collapsing or the home moving off its foundation.
Our fees are based on your estimated value of work, labor, and materials. Earthquake Home Retrofit projects that use our prescriptive plan set qualify for reduced permit fees.
We usually do our initial review of Earthquake Home Retrofit Permits in two weeks. If your retrofit is designed by an engineer, your project will qualify for a subject-to-field-inspection permit. Subject-to-field-inspection permits are issued over the counter on the day you apply if you apply in person, or within a few days if you apply electronically.
Determine if your house qualifies. Complete the checklist in the How to Complete the Home Assessment Checklist booklet to see if you can use prescriptive plan sets to retrofit your home. If your home does not qualify, you can still do seismic retrofitting, but you will need to work with a structural engineer.
Start your application. Complete the Building & Land Use Pre-Application online using the Seattle Services Portal. You will need to upload a site plan and a complete legal description for your site.
Prepare your plans. Follow the instructions in the Guide to Completing an Earthquake Retrofit Plan for Wood-frame Residential Buildings to prepare your plan sets. If you submit a voluntary seismic retrofit designed by an engineer, your plans will need to be stamped by an engineer and include a location plan, foundation and framing plan, structural notes, and structural details.
Get your project screened by our permit techs. We screen your application to make sure it’s ready to submit. Screening is available through your Seattle Services Portal. You may schedule an appointment without screening if you are a consistently prepared applicant with a rating of 80 percent or better.
Schedule an intake appointment. Schedule an electronic intake appointment through the Seattle Services Portal.
Submit your plans. If an engineer prepared your home retrofit plans, you may submit them as a subject-to-field-inspection permit. You must upload all application documents by 7:00 a.m. on the day of your appointment. We may contact you that day for more information.
Pay fees. You pay most of your fees when you submit your application.
Pay final fees. We will notify you if you need to pay any final fees before we issue your permit.
Print your permit. We will notify you when we have issued your permit and the documents are available in your Seattle Services Portal. Print the permit and approved plan.
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.
Know when to call. We need to inspect your project:
Contact us. Call our 24-hour inspection request line at (206) 684-8900 before 7:00 a.m. on the day you need the inspection. You can also request an inspection online.
Close your permit. Your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.
Schedule a final building inspection. See the construction inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.