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Home Retrofit Permit

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What Is It?

We want to help you to protect your home against earthquake damage by speeding up the application process for Home Retrofit Permits. We also provide you with suggestions, called prescriptive plansets, on how to retrofit your home. These plansets help you obtain the Home Retrofit Permit quickly and easily. They also eliminate the need to hire a design professional to develop drawings.

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.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our fees are based on your estimated value of work, labor, and materials. Use our fee estimator to calculate your permit fee. Some projects may qualify for reduced permit fees.

How Long Does It Take?

We usually do our initial review of this type of project in two weeks.

Steps to Get Your Permit


1. Research

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 plansets 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.

2. Start Permit Application

Prepare your plans. Follow the instructions in the Guide to Completing an Earthquake Retrofit Plan for Wood-frame Residential Buildings to prepare your plansets.

3. Submit Plans

Bring your plans to the Applicant Service Center. Bring 2 copies of your plansets, your home assessment checklist, and a completed Earthquake Home Retrofit Permit Application to the 20th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower at 700 5th Avenue.

Pay fees. Approximately 75% of your permit fees are due at intake. The fees are calculated based on your project value.

4. Get 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.

Pay fees. You will need to pay all outstanding fees to pick up your permit.

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.

5. Schedule Inspections

Know when to call. We need to inspect your project:

  • At the time of first ground disturbance
  • Before you pour the foundation
  • Before you cover the framing
  • After you install insulation
  • After you complete your construction
  • For plumbing work
  • For electrical work
  • For side sewer work
  • When you are working with water service lines

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.< /p>

6. Complete Project

Close your permit. Your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Call us at (206) 684-8850