Log in to Project Portal SDCI

Residential Deconstruction

See also: 

What Is It?

Deconstructing a building allows you to take it apart systematically, so you can salvage reusable building materials and recycle materials that can’t be reused. Salvaging reusable building materials reduces the amount of construction waste sent to landfills and reduces the demand on natural resources.

If you are removing housing, deconstruction may allow you to begin the process before we have issued you a new building permit for your site. (A new building permit is sometimes required before you can demolish housing; see Demolition of Housing for other rules that may apply).

To qualify for a residential deconstruction permit, you must:

  • Reuse a minimum of 20 percent of the building materials, by weight and excluding asphalt, brick, and concrete
  • Recycle or reuse a minimum of 50 percent of the building materials, by weight and excluding asphalt, brick, and concrete
  • Recycle or reuse 100 percent of asphalt, brick, and concrete
  • Submit a Waste Diversion Plan with your permit application and plans (as described in Directors Rule 4-2009, Demolition Permits With Waste Diversion Plan)
  • Submit a Waste Diversion Report that identifies the actual rates of salvaged and recycled materials when deconstruction is complete

If you want to deconstruct a building in an environmentally critical area, such as a wetland or a steep slope, there are different restrictions you must follow.

How Much Does It Cost?

The fee for a deconstruction permit is the base fee, per the Fee Subtitle, plus any additional review fees. You may need to pay additional fees if the disturbed ground area exceeds 750 square feet or if your project needs deep cuts in the soil or shoring (supports to prevent collapse).

You pay your fees when you submit your plans. You pay the remaining fees when you pick up your permit.

How Long Does It Take?

Our goal for completing a review of your residential deconstruction (demolition) permit application is 2 days.

We will review your plans to make sure they meet our code standards. Your inspector will review building code requirements on site during your inspections.

Read the Code

Steps to Get Your Permit


1. Research

Get your property information. Find information about your property that you’ll need to plan your project.

2. Determine Restrictions

  • Contact the Department of Neighborhoods Preservation Program to determine your building’s landmark status. If your building is a designated landmark or in a historic or in a special district, you may need a certificate of approval.
  • If you’re removing housing, find out if you need to provide relocation assistance for tenants.
  • Find out if environmental review is required for you project under environmentally critical area, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), or Seattle SEPA regulations. If environmental review is required, you need to apply for a land use SEPA permit before we can issue your deconstruction permit.
  • Determine whether you have met the requirements concerning asbestos and lead removal.
  • Attend a coaching session. We offer 20 minutes of free coaching to answer drainage, land use, geotechnical, or construction permit questions. If you need longer coaching with a land use planner or a geotechnical engineer, we offer one-hour sessions for $250.

3. Start Permit Application

Get a project number. Get a project number by starting your application online or by submitting a preliminary application form. You will need to include either a location plan (for interior work) or a site plan (for exterior work). You can use the number to track your project.

Request a pre-application site visit. If you submitted your preliminary application online, the site visit request was completed at the same time. Pre-application site visits are required for projects that will disturb more than 750 square feet of dirt, or that will disturb any dirt on a site with an environmentally critical area (other than liquefaction or peat settlement-prone). Our post-site visit report will include information about your next steps, what to include in your plans, and what to provide at your intake appointment.

Prepare your plans and required forms. Plans should be to scale and easy to read and microfilm.

4. Submit Plans

Get your project screened by our permit techs. We screen your application to make sure it’s ready to submit. Submit for screening using your project portal, or screening is available on a walk-in basis at the Applicant Services Center on the 20th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower. You may not need screening if you are a consistently prepared applicant.

Schedule an intake appointment. After your plans have passed screening, schedule an intake appointment online using your project portal.

Pay fees. Approximately 75 percent of your permit fees are due at intake.

Make corrections and resubmit your plans. Once your project has been accepted and is in review, your reviewer will send you a corrections letter if changes are needed.

5. Get Permit

Pay fees. You need to pay all outstanding fees when you’re notified that your plans have been approved.

Print your permit. We will upload your issued permit, coversheet, and approved plans to your project portal for you to print. 

Display your permit. Place your permit, approved coversheet, and plans in a visible location on the project site.

Get related permits. You may need to get additional permits or approvals from other departments.

6. Schedule Inspection

Request an inspection. See the construction inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.

7. Submit Report

When deconstruction is complete, submit your final waste diversion report to sciprioritygreen@seatle.gov so your permit can be closed.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Green Permiting Lead, (206) 684-7744