A mechanical permit enables you to install new mechanical equipment such as heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and kitchen hood exhaust systems. It does not enable you to install plumbing, sprinklers, gas lines, refrigeration, and boiler pressure vessels; these all require a separate permit.
You can get a mechanical permit as part of your construction permit, or you can get it separately.
You may also need a business license if your project is in Seattle, even if your office is outside the city.
We base your permit fees on the value of construction plus a review fee of $216 per hour. We also collect an additional fire review fee for kitchen hood exhaust systems. We describe your fees in more detail in our Fee Subtitle.
For most projects, you should plan for 9 weeks from the time you apply to the time we issue your permit. We try to finish our initial review of complex projects in 4 weeks, and 2 weeks for simple projects. We often ask you to make corrections after the initial review, which triggers a second review of your corrected plans.
The time it takes to get your mechanical permit depends on how complex your project is, how many corrections of your plans you need to make, and how quickly and completely you respond.
If your project is simple, we can issue you a mechanical subject-to-field-inspection permit within 24 hours.
Get your property information. Find property information to help you plan your project.
Determine restrictions to your project. Research the codes to determine unit noise limits requirements.
Find incentives for your project. Research the City's different incentives that might apply to your project.
Start your application. Complete the Building & Land Use Pre-Application online using the Seattle Services Portal. You will need to include either a location plan (for interior work) or a site plan (for exterior work).
Request a pre-submittal conference (optional). We recommend pre-submittal conferences for very complex projects, including buildings with unusual structural systems, substantial alterations, or work in environmentally critical areas or shorelines. Request a pre-application site visit online through the Seattle Services Portal. One-hour pre-submittal conference fees vary based on the type of conference you need.
Get mechanical tech support. We offer technical backup support to answer questions before you apply for a mechanical permit. This service is available on a first-come, first-served basis for walk-in customers at the Applicant Services Center.
Apply for exemptions. You may need an exemption from code requirements if your project is located in an environmentally critical area or near the shoreline. You may also ask for a code modification if you propose to use a code that Seattle hasn’t yet adopted.
Prepare your plans. Plans should be to scale and easy to read.
Fill out forms.
Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits from other City of Seattle departments.
Prepare a complete set of drawings. Include a mechanical plan coversheet, vicinity map, site plan, and plans and elevations. For a detailed list of requirements see Tip 415, below. Also provide an equipment schedule (an example is in Tip 415) and heating and cooling load calculations where applicable. Be sure to list any exceptions you have taken.
Schedule an intake appointment. You can schedule an electronic intake appointment once your screening is approved and you have completed all required preliminary application steps.
Pay fees. Approximately 75 percent of your permit fees are due at intake. The fees are calculated based on your project value. You must pay these fees before we will review your plans.
Make corrections and resubmit your plans. Your project reviewer will send you a corrections letter if changes are needed.
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 set.
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 mechanical inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.
Close your permit. Your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.