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Construction Without a Permit

See also: Land Use Code
  • You need to get a permit for most construction projects.

What Is It?

You need to get a permit for most construction projects that involve:

We may issue a stop work order against you if you start a building, addition, or remodeling project without a permit. If you build without a permit or fail to get a final inspection approval, we may fine you or take other enforcement action against you.

What It Isn’t

This page does not cover projects that do not need a permit; see Do You Need a Permit? You can find a list of permit exceptions in the Seattle Residential Code (SRC) and the Seattle Building Code (SBC).

Rules to Follow

Our ordinances require that you get a construction permit for projects that involve new construction, renovation, or alterations of buildings.

If you need help determining if you need a construction permit for your project, visit the Applicant Services Center and speak with a permit specialist. You will need:

  • The address
  • A sketch showing existing structures on the property, with dimensions and distances to property lines
  • A proposal of your project

Read the Code


If you build without a permit, you may be fined $500 per day.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Call us at (206) 615-0808
  • Visit an Inspector or Landlord / Tenant Specialist
    Appointments are preferred.
    700 Fifth Ave., 19th floor
  • Phone and Office Hours
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    T, W: 10:00 - 4:30 p.m.