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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 plan sets, on how to retrofit your home. These plan sets help you obtain the 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.

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 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.

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 plan sets.

3. Submit Plans

Submit your plans. You need to submit your plans online through your Project Portal. You have two options on how to apply.

  • You can schedule an intake appointment for a future date. This option allows you to plan around your workload.
  • You can submit your plans for screening after uploading all your plans and documents. If all looks good, we will process your plans and do the intake as soon as you pay your fees.

Pay fees. Approximately 75% of your permit fees are due at intake. The fees are calculated based on your project value for engineered plans. We charge a non-value-based fee for projects that qualify to use the prescriptive plan sets.

4. Get Permit

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 SDCI Project Portal. Print the permit and approved plan set and have it on site for our inspector.

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.

6. Complete Project

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.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Call us at (206) 684-8850