Community & Economic Development

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if my residential work requires a permit?

For mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work, if you're doing anything other than basic repairs or replacement of minor external appliances, outlets, or fixtures, it's safe to assume that you'll need a permit.

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When is a residential building permit required?

Permits are required before beginning construction, alteration, or repairs, other than ordinary repairs.  Ordinary repairs are nonstructural repairs and do not include addition to, alteration of, or replacement or relocation of water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electrical wiring, or mechanical or other work for which a permit is required.

How long is a permit good for?

Every permit is good for 180 days from the point of the last inspection. The work must commence within 180 days from the issuance of the permit. In addition, the permit will expire if the work is abandoned or suspended for a period of 180 days or more after the work has commenced. Before such work commences or is resumed, a permit extension or renewal must be obtained.

How do permits protect my home?

Permits ensure that a certified inspector inspects the construction project or installation. Inspections help make sure work is done safely and to code. When a city or county inspector approves work, you can ask questions from an expert and know that the work has been checked for safety violations. This is of particular value to the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t make installations every day. Incorrect installations can result in house fires, flood damage, and/or structural problems.

Permits help ensure that licensed contractors do the work if the homeowner doesn’t handle the job. Only Construction Contractors Board (CCB) licensed contractors, and those who carry a trade license, such as plumbers and electricians, are allowed to legally work in Oregon. State and local building departments issue permits only to contractors who are properly licensed and bonded.

Do I need a permit for a driveway?

Is it a driveway where one doesn’t exist yet? Are you replacing an old driveway? Is it a shared driveway? Does or will the driveway meet the public right-of-way? Is this new driveway in addition to an already existing driveway? It is possible that you will need an Encroachment Permit for the work.  Please contact Public Works at 541-535-2226 for more information.

Where can I find more information about flood hazards?