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Community Development

Building permits

- Why get permits?
- Common misconceptions
- Get legal!
- Forms and fees


Why get permits?

  • Building codes are adopted and continually updated statewide to ensure individual and community safety.
  • Permit fees pay for review of plans and on-site inspections of work to ensure minimum building code compliance.
  • Knowledgeable county code professionals work with licensed contractors and homeowners to make projects successful.
  • Permits provide a permanent record of the work performed and inspections conducted on the project.
  • Individuals and the public are more secure knowing that construction meets current codes and standards.
  • Final approval of a project adds validity and value - important to owners, agents, lenders, and insurers.

Common misconceptions

  • Building codes are overly restrictive. Codes are nationally developed and are the minimum requirement that construction and products must meet. The county building official can approve alternatives.
  • Permits are a type of tax. Permit fees are project specific fees for review and inspection services.
  • It is not a big deal to do work without permits. Building permits are required by state law. They are the standard upon which future owners, lenders, and insurers rely and for which the current owner is solely responsible. Proceeding without a permit could put your home and family at risk and require costly repairs in the future.
  • My contractor said a permit is not required or that they cost too much. A contractor who is working without a permit may be unlicensed or unqualified which could create additional liability for you. Check contractor and subcontractor licenses to ensure that a contractor is legally licensed and bonded to work in Washington.

Get legal!

If you have purchased, built, or contracted work without a permit, it is important to bring it into compliance. We cooperatively work with customers every day to bring current and completed construction projects into compliance.

Coming into compliance is always better sooner than later. It is easier to get documentation or first-hand information about the project. Trying to complete work with pressures of a loan or transaction is more frustrating.

Contact us at (360) 397-2375 ext. 4078 for more information on ways to bring projects into compliance and up to code standards.

 

 

 
Permit Center information

Check current wait times

Location

Public Service Center
1300 Franklin St., 1st floor
Vancouver, WA - map

Hours

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Phone (360) 397-2375

Email

permitservices@clark.wa.gov

Appointments
(360) 397-2375 ext. 4807
Email for appointments

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