Commercial construction includes new buildings and work on, within, or added to existing buildings. Work on existing structures is often referred to as a tenant improvement. A permit technician can help you determine your project requirements and related fees.
Fees are established by county ordinance and are calculated automatically by computer during the application process. You will receive a fee estimate during your initial visit to our office and a final cost when you submit your applications.
Permit fees cover the cost of processing, plan review, and inspections to ensure code compliance and safety standards are met.
We recommend meeting with a plans examiner at the early stages of design to avoid code corrections later in the process. You may request your free two-hour consultation by contacting Lou Malattia at (360) 397-2375 ext. 4086 for an appointment.
New commercial construction consists of both freestanding buildings and additions to buildings that create new floor space.
A permit is required for new tenants that are not completing any construction activity. The use and occupancy type must be the same as the previous tenant. A review is done to validate appropriate occupancy and provide legal occupancy to the new tenant.
A permit is required for existing tenants completing renovations. This type of permit is also needed for new tenants that have the same occupancy type and that modify the building with new interior work (offices, restrooms, etc.) or exterior work (awnings, entry, but not added floor space).
A permit is required for all work and modifications needed for a new use or occupancy type. The scope of work includes both interior and exterior modifications to the building.
Common examples of work requiring a permit:
- Installation of any plumbing fixtures such as water heaters, toilets, and sinks.
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) work.
- Re-roofing, replacing siding and windows.
- Changes that create rooms, interrupt the approved exit path, or that increase the number occupants such as the addition of a conference room.
- Adding kitchens, kitchen equipment or seating areas
- New business processes such as fabrication, painting or welding
Most construction projects follow these basic steps:
- Contractor submits application, pays plan review and other fees
- Plans examiner reviews plans
- Permit technicians process application
- Permit technician issues permit
- Contractor may begin work
- Inspector visits site to inspect construction at important stages
- Permit technician issues Certificate of Occupancy
For tenant improvements and new construction activities, plumbing, heating/cooling, water/sewer connections, and sign permits may be required. In some instances, you may also need environmental permits.
If your project involves electrical work, connection to public water or sewer, or is for food service, you will need additional permits and approvals from other agencies.
All files are PDF unless indicated otherwise.
- Commercial Permit Categories - permit categories, checklists, and fees
- Commercial Building Permit Application – Application for new construction, alterations, additions and tenant improvements.
- Code Summary Requirements and Worksheet for New Construction – Worksheet for showing project meets code and fire safety requirements.
- Commercial structural design information - Structures not conforming to the prescriptive criteria must meet these specifications.
- Commercial Submittal Checklist – Checklist for items needed to submit your application for new construction, alterations, additions and tenant improvements.
- Tenant Improvement Permit – Information and checklist for tenant improvements.
- Plumbing Application – Application for plumbing work.
- Mechanical Application - Application for heating and cooling work.