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kebwi 08-31-2009 03:56 PM

Building permits in Seattle
I'm looking for feedback from other Seattle folks about permits. What have you found out? How did it go for you? I just got off the phone with them and they very cautiously decided I didn't need a building permit...the sticker being that one is generally required for any masonry over six feet, including a chimney, but like I said, they let it slide. However, they said that didn't establish whether I would need an over-the-counter permit. They gave me a guy's phone number but I just got a message saying he would be out of the office for the next week and a half.

So, I feel kinda screwed until then.

I was surprised by this. I kind of thought it would be breeze from what I've read on this forum.

Any other Seattlites want to chime in with their experiences?


RTflorida 08-31-2009 05:17 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
since they seem to be wishy washy on the issue, be sure to make notes of exactly who/when you speak to someone. The last thing you need is a stop work order, fine, and an inspector with a chip on his shoulder (God like complex) because you did not get a permit and should have.
As many of us have stated...WFOs seem to fall into a grey area (outdoor bbq), but some areas require any structure conform to the same codes as a livable dwelling.
At the very least, make sure that you conform to national fire code on chimney height in relation to attached or nearby structures as well as proximity to combustable materials (these are no one wants to burn down there house, garage or shed).


brokencookie 08-31-2009 06:08 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle

Originally Posted by kebwi (Post 63215)
the sticker being that one is generally required for any masonry over six feet, including a chimney

I'm down in unincorporated Olympia ( Thurston County building codes). I didn't bother to tell them it was a pizza oven when I called. I just told them it was a brick BBQ and they only mentioned fire codes. I will be breaking ground in the next few weeks but looking over my plans, I come out with a masonry height of about 5 ft 10 inches for a 42 inch oven. I will be using a duravent pipe so as to have no masonry above the 6 ft line.

Yep, I like dancing on the lines.


RTflorida 08-31-2009 08:39 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
Bruce, I'm with ya...a rebel against "the man". I am waiting for the day the inspector shows up for all of my projects. The most comical and rediculous would be my two new toilets (yes, my wonderful town requires a permit to replace a crapper).
I'm sorry, I just can't conform to the nonsense.....but for the obvious, high profile outdoor stuff, I tend to toe the line.


kebwi 09-02-2009 03:33 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
Final summary of my permit adventure. Without knowing much about what different kinds of permits are, I accidentally ended up on the phone with the "building permits" folks, which I guess are concerned with pretty large jobs. They concluded I didn't need a building permit, but they'd didn't know if I needed an over-the-counter permit.

Note: at least in Seattle, there is some concern that any masonry over six feet high may require a building permit. They let me slide on it though. They referred me to the over-the-counter folks, who I spent another two days getting to answer the phone.

But in the end, they said I'm good to go. Their primary concern was that the build be sufficiently far from the property line, a standard requirement of any construction I believe.

So, I'm in the clear, notes taken, dates, names, exactly what they told me. I have no "records" to prove it, but I'm not pursuing it any further now that I have a go ahead!!!

Of course, I still haven't purchased one single piece of material or equipment yet, much less begun to frame the foundation, although I've measured my yard and made tons of meticulous 3D models, to be posted as I procede.


Neil2 09-02-2009 04:24 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
Its is better to deal with the building inspector before hand than to deal with the insurance adjuster afterward.

Get a building permit or have it documented that you don't need one.


Pizza Pizza 09-05-2009 04:40 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
Kebwi, I'm in Everett and planning on starting my 36" dome about November. Thanks for posting. I would assume Seattle would be tougher than Everett about permits, but I will go down and ask them anyway. If you want to share ideas throughout our constructions, let me know. Any other Seattle/Everett/Bellevue builders out there?

berryst 09-06-2009 11:26 AM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
permit.....never ever let them near ever
They will often kill a good project...wait till they say you need an engineers stamped approval.This could effectively end many projects and now your on thier radar

Neil2 09-06-2009 12:07 PM

Re: Building permits in Seattle
An illegal structure can void your home insurance.

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