Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Do you need a permit for your project?

Housing inspector talks with customer
When is a residential permit needed? When don't you need a permit for a 1 or 2-family home? Learn about residential building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, plumbing permits and zoning permits and work that requires a permit for a 1 or 2-family home. Also known as Brochure 2.
On this page

Quick links to popular construction categories.

Residential Projects

One to two-family home

Residential projects that require permits

Commercial Projects

Three or more family homes and businesses

Commercial projects that require permits

Why you need permits

  • It’s the law. State Building Code requires that permits be obtained for certain types of work. Permits provide a legal record of work performed.
  • Permits protect you, your family, your business and your investment. They are designed to help ensure that licensed contractors do the work when required.
  • Inspections ensure that work is done safely and that it meets the minimum code requirements.
  • Minor problems that could lead to costly repairs, liability and life/safety issues can be detected during permit inspections and brought to your attention before the situation worsens.
  • When selling a property, the buyer, realtor and/or lender may require that unpermitted work be corrected, properly permitted and inspected before closing.
  • Lack of permits and inspection approvals may void insurance.

Projects that need permits 

Learn more about different types of projects that require permits: 

  • Commercial permits for commercial construction sites (including three or more family dwellings).
  • Residential permits are for home repair work done on one and two-family homes. This webpage also has information about projects that don't need a permit. 
  • Trade permits for adding a bathroom, replacing plumbing fixtures, adding water lines, electrical work, and heating and cooling work.
  • Outside work permits include concrete patio permits, decommission permits, driveway permits, sewer connection permits and more
  • Other permits include banner permits, changing occupancy permits, sign permits and more 

You can also use the search bar on For example type into the search bar, "ADU permits" or "Deck permits."

Still not sure if you need a permit? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

If you have questions about permits for commercial projects, home repair, remodeling or new build projects, we recommend you book a free 15-minute appointment with us. This is an optional step. We're here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply.