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Do You Need a Permit for Your Project?

Learn more about building permits, commercial permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, plumbing permits and zoning permits and work that requires a permit for a 1- or 2-family home. Homeowners, learn more about when is a permit needed, if you need a permit and how to apply for a permit.

On this page

Get information about the types of work that require a permit.

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.

Where to get permits and how to apply for permits

To find more information, search Portland.gov for a project type. For example, "ADU permits" or "Deck permits." You can also check out building permits or trade permits for information about specific types of permits. And, visit the residential permitting area of Portland.gov. 

Permit types 

There are several types of Development Services permits:

  • Commercial permits for commercial construction sites (including multi-family dwellings) 
  • Other permits include banner permits, changing occupancy permits, sign permits and more 
  • Outside work permits include concrete patio permits, decommission permits, driveway permits, sewer connection permits and more
  • Residential permits are for 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 or adding water lines

Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, 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. 

Contact

Permitting General Information

Development Services

Requests for Inspection

Development Services

phone number503-823-7000

Automated Line - Requires an IVR or permit number

Site Development Permits and Inspections

phone number503-823-6892

Monday through Friday from 8 am - 5 pm. Leave a message with detailed information.

Zoning Information Line

Development Services

phone number503-823-7526

Monday through Friday from 8 am - 5 pm. Leave a message with a phone number, the project address, and your questions.

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