Do You Need Outside Work Permits? Driveways, Patios, Sewer and More

Large 2-story wood frame house with large windows, front porch, and octagon sunroom at front
Learn more about when you need permits for work being done outside. Get application forms and read about home repair permits like concrete patio permits, driveway permits, private street permits, tree cutting permits, retaining wall permits, sewer connection permits, water heater permits and more.
On this page

The City of Portland welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your outside work permit project. Find out if you need permits for your outside work project and what kind of permits you need. Learn more about permits for electrical, mechanical and plumbing work. You can also schedule an appointment to discuss your project. 

This webpage can help you decide if you need a permit for your outdoor project. If you need a permit, the next step will be to read about permit requirements on the linked webpages. You might also want to read What You Need to Apply for a Permit- Minimum Submittal Requirements.

Concrete patio permits 

Add a concrete patio on grade (private property)- contact Planning and Zoning to find out if a zoning permit is needed.

Deck permits 

  • Building a deck more than 30 inches high- you'll need a building permit.
  • No permit required if building a deck not more than 30 inches above grade.

Driveway permits

  • Add a driveway with new or replacement curb cut- you will need a zoning permit
  • Add paving for driveway with existing, unaltered curb cut- you will need a zoning permit

Fence permits 

  • Put up a fence more than seven feet high- you'll need a building permit.
  • Building a fence less than seven feet high- no permit required. 

Outside work permits 

Learn more about when you need a Site Development permit

Tree permits

  • For tree regulation inquiries, contact Planning and Zoning to find out if a zoning permit is needed.
  • Trees may require a Title 11 permit. For more information review ‘Do I Need a Tree Permit?’ or call Urban Forestry.

Retaining walls permits 

Retaining walls taller than 4’ or any wall with sloping backfill or surcharged need a building permit and a Site Development permit for walls in a new subdivision.

Sewer connection permits 

Water heater permits 

Start a new permit application

The related webpages have more information about specific permit types and the permit review process. 

In addition, here are the building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and zoning permit applications: 

Projects that need Development Services permits 

Learn more about different types of projects that require permits: 

  • Commercial permits for commercial construction sites (including multi-family dwellings) 
  • Other permits include banner permits, changing occupancy permits, sign permits and more 
  • 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 or adding water lines

You might also want to check out the full list of all trade permit webpages or all building permits webpages. 

Still not sure if you need a permit? Get help

If you have questions about home repair permits for the outside of your home, 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.