New Single Family Residence (NSFR) and New Detached ADU's

Apply for a building permit for a new home build in Portland. Get a permit application and all required forms for building a new home. Learn about new house permits and new home inspections. Before you build, learn what you need for a complete application for new construction here.
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The City of Portland welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your new single family residence project. Learn more about what's required when building a new home. You can also schedule an appointment to discuss your project. 

Who can do the work 

Contractors must have a license to work in Oregon. The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) issues licenses to contractors. The permit application and their company materials must list the license number. Need help finding a contractor? The CCB website has good tips on how to search for one. Plumbing and electrical contractors have additional license requirements.  

If you are a homeowner doing the work yourself, then you can sign the trade permit applications. You can only do the electrical work if you own and occupy the home and are not planning on selling or renting within six months. The State of Oregon has some helpful information for homeowners: 

NSFR and New Detached ADU Application Form Library

The following forms may be needed for your application. Because every project is unique, there may be some situations where you will be asked to provide additional information. Read more about what to include in your application and how to apply for permit

Things you need to apply for this permit may include some or all of the following:

Additional trade permit applications for combination permits (if applicable)

Step 1: Research your property and what you need for new home construction 

Code and rules

Permits are reviewed under multiple city and state codes including: 

Other codes may apply based on the scope of work. The City and State Codes, Administrative Rules, Code Guides and Program Guides webpage has the codes, administrative rules, code guides and program guides.

When you need a building permit and trade permits (combination permits)

Development Services sells a "Residential Combination" permit package. This allows you to call for all inspections using one Building Permit (RS) IVR number. You can also pay for all the permits at one time. If you choose a combination permit, you will need to submit the trade (mechanical, electrical, and/or plumbing) applications with your plans. If you are hiring subcontractors to do the trade work, they must sign their trade permit application.  

Excavation guidelines for a new home build 

Be careful when digging near the property line for construction. The work should not cause damage to the next door property and buildings. The Temporary Excavation Guidelines has information on requirements.

Planning and Zoning

Before getting started, contact the General Inquiries phone number to find out what is allowed on your property. There are rules about maximum building coverage and required setbacks that could impact your project.

Step 1b: Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

This is an optional step. If you still need help, we are here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply. You can schedule a free 15-minute appointment with any of these reviewers:

  • Meet with a City Planner to receive information about planning and Zoning and Tree Code requirements that apply to your property. 
  • Meet with a Building Code and Engineering Reviewer to get help with building code and engineering requirements. 
  • Meet with a Permit Technician if you have questions about the permit process or if you need help with application requirements.
  • Meet with a Water expert to find out if your project requires you to increase the size of your existing water meter. 
  • Meet with a Transportation expert to find out if your project will trigger right-of-way improvements. 
  • Meet with an Urban Forestry expert for tree code questions about tree removal and preservation with proposed construction or development.

Contact Environmental Services if you have questions about sanitary or stormwater sewer lines: 503-823-7761. 

If you need help, these are experts we recommend you meet with for this project. Not all review groups are listed. The groups listed above will help get you started. 

Step 2: Apply for a new home construction permit

Overview of how to apply for one and two-dwelling units and three or more units 

New Single Family Residential (NSFR) projects have two different intake processes:

  • NSFR Submittal and Review Process for one or two-dwelling unit projects can be submitted as a single application 
  • Three or more dwelling units (designed to the residential code) on a single lot or attached to each other are batched together 

New home construction application and review for projects with one or two units

You can submit your permit application request online using Development Hub PDX. Follow the instructions in the application to answer questions.  Use the advanced help text in the application for more information about a particular question or requirement.

For most NSFR and New Detached ADU projects, electronic plans are submitted through Development Hub PDX.  If you need to submit paper plans, you can set up an appointment to pick up plans or drop off plans in person. Or, please call us and we will work with you. 

A Development Services technician will contact you to discuss your application and next steps. The complexity of the plans will determine how quickly they are reviewed and approved. After you talk with a Development Services technician, you can check your permit status online. You can find the permit status and the assigned reviewer information on Portland Maps

You may want to review our NSFR and New Detached ADU Fees page to get an idea of what your fees may look like for your project.  As every project is different, your fees may vary.

New home construction application and review for projects with three or more units 

You can submit your permit application request online using Development Hub PDXRead step-by-step instructions for submitting a permit application request online or in person. 

For most projects, electronic plans are submitted through the Single PDF process. Large projects such as commercial new construction are submitted though PDX E-plans and ProjectDox.

If you need to submit paper plans, you can set up an appointment to pick up plans or drop off plans in person. Or, please call us and we will work with you. 

These projects have their own application process:

  • three or more units 
  • built to the Oregon Residential Specialty Code or International Residential Code
  • located on a single tax lot or attached to each other
  • Examples include: three townhouse units on one tax lot, three townhouses on separate tax lots or a group of three single-family homes on one tax lot. 

These projects have unique Planning and Zoning requirements. Projects with more than one structure on one tax lot also need a separate Site Development permit. This is for common infrastructure elements such as driveways, utilities, and landscaping.

Submit the following completed materials by email to Permitting General Information:

  • Completed Residential Batch Intake Worksheet (including information for each building type)
  • Four sets of complete plans if applying in person (one set of complete plans if applying online)
  • Completed Life Safety Completeness Checklist for NSFRs form
  • Any additional submittal materials

A Process Manager will be assigned to your project. The Process Manager will contact you to discuss your application and next steps. Please contact the Permitting General Information phone number for more information or to discuss the NSFR projects.

Step 3: Check plan review status and make corrections to an application (respond to checksheets)

You can check the status of a permit review on Portland Maps permit/case search. Many people might review a single permit. The Permit Review Process web page has more information about the groups who review permits. 

A checksheet is sent to the applicant when a reviewer needs additional information or a correction has to be made to the plans. Read more about how to send us corrections and how to prepare corrected paper plans.

Step 4: Get your new house construction permit 

We'll contact you when your permit is ready, and notify you about any fees due. You'll get instructions for how to get your approved permit and pay your fees. Your permit is not issued until all fees are paid. Read more about the pre-issuance process.

Step 5: Start building and get ready for new home inspections

The inspection card lists all the inspections you will likely need during your construction project, and what work needs to be done first.  

Once your building permit is issued, erosion control measures and sometimes tree protection measures must be installed, inspected and approved prior to beginning any further ground-disturbing activities.

All permits need a final approval inspection to be complete.

Step 6: Schedule an inspection, get inspection results and make corrections

To schedule an inspection, call the automated Requests for Inspections phone number. You will need your IVR or permit number and the three-digit code for the inspection.

Get the results of the inspection on Portland Maps permit/case search the next day.

Read more about why work does not get approved and how to schedule a reinspection.

Contact residential inspectors about your permit inspections

If you have questions before or after your inspection, you can talk to an inspector.


General Inquiries

Development Services
phone number503-823-7300Our front desk team will be available to answer Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please leave a message if you call outside of those hours.
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Residential Inspections

Development Services
phone number503-823-7388Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
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fax number503-823-7693