Residential New Single Family Residence (NSFR) Permits

Learn about the new single-family residence permit process in the City of Portland. Get a permit application for building a new home and all required NSFR forms and informational handouts. Find information on permits and NSFR inspections.

On this Page

NSFR applications and instructions 

Step 1: Research your property and what you need for your project

Code and rules

Permits are reviewed under multiple city and state codes including: 

Combination permits

The Bureau of 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.  

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 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 6 months.  

Excavation guidelines 

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.

Step 2: What you need and how to submit for a NSFR permit

Overview of NSFR intake processes

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 

NSFR submittal and review process for projects with one or two units

Schedule an a Building Permit Intake Appointment

If you are unable to create electronic plans yourself, please call us and we will work with you.

During your appointment time, our staff will guide you through uploading your plans using a secure link we will provide. To file a permit application, you must upload a completed application and all submittal materials. 

Submit the following completed materials:

  • Four sets of complete plans
  • NSFR application 
  • NSFR minimum submittal checklist and sample site plan
  • NSFR Life Safety and Structural Review completeness checklist
  • Any additional submittal materials 
  • Intake fees

A Development Services technician will contact you to discuss your application and next steps. Incomplete applications and plans will be returned to you. 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

NSFR batch submittal and review process for projects with three or more units 

Schedule an a Building Permit Intake Appointment

During your appointment time, our staff will guide you through uploading your plans using a secure link we will provide. To file a permit application, you must upload a completed application and all submittal materials. 

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 Batch Intake Worksheet (including information for each building type)
  • Four sets of complete plans
  • Completed Life Safety Completeness Checklist for NSFRs
  • 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 Permitting General Information for more information or to discuss the NSFR projects.

Step 3: Plan review and checksheets

The bureaus/review groups that will check a NSFR project include:

  • Planning and Zoning
  • Life Safety Review
  • Structural Review
  • Addressing
  • Site Development Review
  • Residential Subsurface Site Evaluation - Site Development
  • Environmental Services Review
  • Portland Department of Transportation Review
  • Water Works Review
  • Urban Forestry Review

If a reviewer needs more information, they will send a checksheet to the applicant requesting corrections or more information.  The plans will need to be updated and re-submitted with the checksheet response.

The related permit review process webpage has more information.  You can check the status of the permit review on Portland Maps permit/case search.

Step 4: Permit Issuance

When the last technical review is approved, your permit will be pre-issued. Pre-issuance is the last permit check. This step ensures all required reviews took place, all required approval stamps are on the plans, and the fees are charged correctly. You will be contacted when your permit is ready, and notified of your final fee total. Instructions will be given on how to get your approved permit and pay your fees. Your permit is not issued until all fees are paid. 

Step 5: Start building and get ready for 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: Residential inspections, results and corrections

To schedule an inspection, call the automated inspection request line. 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.

Not approved - there are some reasons why the work did not get approved:

  • no access - the inspector may not have been able to inspect the work
  • incomplete work
  • code violations

The inspector will list the corrections needed on the inspection report. 

Call for a reinspection after making the corrections. Use the same three digit inspection code.
If you make the corrections the same day wait until 5 pm to request a reinspection. The inspector needs to enter their results before you can schedule the reinspection.

There is a reinspection fee charged for more than one reinspection for a single issue.

Contact residential inspectors

If you have questions before your inspection, you can talk to an inspector. The 1 & 2 family inspector area map list the inspector's name, area, and phone number.   

Because of vacation or illness, your inspector may be different than the one listed on the map. If you have questions after your inspection, find out which inspector to call. Their contact information will be on the inspection results and on Portland maps.


Building Code Plan Review

Development Services

phone number503-823-1456

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

Permitting General Information

Development Services

Requests for Inspection and Inspection Results

Development Services

phone number503-823-7000

Automated Line - Requires an IVR or permit number

Residential Inspections

Development Services

phone number503-823-7388

Monday through Friday from 8:15 am - 3:45 pm. Leave a message with detailed information.

fax number503-823-7693

Schedule a Building Permit Application Appointment

Development Services

phone number503-823-4092

Call this number to leave a message. If you would like to schedule an intake appointment for a building permit, development review permit or zoning permit, click on the link below.