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Step 3. What You Need for a Permit

What you need when you apply for a building permit, site development permit or zoning permit that needs plan review with the City of Portland. Get basic submittal information for residential and commercial building permits, zoning permits and site development permits.

For permits that need plan review, what you need to submit depends on the complexity of your project. You will always need to submit an application form and plans. For information on trade permits and submittal requirements, visit the trade permit pages.

Building permit application for building, site development and zoning permits

The information on the Application form is entered into our permit system. You will need to know: 

  • Address: what is the site location? 
  • Description of work: what work are you doing? For example: Adding a bedroom and bathroom to the first floor of a single family home. 
  • Contractor: who is doing the work? You will need the contractor's name and their "CCB" number. If you are a home owner doing your own work you can put "Owner doing work" instead.
  • Applicant: who should we contact about the permit? This person will be the contact for reviewers and staff. 
  • Valuation: what is the fair market value for the project? This means the cost of labor and materials. Even if you are doing the work yourself, you need to include what it would cost to hire someone.

Permit plans 

General rules for plans: 

  • Dimensions and notes must be 12 point font minimum.
  • Line quality and contrast must be easy to read. 
  • Drawings may not contain color.
  • No Photographs may not be part of the plan.
  • All plans must be drawn to scale.
    • 1/4 inch = 1 foot is the most common scale used for residential floor plans and section views.

Different types of plans may be required: 

  • Site plan: This shows the whole property and footprint of all structures and driveway. 
    • 1 inch = 10 feet is the minimum scale accepted for site plans
    • The scale used must be clearly shown and the site plan must show the entire lot..
  • Floor plans: These must label the existing layout and the proposed new layout. Even if you are only working on a small part of the building, you still need to show the whole floor layout. 
  • Elevation drawings: Are you doing anything on the exterior like adding a window or door? You will need these drawings of the outside of the building. 
    • Building elevations must be to scale and show the slope of the ground adjacent to the building.
  • Structural pages: If your project needs to have an engineer, you will need these pages to show details. 
  • Electrical, mechanical, plumbing pages: For larger commercial new construction
  • Civil drawings: For larger commercial new construction

Supporting documents for a permit 

These may be required based on your project: 

  • Structural calculations
  • Product specifications 
  • Geotechnical reports 

Minimal Submittal Requirements

To make sure your permit application is complete, we have created checklists. These checklists are called minimal submittal requirements. 

Residential (1 and 2 family home)

 Commercial (includes Triplexes and Multi-family dwellings)