Permit FAQs

Does my project require a permit?

While it varies depending on the jurisdiction, most major alterations to your home require a permit. Factors include the scope of work, the retail cost of the alteration, and the location of the project in relation to your home and lot. Generally, structures either attached to your home, or greater than 30″ above grade require a permit.

How long will my permit take?

During the months of April through August, permits generally take an average of 4-8 weeks.  Unless otherwise agreed upon, permitted projects will be scheduled to start within 3 weeks of the permit being issued.  As building services are generally less busy during the winter, the earlier in the year you can begin getting your permit the better.

Here is our year-to-date data on permits that we have processed. This chart shows the average number of days each permit takes to process per jurisdiction, as well as the average cost. Please note, if your city is not listed, we have not pulled any permits from that city to date. If your city is listed, but has values of “0,” we have pulled permits from your city, but not in 2015.

Why hasn't my project started?

If your project requires a permit, USI is prohibited by your jurisdiction to start your project until a permit has been issued.  Starting a project before the permit has been issued can result in fines issued to the homeowner by their jurisdiction and could lead to further project delays.

I already paid for the permitting service. Why am I getting another bill?

The initial fee for Permitting Services covers the time and materials required to prepare the site plan and structural drawings, as well as to meet and negotiate with the various departments involved in processing a permit application (Land Use, Building, Utilities, etc.).  Each jurisdiction charges a fee for permits based on the scope of the project.  These charges cannot be predicted beforehand, so are invoiced to the homeowner once the permit has been issued.  Additional fees include engineering approval, which cities/counties require for various structural connections and footing specifications.

Where is my permit?

If you are located within the cities of Bothell, Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Renton, Sammamish, Snohomish County, Snoqualmie, or Woodinville, you can search for your permit here.  If you are located within Unincorporated Pierce County, you can search for your permit at PALS Online.  For any other jurisdictions, please consult with them directly via telephone.

Why haven't I heard from anyone?

Unfortunately, there is very little USI can do once the permit has been submitted to move the process along.  Keep in mind: we may be overseeing a dozen or so permits at a time, but the cities/counties oversee hundreds.  We do our best to ensure that they are keeping on task with your permit and will contact you with any changes and as soon as the permitting process is complete to begin the preliminary scheduling.