Do I Need A Permit?

Obtain a building permit for all new construction and additions, as well as most alterations and remodels, prior to starting the work.

The following is a list of the only exceptions (things that do not require a permit), per Pullman City Code (PCC) 2.15.035:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (11.15 square meters) (IBC*) or 200 square feet (18.58 square meters) (IRC*).
  2. Fences not over 7-feet (1,829 mm) high.
  3. Oil derricks.
  4. Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet (1,219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids.
  5. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5000 gallons (18,927 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
  6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade and not over any basement or story below and which are not part of an accessible route.
  7. Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 square meters) in area, that are not more than 30 inches (762mm) above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve a required exit door. (Note: IRC ONLY*)
  8. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  9. Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
  10. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a one and two-family dwelling which are less than 24 inches (610mm) deep, does not exceed 5000 gallons (18,927 L) and are installed entirely above ground.
  11. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes and not including service systems.
  12. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one or two-family dwelling.
  13. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  14. Nonfixed and movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
  15. Minor construction and alteration activities, as determined by the building official for one- and two-family dwellings, which the total valuation as determined by the Building Official or as documented by the applicant, does not exceed $1500 in any twelve-month period; PROVIDED, that the construction and/or alteration activity does not create a bedroom, affect any structural components, or reduce existing egress, light, air, and ventilation conditions. This exemption does not include electrical, plumbing, or mechanical activities. The permit exemption shall not otherwise exempt the construction or alteration from the substantive standards of the codes enumerated in RCW 19.27.031, as amended and maintained by the state building code council under RCW 19.27.074.
Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical, and mechanical permits will be required for the above exempted items. Electrical permits are attained from Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

Exemption from the permit requirements does not allow for any work to be done in a manner that is inconsistent with the minimum construction or zoning requirements. For example, a 10' by 12' garden shed accessory to a single-family home would not require a building permit, but would still be required to meet the setback (PCC 17.75.080(7)) and lot coverage (PCC 17.75.080(5)) requirements.

  • IRC = International Residential Code. The IRC applies to projects related to one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane.
  • IBC = International Building Code. The IBC applies to projects related to commercial structures and residential structures with more than two dwelling units.
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