Residential Building

Important Note

Please note that Building Permit Applications and Plans are not accepted at DPIE through the mail. Building Applications and Plans must be submitted through our electronic plan review process (ePlan).

For more information visit our Online Permit Services page.

Minimum Submission Requirements

Please review the "Minimum Plan Submission Requirements for Residential Projects" list.
New kitchen cabinets with refrigerator in the photo
Welcome to the DPIE Virtual Permit Cafe, for Homeowner Walk-Through Permits 2B

New Virtual Permit Café (VPC)

Beginning September 1, 2021, DPIE will launch the VIRTUAL PERMIT CAFÉ (VPC) for homeowner walk-through permits following COVID-19 safety protocols. The Virtual Permit Café is an online system that allows customers to have plans reviewed virtually. A list of the eligible permit types can be found HERE.

For more information on DPIE's Homeowner Walk-Through Permit Process, visit our Virtual Permit Café (VPC) page.

Mandatory Retaining Wall Notice for online permit applications

When Is a Permit Required?

Project Categories

Projects listed are grouped into 4 general categories:
  1. Accessory Buildings (includes sheds)
  2. Home Improvement and Repair Projects
  3. Appliance Installations (includes replacements)
  4. Miscellaneous

Type of Permit & Symbols

The symbols listed below appear in the permit/plans column to indicate the type of permit required. The symbols denote:
  • B - Building Permit
  • E - Electrical Permit
  • M - Mechanical Permit
  • P - Plumbing and Gasfitting Permit Issued by Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
  • G - Grading Permit
  • N - No Permit or Plans Required
  • Y - Plans Required

Accessory Buildings

Permit Plans
Build shed that is more than 150 square feet B Y
Build storage shed that is 150 square feet or less (only 1 allowed per lot without permit) N N
Any shed that is attached to a building or carport B Y
Build farm building (on farm property, agricultural use only) E* N

Home Improvement and Repair Projects

Permit Plans
Install exterior siding N N
Replace roof shingles (no structural repair involved) N N
Replace roof sheathing B Y
Panel interior walls without partitions N N
Put up partitions and finish rec room (electric/plumbing, separate permits required)
Exact window and/or door replacement (no structural alteration) N N
Install pre-fabricated fireplace B Y
Build masonry chimneys for stove B Y
Build masonry fireplace B Y
Construct entrance way/area way into basement B Y
Construct, dig or enlarge a basement under existing dwelling B Y
Driveways and paving B Y
Foundation waterproofing B Y
Build patio less than 500 square feet on grade (no steps; cannot be used to park vehicles) N N
Build above-grade patio B Y
Build patio covers B Y
Replace or install carpeting N N
Painting N N
Replace or install kitchen counter or bathroom counter N N
Replace interior or exterior door N N
Enclose carport B Y
Build or replace porch or deck B Y
Repair steps B Y
Relocate stairs B Y
Pier B,G Y
Bulkhead B,G Y
Boathouse B Y
Mooring Pile B,G Y
Boat lift B Y
Build Dormers B Y
Install a hardwood or asphalt tile floor on a subfloor N N
Install kitchen cabinets N N
Replace switch plates N N
Replace electrical wiring E* N
Relocate switches, outlets, lighting fixtures and sub panels E* N
Relocate service entrance cable or change the size of service E* N
Install smoke detectors (if connected to house wiring) E* N
Replace circuit breakers E* N
Replace kitchen stove exhaust E* N
* Electrical and Mechanical Contractors License required to obtain Electrical and Mechanical
Trade permits.

Appliance Installation

Permit Plans
Install electric air conditioning* E,M* N
Install gas air conditioning M, P* N
Install heat pump E,M* N
Install well-water pump E* N
Install humidifier E* N
Install boiler (gas, oil, etc.) E,M,P* N
Install portable cooling unit (i.e., window A/C)** N N
Install electronic air cleaner E* N
Install attic fan E* N
Install oil furnace E,M* N
Install gas furnace E,M,P* N
Install electric furnace E* N
* Electrical and Mechanical Contractors License required to obtain Electrical and Mechanical
Trade permits.
** Cord and plug connection does not require permit.


Permit Plans
Build retaining walls (over 2 feet high) B Y
Build brick or block privacy wall (over 4 feet high) B Y
Install hot tub/spa/pool B, E* Y
Construct fences (over 4 feet high/6 feet limit) B Y
Install outdoor gas barbecue (if served by Washington Gas Light Co.) P N
Install swimming pool (if connected to WSSC, permit required) B,E* Y
Install solar heating system M,B,E* N
Erect freestanding radio or TV antenna or satellite dish 18 inches or more in diameter B,E* Y
Demolish building (RAZE Permit) B,P** N
* Electrical and Mechanical Contractors License required to obtain Electrical and Mechanical Trade permits.
** Requires disconnect letters from all utility companies.