Permits / Fees
Construction permits are required for work that is regulated by the Oregon Building Code which would include the disciplines of building (structural), mechanical, plumbing, fire life safety (commercial), and electrical. A construction permit shall be required to be issued prior to beginning the construction, alteration, or repair of a structure, except ordinary repairs. Ordinary repairs are nonstructural repairs and do not include the addition to, alteration of, or the replacement or relocation of:
- Drain leader
- Vent or similar piping
- Water supply
- Other work which a permit is required by the Building Official
Generally, permits are required for everything with a few exceptions. Work exempt from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the code or any other laws or ordinance of the jurisdiction.
The following residential work which may be structural in nature and which does not encroach over subsurface disposal systems or into required yards is exempt from construction permits and fees:
- Fences 7 feet or less in height, except when required as a barrier around a swimming pool
- Flatwork (concrete slabs, driveways, sidewalks)
- Masonry repair
- Non-habitable detached accessory structures that do not exceed 200 square feet in floor area and not exceed 10 feet in height to the average point
- Nonbearing walls or partitions which do not create 'habitable rooms'
- Patio covers that are supported by an exterior wall which cover an area less than 200 square feet
- Replacement of doors or windows where no structural member is changed
- Retaining walls that do not support a regulated building, do not retain material which, if not restrained, could impact a regulated building
- Retrofitted insulation
- Rigid framed fabric covered accessory structures not more than 500 square feet in area, a maximum of one story in height and a minimum of three feet from any property line
- Shelving, cabinet work, gutters and downspouts and 'applied' finishes such as painting or interior wall, floor or ceiling coverings, for example: paneling, wall paper, carpet or vinyl tile
- Uncovered porches or decks which are less than 30 inches above the average finished grade within 3 feet of the porch or deck, and more than 3 feet to any adjacent property line
Oregon Residential Specialty Code
Refer to Section R105 of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code for the actual code language and list of exemptions:
- Oregon Residential Specialty Code Section 105
- Oregon Structural Specialty Code Section 105 (commercial)
To submit an application for a construction permit the applicant must present an approved Planning Department worksheet, at the Building Department counter and fill out a Construction Permit Application (PDF). The complete application form, approved worksheet, and two sets of construction plans for residential, three sets for commercial, if required, may then be submitted for review by the Building Department.
The initial review time for a project is ten working days. The time frame to actually issue the permit may be longer due to delays receiving required revisions to the construction plans or approval from interested agencies such as On-Site Sanitation.
Electrical permits are issued through the Douglas County Building Department. For questions regarding electrical work call 541-440-4559.
Construction Permit Fees
At this time the Douglas County Building Department is totally fee supported, which simply means that only the fees the Department collects are used to pay all the operating costs of the Department. The basic fee schedule is established by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division. The total amount of the construction permit fee for a project is based on the accumulated totals of the fees required for each of the disciplines:
- 12% surcharge which is assessed by and collected for the State
- Building, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical involved in a project
- Fire and life safety fee (commercial only)
- Plan review fee (if applicable)
Contact our office for assistance in calculating 'estimated' fees, which are subject to change based on the actual plan review.
Residential Permit Fees
Residential fees are based on a 'fair market' cost per square foot value. Residential mechanical and plumbing permit fees are assessed and applied in addition to the calculated building (structural) permit fees. The estimated total fee for an average home of 2,000 square feet (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) with an attached 484 square foot garage would be approximately $1,966 for structural, mechanical, and plumbing only. Electrical is a separate permit and the estimated cost for this permit would be $209.94. Without the garage, the fee would be approximately $1,700.
Commercial Permit Fees
Commercial fees are more difficult to calculate than residential fees because they may include:
- Fire alarms systems
- Fire and life safety plan review fee (which is 40% of the actual building permit fee)
- Sprinkler systems
- Other similar building features
Manufactured Home Permits
The fees for the installation/placement of a manufactured home are as follows:
- Manufactured Dwelling as a Storage Building - $236.34
- Manufactured Dwelling Service (electrical) - $81.14
- New Placement of a Manufactured Dwelling - $365.14
- Re-placement of a Manufactured Dwelling - $300.74
What Isn't Included in Permit
These fees for manufactured dwellings do not include the permits required to construct:
- Decks (other than landings at all doorways)
Installation of any mechanical system such as a heat pump, natural or LP gas systems are also not included in the permit.
No Permit Required
No permit is required for sheds/storage buildings less than 200 square feet and less than an average roof height of 10 feet. These fees do not include the permit for the installation of electrical service and an electrical permit is required. Additional fees may be assessed if changes to an existing water or sewer line are required or if the new water or sewer service is more than 30 feet from the manufactured dwelling to the service connections.