Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the hours and location of the Permit Center?
The Permit Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall at:
200 E Market
Aberdeen, WA 98520
- How do I pay for may permit?
Please visit the Payments page.
- How do I apply?
Please visit the How Do I Apply for a Permit page for more information regarding the permitting process.
- What work is exempt?
Please visit the Do I Need a Permit page.
- When is a permit issued?
Over the Counter
Some permits can be issued without plans. We call these “Over the Counter” permits. This means that as soon as the application has been reviewed, for completeness, you will be provided an invoice to pay, without any further review. i.e. Roofing, Siding, Mechanical or Plumbing permits. These permits can be issued same day from the counter. Online review can be same day but may take up to 3 or 4 business days depending on the workload. All permits are reviewed in the order they come in.
Most all permits that require submittals will need to go through a plan review process. Some permits require more submittal documents than other permits. Some only require one department to review the application and others require all the departments to review the application. These types of permit applications have varying time frames for issuance. Typically, permits that go through a review process, will be 1 to 8 weeks. The more complete your submittal documents are, the quicker we can review them. Check out the Submittal Requirements for Permitting page.
- What does my permit application require?
Please visit our Permits We Issue page. We have listed all the permit types and what is required for each permit application. We have also listed the contacts of who to reach out to for questions on each permit type.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the timing of a Permit application review.
- How long is my permit good for?
Issued permits are good for 180 days from the last approved inspection performed, on the project. Permits can be extended, upon request, by emailing the Building Division. Applications, that have not been submitted, will expire after 90 days.
Issued permits that go beyond 180 days may be able to be extended. The reasoning will need to be due to a hardship and will be determined to be valid on a case-by-case basis. Any issued permit applications, that are more than a year old, will need to be resubmitted with a permit fee for the remaining work.
Any issued permit, that required a full plan review, that has been expired for more than a year, will need to go through another full plan review if a new code year has been adopted since the last review. In this case, the full fee for the plan review and permit will be assessed.
- How much does a permit cost?
There are many types of permits and pricing structures.
Please visit the Fees and Payments page.
- I want to build a shed. Do I need a permit?
Sheds larger than 128 square feet require a permit. You will need an Accessory Structure permit application. Please visit the Permits We Issue page for more information.
Within residential zones, setbacks will need to be adhered to whether you get a permit or not. The structure will also need to be tied down to the ground according to code.
Other requirements may be necessary if the structure is located in the flood plain.
- I want to build a fence. Do I need a permit?
Please visit the Permits We Issue page and look under the Commercial or Residential Tabs to find the Fence permit information.
- What is the wind speed, snow load, or engineering design criteria for my area?
Wind Load: 135 per 3 second gust
Snow Load: 20 pounds per square foot (psf)
Seismic Design: 2
Frost line: 6 inches (All foundations and footings are required to be buried 12 feet)
- Can I draw my own plans for my project?
Applicants can draw and submit plans to the building department for most projects less than 4,000 square feet in area or for single-family residences or an accessory structure. The accuracy, code compliance, and any revisions necessary to meet required codes are the responsibility of the applicant.
Please visit the Submittal Requirements for Permitting page.
- ?Does the City of Aberdeen provide plans?
The City of Aberdeen has pre-engineered prescriptive plan drawings for a pole building, foundations, carports, covered porches, and decks. Please visit the Permits We Issue page for the permit type you are interested in, for detailed information, and a link to the handout.
- Do my plans have to be engineered?
Some plans may require design by a licensed Washington State Engineer in order to be approved for permit issuance. This determination can usually be made during the plan review process or preliminarily by consulting with Building Department staff. Any building over 4,000 square feet or a multi-residential unit of 4 or more is required to be designed by an engineer or architect.
- Where can I find a list of Engineers, Architects or Surveyors?
The City of Aberdeen does not maintain a list of licensed Architects, Engineers, or Surveyors. You may consult a local area through an online search engine, or check with a contractor, in order to find a list of licensed Engineers, Architects, or Surveyors in Washington State.
Upon request, the Permit Counter can provide a limited list of local Architects, Engineers, and Surveyors.
- Where can I find a list of Licensed Contractors?
The City of Aberdeen does not maintain a list of licensed Contractors. You may consult a local telephone book, or online search engine, in order to find a list of licensed Contractors in Washington State.
We encourage you to review Washington State Labor and Industries Before Hiring a Contractor information.
- Can I do the work myself?
Property owners are permitted to perform work on their own property. If you intend to keep the property for more than 2 years. If you intend to fix and sell, you will need to be a licensed general or electrical contractor or hire a licensed contractor.
- Does the City have copies of my old permits and plans?
The Building Department retains historic building permit records that exceed the requirements of the Washington State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State records retention schedule.
All permit records were kept from as far back as the 1950s. Most residential building plans were not kept past the required 6-month retention period after the project was completed.
The Building Permit Office scanned in all permits up to 2018 and are available upon request. All other permits and their supporting documentation dated after 2018, can be accessed through our online permit portal by putting in the address. Advanced searches of permit types, date ranges and such can be performed under the advance search tab.
- How do I find property information such as zoning, floodplain, property lines and such?
Our Maps page can be very helpful in finding a load of property information. Please visit our GIS map on the maps page. You may put in your address and once it zooms into the property, click on the property for details. You may also turn on layers for more details by clicking on the layer you are interested in, to the right of the page.
You may also find what is allowed on the property by visiting the City of Aberdeen Municipal Codes online. This is a searchable document.
- How do I find out the setbacks for my property lines?
Property lines and setback requirements are very important when building. They can vary, depending on the location of the property. It is best to check with the Community Development Permit Center for specific information by emailing Renee Reynolds. Details on setbacks can also be found within several areas of the City of Aberdeen Municipal Codes online. This is a searchable document.
- When do I need inspections?
Inspections are required for all permits. The inspections are different for each permit application. It is important to review your electronic application inspection tab. There you will find a list of the required inspections. You may see some that do not pertain to your project. Those will be removed as you move through the project.
For details about inspections please visit our Inspections page.
- How do I check the status of my Permit?
All our permitting is online through the permit portal. By opening an existing permit application, you can see the status of the application.
To find the status of a review, scroll down in the application to the Submittal Review section. There you will see who has completed and who is left to review the project.
If you feel that the review has taken too long, please contact the department that is reviewing the project. Department Contacts are listed under the permit categories on the Permits We Issue page.
- What is a Right of Way?
The City Public Right of Way (ROW), is the property directly adjacent to private property, that is a plotted road or alleyway. The unimproved ROW is the responsibility of the adjacent owner to maintain. It is important to know where the ROW is located. There are restrictions as to how an owner can utilize this property.
- How do I get copies of project plans?
Building plans, that went through a formal review process, will have a stamped copy of of the plans uploaded and labeled as Approved. They will have a front page stamped by all the departments that reviewed the plans along with any markups throughout the plan pages.
Approved marked-up and stamped plans must have a full-size set on site for all contractors, subcontractors, and building inspectors to view. You may download the approved plans and take them to your nearest office supply store to have them printed.
Not all plans that are reviewed have an approved set of plans. Some smaller projects are not required to go through all city departments for review. In this case, the review is kept fully electronic. Comments and the status of the review can be found on your electronic application after the application is placed in the “Ready” status.
- How do I know my permit is ready to pay?
Please visit our Fees and Payments page.
- What if I still have questions?
Please visit the Permit Center page.
Or contact us at the permit counter by emailing Renee Reynolds.
Or visit our office located at City Hall on the second floor.