Permit FAQ

What are the office hours?

In-person services are offered by appointment and during specific walk-in hours. Please see the Permit Center webpage for information on how to schedule an appointment. 

Building permits and land use applications can be submitted electronically at

How can I obtain help if I’m in the preliminary planning stages of my project?

If your project is located in a sensitive or critical area, large or a new residential or commercial structure you may need to submit for a Pre-Application meeting.

However, submitting for project guidance is a required prior to submitting for a Pre-Application meeting.


Do you have any handouts to help a homeowner with basic construction?

Yes. We recommend visiting for construction tip sheets and guidelines

Can I demolish my existing house?

Yes, and a demolition permit is required. Please note that structures in environmentally sensitive areas may need additional review.



When are permits required?

  • Most construction activities require a permit. For your own protection, and best interest, it is always wise to check with the Permit Center before beginning any construction, alterations or repair work. Failure to obtain a building permit could result in a fine or an order to stop work. SMC 16.20.195 “Permits Required”
  • SMC 16.20.200 “Work exempt from a permit”
  • Removal of any trees or grading/clearing of a property requires a tree removal permit or a clearing and grading permit.
    SMC 16.15.070 “Permit requirements”
  • Some construction activities (e.g. a new dock on Lake Sammamish, a riding arena, etc) may require a land use permit or approval prior to issuance of a building permit.

What is the maximum fence height without a permit?

Maximum height is 6 ft above grade.

What projects do not require a building permit?

SMC16.20.200. “Work exempt from permit”

Exemptions from permit requirements of this code and Chapter 16.05 SMC shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code and Chapter 16.05 SMC or any other laws or ordinances of the city of Sammamish.

Are any permits available online?

All permits can be submitted through

What will my building permit cost?

The permit fee is based on the project valuation. Download the City's fee schedule for more information.

How do I find status/information about a permit when plan review is still in progress?

Check your permit status on the MyBuildingPermit website. If the information you need is not shown, please call the Permit Center for additional information.

Does the City have a Basics or Registered Plan process?

Yes, call our Permit Center and request a Pre-Application meeting to discuss the process. See the Registered Plan Program (Construction Guidelines #9).



When do I need an inspection?

After your building permit is issued, a City Building Inspector checks to make sure that your work is done according to code.

As a permit holder, you are required to arrange for each inspection. Building Inspections are requested online.

The required applicable inspections are listed on your Permit Inspection Card provide to you at the time of issuance by the City.

The City of Sammamish Building Division performs sequential visual inspection of work in progress that is under current city-issued Building, Plumbing, and Mechanical permits.

Do not cover or enclose any item without first having obtained an approved inspection by the City of Sammamish.

How do I schedule an inspection?

Regular building inspections are requested online and are scheduled as early as the next business day.

Can I find out when my inspection will be?

Inspections are scheduled in the morning the day of the inspection.  You can check the schedule here.

The order is subject to change without notice, due to cancellations or other unforeseen events. (Building permits and approved construction drawings are required to be on site for the inspection.) The city of Sammamish does not provide specific inspection times.

How can I help to make my inspection a successful one?

  • Arrange for access to area to be inspected.
  • Building permit is to be onsite and visible.
  • Approved construction drawings are to be readily accessible. Construction work pertaining to inspection is to be completed prior to inspector’s arrival.

Can more than one inspection be done on the same day?

Inspectors will only make one site visit per day. Call the inspector, prior to placing inspection request, to discuss feasibility of inspecting more than one scope of work during the inspection appointment. Call City Hall at 425-295-0500.

How do I check the status of an inspection?

Check inspection status here.  

The inspection results can also be determined by looking at the on-site permit record: if the inspection line is signed, this signifies approval.

If the line is not signed, and a Correction Notice has been left on site, this indicates additional work is to be completed prior to sign-off of inspection.



Are there starting and stopping times for construction?

Yes, construction times as allowed per Sammamish Municipal Code, section 16.05.030 are as follows:

  • Monday through Friday: 7:00 am to 8:00 PM.
  • Saturday and Holidays: 9:00 am to 6:00 PM
  • Sundays: No construction.

Will a minor change in design require a permit revision?

In most cases, the answer is “yes.” Any change in foot print, wall configuration, or roof design requires a permit revision applied for through our Permit Center.

There are very few instances when the “revision” can be a field approved revision which does not require additional fees or review time for a permit “revision.”

The revisions that can typically be approved in the field are: a change in post or beam species or type, i.e. Parallam instead of Glulam beam; footing size; window header size, window size, etc.

These changes would typically required beam/gravity calcs to verify new sizing, and, if original structure was designed by an engineer, the changes would be required to be accompanied by a letter of approval of changes with original signature and wet-stamp of engineer of record.

How do I get my Certificate of Occupancy?

  • Residential (Structures approved under the International Residential Code): the permit inspection card with the “final inspection” approval signature becomes your certificate of occupancy.
  • All new structures or commercial structures involving a change of use require a certificate of occupancy: The completed/finalized inspection card will act as your certificate of occupancy until the official Certificate of Occupancy is provided (usually within 5 working days).



When do I need to hire an engineer? My project is quite simple.

Due to the potential of earthquake hazard in Washington most homes and additions require engineering.

Where structural elements do not meet the conventional construction requirements of the International Residential Code, those elements must be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice.

One key item concerns the amount of solid walls in the structure. (See Construction Guidelines #2 - Braced Walls Continuous w/Openings)

Can I use engineering created for a project outside of Sammamish, for the same structure in Sammamish?

No, not unless the engineer of record provides a letter confirming that the calculations are also applicable to the specific site of proposed construction in Sammamish.

Engineering for projects in the city of Sammamish is required to be site specific.

What are the design criteria for projects in Sammamish?

  • Ground Snow Load: 25 lb.
  • Wind Speed: 110 mph
  • Seismic Design Category: D2
  • Weathering: Moderate
  • Frost Line Depth: 12 in.
  • Winter Design Temp.: 26o F.
  • Air Freezing Index: 145
  • Mean Annual Temp.: 50o F.
  • Wind Exposure Categories:
  • Upland: Exposure B
  • Beaver and Pine Lakes: Exposure B
  • Lake Sammamish: Exposure C
  • Kzt is site specific (ASCE 7-10, Sec. 26.8)
  • Assumed Soil Bearing: 1500 psf (geotechnical verification is required for soil bearing greater than 1500 psf)
  • Concrete strength: exposed and exterior concrete is required to be 3000 psi minimum due to moderate weathering potential in Sammamish. (IRC Table R402.2 IBC Table 1904.2.2)





When is a geological report required?

  • Geotechnical report must be provided when the following site conditions exist:
    • Soil bearing is assumed at other than 1500 PSF.
    • Proposed structure will be placed on a lot bordering a body of water, lakes, streams etc., i.e. Lake Sammamish, Beaver Lake, and Pine Lake.
    • Proposed structure will be placed on or adjacent to a steep slope.
    • Proposed structure will be placed in a sensitive or critical area which may include coal mine/erosion hazards, flood hazards, landslide hazards, steep slope hazards, wetlands, streams and seismic hazard areas.
  • Provide a geotechnical report prepared by a Washington State Licensed Geotechnical, Geological or Structural Engineer to include original signature and wet stamp of engineer.
    • To include original signature and wet stamp of engineer, Geological, Geotechnical, Structural.



Permit Center

Hours: 8:30 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday
Phone: 425-295-0500
Fax: 425-295-0600