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Building Division

Basements & Remodels

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Plan Review is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – Noon.  One project per day per applicant will be accepted.  The OTC plan review process is limited to basement finishes and simple residential interior remodels.

Submittal requirements for a basement finish permit

  • View the Basement Finish Guide (effective July 11, 2022)
  • Building permit application. If contractors are being used they shall be listed on your application at the time of submittal (Homeowner Agreement Form).
  • Construction documents. One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction plans on white paper in blue or black ink (two sets if submitting for Over the Counter Plan Review). Plans shall include:
    • All rooms shall be labeled as to their intended use and shall include dimensions, location of plumbing fixtures, location and size of all existing and new windows and doors.
    • Label all egress windows and window wells.
    • Locations of the furnace, water heater, and stairs.
    • Label all unfinished areas.
    • Location of smoke alarm(s).
    • Location of carbon monoxide alarm(s).
  • Homes with automatic fire suppression systems (sprinklers) require written approval from the fire district for the basement sprinkler system design.
  • If your home is served by a septic system, an approval letter from Tri-County Health Department is required if you are adding bedroom(s) in the basement.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a permit for finishing my basement? 

When any walls are constructed or electricity is added to the basement.

How long does it take to process my application?

If the permit application is complete and there are no problems with the plans, it will normally take 7 to 10 business days to complete the entire permitting process. Turn around times are estimates only and may vary depending on workload.

How long is my permit good for?

As long as work and inspections continue the permit will be valid. If the project is abandoned or inspections are not requested for a period of 180 days or more, the permit will expire. A new permit will have to be issued before work can be resumed.

Do I need to have my permit issued for me to start working on my basement?

Yes, you must have a permit in your possession before starting any work.

How much will my permit cost?

We do not have a set fee for basement finish permits. The valuation of your job is based on the square footage that is being finished. We then use the permit fee schedule that is in table 1-A of the 1997 U.B.C.

If my basement was finished without a permit, is there a way that I can still get a permit?

Yes. You would still need to follow all of the above procedures for obtaining a building permit. You may be assessed an investigation fee for the initial inspections that will be performed in your basement. During these first inspections for framing and electrical, the inspectors would assess the work that was already completed. If they discover any code deficiencies they will discuss with you what will be needed to correct the problem.