Do I need a structural permit?

One of the most important things to consider for your upcoming home improvement project is whether or not you are going to need a permit. Our team at ABCO can help you walk through this process, but the below is a great guideline provided directly from to get you started on answering some questions.

You can also download the PDF version of this FAQ sheet here.

How do I get an inspection?

Follow these steps:

  • Call the request line at the building department responsible for your area with at least 24 hours notice.
  • When you call to make the appointment, have all the details (permit number, project address, etc.) available.
  • If the work was done inside, an adult needs to be at the site for the inspection.

Things to do

Be an informed consumer. When buying a product or contracting a service, follow these steps:

  • Call the Building Codes Division or the Construction Contractors Board to verify active license and registration.
  • Call the Better Business Bureau.
  • Compare prices.
  • Ask for references and contact them.
  • Be sure you have a written contract and read it carefully before signing.
  • Visit for more tips.

Common questions and key information regarding structural permits

When do I need a structural permit?

A permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, move, or replace any home or related structure. For example, a permit is required to:

  • Add a room.
  • Build or alter a carport, garage, or shed of more than 200 square feet.
  • Build or alter a carport, garage, or shed of less than 200 square feet if the height exceeds 10 feet from the finished floor to the average height of the roof surface.
  • Finish an attic, garage, or basement to make additional living space.
  • Cut a new window or door opening or widen existing openings.
  • Add, move, or remove walls.
  • Apply roofing when all of the old roofing is removed and new sheathing/sub-roof is installed.
  • Reroof in wildfire hazard zones.
  • Build a stairway.
  • Build a retaining wall that supports or protects a building.
  • Build or replace a deck more than 30 inches above the adjacent grade measured at any point within three feet horizontally of the deck.
  • Install a fence more than seven feet high.
  • Install a fence to serve as a barrier around a swimming pool, hot tub, or spa.

If you are not sure you need a permit, check out It is a great resource for more information.

What can I do without a permit?

A permit is not required for minor repairs and maintenance.

For example, typically a permit would not be required to:

  • Paint buildings that are not historic landmarks.
  • Blow insulation into existing homes.
  • Install storm windows.
  • Replace interior wall, floor, or ceiling covering, such as wallboard or sheet vinyl.
  • Install shelving and cabinets.
  • Install gutters and downspouts.
  • Replace or repair siding on a wall that is three feet or more from a property line.
  • Replace roofing where the weight
    of the replacement or repair does
    not exceed 30 percent of the roof’s designed live load carrying capacity and is not required to be fire resistant.
  • Replace doors or windows in an existing opening.
  • Build a fence up to seven feet high.
  • Pave a walkway.
  • Build a patio or deck that is not more than 30 inches above the adjacent grade measured at any point within three feet horizontally of the deck.

Code standards must be met even when a permit is not required. Always check with your local planning and building department to verify permit requirements before beginning work.

Where do I get a permit?

Permits are issued by your local building department. Visit to locate the correct department based on the address of your home or structure.

What information will I need to get a permit?

  1. The address and possibly a legal description of the property.
  2. A description of the work proposed.
  3. The owner’s name, address, email address, phone number, and
    fax number.
  4. If a contractor is doing the work, the contractor’s name, address, phone number, and state license number.
  5. More than one complete set of plans.
  6. Check with your local building department to find out the exact number of copies required.
  7. Plans must clearly identify all work on the building and where the building sits on the property.
  8. Typical plans include a site plan, floor plans, and cross-sections showing construction details.

Who must review my project?

An Oregon-certified plans examiner will review your plans to ensure the proposed project meets the requirements of the current Oregon Residential Specialty Code.

Wrap Up

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when considering permits and regulations for your home improvement project. Reach out to the ABCO team with any questions concerning whether or not your next Patio cover, Deck, Railing, Fence, or Pole Building project may need a permit and we’ll get you moving in the right direction!


Recent posts




Listen to what our customers are saying about our work.

Jeffrey Hill
Jeffrey Hill
Alex and his team, including Kayla in the office, did an outstanding job in all aspects of the work. The ideas and proposal were very good and clear. They did exactly what they proposed, when they said they would do it, at a very competitive and fair price. We could not be more pleased and satisfied and we will only and always call ABCO in the future.
Mary Carroll
Mary Carroll
Abco did a great job repairing a couple of fences that were damaged during February’s ice storm. They did everything that was discussed on the estimate and did not go over the total cost agreed upon. After the work was done Alex gave me a follow up call to make sure the work was done to my liking before sending me the invoice.
Will Dietz
Will Dietz
We've had Alex and his company help us with two different fencing projects. He does what he says he will do, his crew arrives on time and does quality work and they all communicate effectively before, during and after the project. We will use them again for fencing work and are currently having them bid a concrete project.
Gregory Chee
Gregory Chee
We met with Alex and discussed scope of the deck tear down and rebuild. The deck project started ahead of time and was completed in a timely fashion. The workmanship and care was outstanding and the crew was always polite and professional. At the completion of the project, the crew did an excellent job of cleaning up.
Michael Kolb
Michael Kolb
We had ABCO replace our old and obtrusive deck railing with a modern railing. ABCO listened to what we wanted and did exactly what we asked for, without trying to upsell us on anything we weren’t looking for. We would contract with ABCO again for future work.
Ron and Donna
Ron and Donna
Alex and team built a pergola for us. It's gorgeous! They are great to work with and do beautiful work. They were even great about a mid-build design change.
connie whitaker
connie whitaker
During the February ice storm, a tree fell on our shop roof and punched a hole through the roof and sheetrocked ceiling. We called Abco because we had them build the framework to a pole barn earlier in the year. They were quick to come out and give us an estimate and were able to get right on it and had the the roof replaced and the room re-sheetrocked and painted. It looks great and came in less then the estimate. We would recommend them to anyone wanting a quality job for a good price.
N. Culbertson
N. Culbertson
In 2018, ABCO installed a huge trellis in our backyard. The huge trellis (20 feet long and over 10 feet tall) is covered in a massive tumpet vine, and serves as a screen between our house and the neighbor. Alex designed the trellis to hold up under all the weight of the vine, and he even fit it around a maple tree, so now the tree is growing through the trellis, with room to spare (good planning). It's been three years since it was built, and the trellis is still rock solid. I expect it will last quite a few years more. I'll call Alex for any other work we need, we are happy to recommend him.
Jim S
Jim S
I was very satisfied from start to finish. We were impressed with the completed job. The crew was friendly, respectful and seemed to like what they were doing. They took pride in the job and it showed. I will use ABCO again and recommend them to anyone that asks.
steven nusbaum
steven nusbaum
ABCO designed and built a fence on my property. I can easily say, without hesitation, I would highly recommend Alex for the work you have in mind. This Company is top notch !! They are prompt, listen to your needs and offer quality feedback. They complete their work per your requirements and agreed upon price. What sets Alex apart from others? The quality of his workmanship can not be beat. I can not compare the pricing with other contractors. However, when you see your finished project, cost will be the last thing on your mind. Don't pass ABCO up. Call him and get a quote for your project. You will not be disappointed.

We can finance any project.

Turn projects into affordable monthly payments. We have options as low as 0% and terms up to 60 months.
Learn More