Construction Without a Permit

See also: Land Use Code

What Is It?

A black man is told to stop work because he didn't have a permit.You need to get a permit for most construction projects that involve:

We may issue a stop work order against you if you start a building, addition, or remodeling project without a permit. If you build without a permit or fail to get a final inspection approval, we may fine you or take other enforcement action against you.

What It Isn’t

This page does not cover projects that do not need a permit; see Do You Need a Permit? You can find a list of permit exceptions in the Seattle Residential Code (SRC) and the Seattle Building Code (SBC).

Rules to Follow

Our ordinances require that you get a construction permit for projects that involve new construction, renovation, or alterations of buildings.

If you need help determining if you need a construction permit for your project, contact the Applicant Services Center to get help from a permit specialist. You will need:

  • The address
  • A sketch showing existing structures on the property, with dimensions and distances to property lines
  • A proposal of your project

Read the Code


If you build without a permit, you may be fined up to $500 per day.