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Thurston County Building Codes

Building Codes - Summary and Illustrations

red floatPlease notice that  Building Code Title  14 has been updated and adopted to reflect the new 2015 International Codes as adopted by the State and modified by the County. Municode.com may not have the current language as adopted under the new Ordinance.  See the proposed language at  News and Links at https://www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/  
Please check your project to see that it meets any changes to the new requirements. Our handouts and applications will be updated soon,  Please contact the plans examiners if you have questions at permit@co.thurston.wa.us. Thank you for your patience during this update.

Building codes contain standardized requirements for the design and construction of most types of buildings. The codes address all aspects of construction, including structural integrity, fire resistance, safe exits, lighting, plumbing, sanitary facilities, ventilation, seismic design and correct use of construction materials.

Thurston County's building code is based on international codes that are adopted and modified by the Washington State Building Code Council.

Key Provisions of the Residential Code

Building codes are complicated, but you don't need to do it alone!  The Building Development Center is here to help.  See the contact information listed below.

  • Get a synopsis: Our "Building Plan Review and Inspection Checklist" (3.5 MB PDF) provides basic, helpful information about residential building code requirements. It is not an all-inclusive list, however.  To read the code itself, click here.
  • See illustrations:  The drawings below are graphic representations of key residential code requirements.
  • Find out what will be inspected: It helps to find out what an inspector will be checking during a final inspection. Click here to make sure your bases are covered.
  • Read the code: If you want to read the code, click here.

Climatic and Geographic Design Criteria

Click here for Thurston County's Climatic and Geographic Design Criteria.

International Residential Code Drawings

Fire Resistant Exterior Wall Construction

Construction Drawings (includes exterior elevations) (Figure 1)

Typical Foundation Wall (Figure 2)

Reinforced Foundation Wall (Figure 3)

Concrete Retaining Wall (Figure 4)

Typical Accessory Foundations (Figure 5)

Isolated Footings (Figure 6)

Concrete Masonry Unit Wall (Figure 7)

Wood to Concrete Separation (Figure 9)

Cutting & Notching Wall Studs (Figure 10)

Cutting & Notching Floor Joists (Figure 11)

Stair/Handrail (Figure 12)

Monopour Foundation (Figure 13)

Propane Tank Setbacks (Figure 15)

Deck Construction (Figure 20)

Porch Construction (Figure 21)

Exterior Door Landings (Figure 23)

Landing Construction (Figure 24)

Landing Construction - Manufactured Homes

IRC Alternate Braced Panel (Figure 32)

Nailing Schedule (Figure 33)

Alternate Fasteners (Figure 34)

IRC R60210112 Exception 1 (Figure 35)

Plumbing DWV (Figure 40)

Generic Garage Plan (Figure 50)

Pole Barn (Figure 60)

Typical Carport (Figure 62)

Exempt Agriculture Use Buildings (Figure 80)

Residential Swimming Pools & Spas


Contact Us

Questions can be emailed to staff at the email addresses below. Just click on the e-mail address and send your questions. We would be glad to help answer any question you have about your construction plans.

Commercial and Residential plan review: Available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Building Development Center.  Tim Rubert: tim.rubert@co.thurston.wa.us; Rowland Zoller: rowland.zoller@co.thurston.wa.us; (360) 754-3355 ext. 7289.

Building inspections: Available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. at (360) 786-5489.  Requests for permit extensions: permit@co.thurston.wa.us.  To request an extension of a building permit, submit a request prior to the expiration of the building permit.  Click here for the building permit extension request form.

Fire marshal and fire annual safety inspection: Bobby May: bobby.may@co.thurston.wa.us

All other building or fire code questions can be directed to the Building Services Supervisor, Chris Edmark: chris.edmark@co.thurston.wa.us or by calling (360) 786-5466.

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