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Thurston County facilities are now open to the public with restrictions, including maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet at all times and, per the Washington State Secretary of Health’s face covering order wearing a cloth face covering or mask. If you come to county facilities, please be prepared for potentially long wait times or lines due to distancing guidelines. We continue to encourage residents to access county services online, by phone, by email, or through the use of drop boxes located outside of county buildings.
The availability of remote services vary by office and department.

Click here for office and department contact information
Click here for information on COVID-19

A Guide for Home Builders

General Description of Building Permit Process

Two Basic Phases

There are two basic phases to the building permit process:

  1. Application submittal: When permit applications are submitted, county staff reviews the applications and building plans for compliance with building and land-use codes.
  2. Construction inspection: Construction inspection takes place after a building permit has been issued. A building inspector approves each part of the project as it progresses, checking to see that the work is done safely and in accordance with the approved plans and codes. permitting staff

Two Basic Types of Permits

Building permits can be processed either as a “regular permit“ -- where a site plan and building plans are submitted for review -- or as a “minor permit.

1.  Regular permits: Regular permits are building permits issued for new construction work or remodeling work. Building plans are submitted, the plan is reviewed by staff, and staff may request revisions and subsequent reviews to verify that corrections have been made. To avoid or reduce the number of subsequent plan checks (and avoid overtime fees), please be certain to incorporate all of the corrections into the plans. A site plan must accompany all building permits and include all required items from the site plan submittal checklist.  Regular permits may take weeks -- or even months -- to process, depending on the site conditions and the complexity of the project.

2.  Minor permits are likely to be issued “over-the-counter” and generally do not require building plans. They include: installing plumbing fixtures, adding heating equipment, adding or replacing gas appliances, gas piping, replacing roofing, replacing windows, or replacing siding. For minor permit (SA 006), county staff will review the application at the counter while you wait. If the application is complete, a minor permit can be issued in a single visit.

Building and Land Use Codes and Ordinances

Thurston County enforces many codes and ordinances to safeguard life, health, property and the public welfare by regulating land-use and the design and construction of buildings and structures in the unincorporated areas. Click here for a list.

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Contact Us

Please click here for contact information.

Credits: Text on this page was adapted, with permission, from the City of San Diego Permitting Department.


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