Permits are required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, change the occupancy of a building, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by code. The Building Department will review all applications and issue building permits. Once applied for, the building department will review and coordinate with other City departments (Planning, Engineering and Fire) as applicable.
- Additional construction provisions can be required for special situations such as historic buildings, floodplain requirements, wildland interface areas, steep slopes, etc. Exemption from permit requirements shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in violation of the provisions of the code or any other laws or ordinances of the City.
- Buildings with a footprint greater than 4,000 sq. ft require design by a licensed design professional (architect or engineer) even if the area of the building being remodeled is not 4,000 sq. ft
- Always check with the building department to assure no other permits or approvals are required before starting your project.
There are some cases where a building permit is not required at all
- Paint, wallpaper, new cabinets, counter tops, tiling carpet or other floor and ceiling finish work.
- Non-bearing partitions, except when partitions create habitable rooms.
- Replacement or repair of siding not required to be fire resistant.
- Retrofitted insulation.
- Masonry repair (non-structural).
- Non-habitable one-story detached accessory structures less than 200 sq. ft. with a maximum 10 ft. wall height. (Planning Department to determine whether required setbacks apply)
- Fences not over 7 ft. tall. (Check with the Planning Department for zoning restrictions on height and location)
- Retaining walls that do not support a regulated building or retain material which could impact a regulated building. (permitting may be required by the Planning or Engineering Departments)
- Concrete sidewalks, slabs, platforms, driveways. (permitting may be required by the Planning or Engineering Departments)
- Prefabricated pools where walls entirely above grade. (barrier requirements are not exempt and Planning setbacks may apply)
- Patio/porch covers not over 200sf and supported by an exterior building wall. (zoning setbacks and lot coverage may apply)
- Window awnings supported by exterior wall that do not project more than 54in from exterior wall and do not require additional support. (zoning setbacks and lot coverage may apply)
- Porches/decks, where the deck is not more than 30in above adjacent grade at any point measured 3ft from deck, and where a porch cover not come closer than 3ft to property line. (zoning setbacks and lot coverage may apply)
- Rain gutters and downspouts.
- Door and window replacements where no structural member is changed. (size for size)
- Residential re-roof, where replacement or repair of roofing does not exceed 30 percent of the required live load design capacity and the roof is not required to be fire resistant.
- Plastic glazed storm windows
- Swings and other playground equipment
- Ground mounted flagpoles, antennae, and similar items not exceeding 25ft in height (zoning regulations may apply)
- Replacement of any minor mechanical part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
- One-story detached accessory structures used as tool/storage sheds and similar uses, provided floor area is not greater than 120 sq. ft. (zoning setbacks and other standards may apply)
- Fences not over 7 ft. tall. (zoning height and location restrictions apply)
- Retaining walls not over 4 ft. in height measured from bottom of footing to top of wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids. (permitting may be required by the Planning or Engineering Departments)
- Platforms, sidewalks and driveways not more than 30″ above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and not part of an accessible route. (permitting may be required by the Planning or Engineering Departments)
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work.
- Non-fixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5′-9″ in height.
Building Code Information
2017 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC)
2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC)
2019 Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC)
2017 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (OPSC) enforced by Hood River County
2019 Oregon Electrical Code (OESC) enforced by Hood River County
For detailed information on the State of Oregon Building Codes, see the State’s website at: