Residential building permits
Learn about all the plans and drawings you will need to have to apply for a residential building permit.
- Adding square footage to an existing structure?
- Adding a second story?
- Converting a basement, attic or garage to a living space?
- Doing any interior remodeling that involves structural work?
- Adding a separate structure to your property that is over 120 square feet?
- Adding a carport/deck cover?
- Changing the footprint of an existing structure in any way?
The following plans are required to get a residential building permit:
- Site plan
- Foundation plan
- Floor plan
- Building elevation drawings
- Framing plans
- Section drawings
All Residential permit applications must be submitted electronically through ePlans.
Private Utility Work
Are you replacing, repairing and/or adding electrical, mechanical or plumbing?
You may need a permit and additional plans, such as floor plans. Email a Permit Specialist at ePlans@cityofvancouver.us to discuss.
For structures that contain new or revised stairways, stair details must be provided, including the construction materials, structural support and dimension relationships to surrounding construction. This would include the riser height, tread depth, height of the handrail and the clear ceiling height at the lowest point.
Septic Tanks or Wells
If you have a septic tank or water well on your property, you will need to get a clearance letter from the Clark County Public Health and provide that letter to the City when submitting your permit application.
Plans Required by the City
The main goal in drawing your plans is to show all the existing conditions and elements, as well as all the proposed conditions and elements.
The site plan is an overhead view of your property that shows:
- Property lines
- All structures within the property lines
- All paving
- Public right-of-way
The site plan shall be drawn to a standard scale and should have the North arrow indicator cleared noted. Setbacks from the proposed structure and/or existing structure to the property lines should be noted. The site plan should clearly indicate the dimensions of existing structures and all proposed work.
There may be additional information required on your site plan specific to your project. Send your site address and any questions to email@example.com.
This plan should show the layout, dimensions and details of the continuous concrete slabs, footings, reinforcing steel and the strength of the concrete used.
If you are doing a post and beam foundation, you need to list the dimensions and spans for all beams and provide a post footing detail for the interior post supports, as well as the continuous exterior footing.
Show your ventilation openings and crawl space access location(s) and opening sizes on this plan.
Radon mitigation venting is also required for new structures or additions that are 200 square feet or larger.
Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the radon vent requirements.
The floor plan is an overhead view of the floor or basement with the roof or floors above it removed. You will need to provide the floor plan for each level of the building. All rooms shall be labeled for the existing and proposed use. Your floor plan should clearly show:
- Location, size and type of each existing and proposed window
- Existing and proposed walls
- Bearing walls, existing headers and beams
- Stairs, including the riser height, tread depth, total stairway width, lowest level of headroom clearance and the handrail location and height
- Plumbing fixtures (may be shown on a separate plan)
- Heating/cooling equipment (may be shown on a separate plan)
- Electrical outlets and switches (may be shown on a separate plan)
- Location of smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
- Existing fixtures, replaced fixtures and new fixtures
- Water heater type and location
- Fireplaces, furnaces or other sources of heat
Building Elevation Drawings
Building elevation drawings are exterior views of the building from all sides. Any project that will change the exterior of a building or construct a new building must have elevation drawings.
Drawings should be labeled “Front,” “Back,” “Left,” “Right” AND the compass direction they are facing. Examples:
Elevations shall be drawn to 1/4″ (one-quarter inch) = 1″ (one inch) scale. The scale used shall be clearly noted on the plans.
Shall show the level at which the foundation meets the building, the slope of the group for a 10-foot distance away from the building, size of windows and doors, the type of siding and roofing proposed and the height and configuration of railings and similar features on the exterior of a building.
Framing plans are a scaled overhead view of the vertical and horizontal structural elements that, by repetitive use, create a load-bearing platform or wall. They can include floor framing, wall framing or roof framing.
Framing plans shall include the dimensions, spans and spacing of all framing members. The support for each member and connection details/information shall be clearly noted on the plans.
Where adding new walls, the shear wall shall be clearly identified by both type of shear wall and the length of each shear wall, at each specific shear wall location.
Nails, staples or other manufactured fasteners shall be clearly noted.
If using engineered floor joists, a copy of the manufacturers layout must be included.
Engineered roof truss details that bear the Washington state engineer stamp the roof truss layout referencing the location of each proposed truss must be included.
Section drawings are sometimes call “cross sections.” They are the view you would get if you made a vertical cut through the building from the bottom of the foundation footing to the top of the roof.
Section drawings are a very useful way of displaying structural load transfers and information about construction materials that are necessary for the permit review process.
Section drawings are mandatory when submitting permit applications for exterior decks, patio covers, carports, etc.
Additional information that should be clearly shown on a section drawing includes:
- the dimensions of the footing and the depth of the footing below grade
- the width of the foundation stem wall and the clear height it will rise above the ground before the wall framing begins
- clear dimensions for crawl space and height of structural framing members above the exposed grade
- the continuous vapor barrier/radon vent
- the size and spacing of structural members, such as beams, joists, studs and rafters, which are not shown on other drawings
- the connection of the floor joist to the foundation footing and/or floor framing joists to the wall framing at upper levels
- the connection of the roof framing to the double top plate
- interior and exterior wall, ceiling and roof coverings and finishes
- slab edge, floor, wall and ceiling insulation
- ceiling heights
- eaves, decks and other exterior projections
Send a message to email@example.com.