Permit FAQs

Tips for Successful Permitting for Small Business Owners

Do I need a permit?

What are the Building Codes used in the City of Covington?

What are the permit fees in the City of Covington?

Do I need an appointment to apply for a permit?

May I do the work myself or do I need to hire a contractor?

What do I need to know when hiring a contractor or remodeler?

May I start work before my permit is issued?

Do I need a permit to build a deck?

Is a permit required for a detached storage/play shed?

Do I need a permit to re-roof my home?

How long will it take to get a permit?

What are the hours construction is allowed in the City of Covington?

Do I need a permit?
The International Building Codes states, "No building or structure regulated by the International Building Code shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished unless a permit has been obtained from the building official..." There are some exceptions which you will find under the Exempted Work provision of Section 105.2 of the 2015 International Building Code.

What are the Building Codes used in the City of Covington?
The City of Covington uses the International Codes as adopted by the State of Washington and amended by the City of Covington. These codes include the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fire Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, Washington State Energy Code, Washington State Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code, Washington State Historic Building Code, Washington State Manufactured Homes Installation Requirements or Mobile Homes Installation Requirements and the Washington State Factory Built Housing and Commercial Structures Installation Requirements or Modular Installation Requirements. 

What are the permit fees in the City of Covington?
Permit fee information may be found in the Fee Schedule.

Do I need an appointment to apply for a permit?
Appointments are necessary for permit applications. To schedule an appointment, please contact one of our Permit Technicians at 253-480-2447. The Permit Counter is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Fridays, weekends and holidays. If you happen to arrive without an appointment, we may not be able to serve you at that time.

May I do the work myself or do I need to hire a contractor?
Any person may work on their own property, whether they occupy the property or not. Any person may work on their personal residence, whether owned by them or not. This applies to all types of work including electrical work, as long as it is not done with the intention and for the purpose of selling the improved property. Owners of commercial property may use their own employees to do maintenance, repair and alteration work on their own properties. A leaseholder may perform electrical work on their leased property or use their own employees to do the work. A permit is still required for work on your own property. If you are a homeowner or occupant of a personal residence doing the work yourself and not hiring a contractor, you must complete the Contractor License Requirements form.

What do I need to know when hiring a contractor or remodeler?
If you intend to hire a contractor or remodeler, please "Shop Smart" and reference these L&I tips for information on hiring a contractor or remodeler from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

May I start work before my permit is issued?
No. Work on a project may not legally begin before a permit is obtained and on the work site.

Do I need a permit to build a deck?
Yes, decks and other similar platforms are required to have building permits. There is no exemption based upon height above grade.

Is a permit required for a detached storage/play shed?
No, if the shed is one story and has a floor area that does not exceed 200 square feet for residential uses and 120 square feet for commercial uses for then a building permit is not required. However, zoning setback requirements and impervious surface standards must still be met.

Do I need a permit to re-roof my home?
Generally yes, with the exception of replacing like-for-like for equal weight material where no sheathing is replaced. When required, the permit is issued over the counter with some basic information provided by the person applying for the permit. Inspections are performed of the roof sheathing and final installation of the roofing material.

How long will it take to get a permit?
The process of obtaining a permit is an interactive process. There are several factors that effect the length of time necessary to receive a permit:

  • Completeness of plans.
  • If the submittal contains all of the required information.
  • How quickly the contact person responds to review comments.
  • Current workload of the City Plan Review staff at the time of submittal.
  • What type of review is required.

Plan reviews for permit issuance are completed on a "first in - first out" basis.


What are the hours construction is allowed in the City of Covington?
Construction is allowed between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm Monday through Friday and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturdays, Sundays and Federal Holidays.