Building Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Building Department

  • Question: Can I see online if a permit has been pulled for a property or project? 
    • Answer: Yes. Please go to to be directed to the State of Oregon's e-permitting website.
  • Question: What's included in the cost of my permit?
    • Answer: The fee's that you pay include everything that applies to your individual project. This includes your plan check fee, your permit fee's, state surcharges, SDC's, school tax, metro tax, and all inspections required on your project. Please note if additional inspections are required additional re-inspection fee's may be required.
  • Question: How do I request an inspection?
    • Answer: Any work done under a permit must be inspected by a certified Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing or Electrical inspector.
      • You may call the inspection request line 1-888-299-2821 or go to & click on e-permitting system.
      • When you request your inspection by phone you will be asked for your 16-digit IVR # & 4-digit inspection code. (This information was provided when your permit was issued.)
      • If we receive your inspection request by 7 a.m., your inspection can be done that business day if desired.
  • Question: What are SDC's?
    • Answer: "System Development Charges" (or SDC's) are fees that are used to establish city services. The funds are set aside to create things such as parks, roads, water lines, sewer lines, storm drains, storm lines, etc.
  • Question: When am I required to get a permit?
    • Answer: Permits are required for any new construction, alterations, or additions to existing buildings, including structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical & fire alarm/sprinklers. However, there are some exceptions to permit requirements. If you aren't sure whether you need a permit, call or visit the Building Department for more information 503-635-0290.
  • Question: Who is responsible for obtaining permits?
    • Answer: The property owner or contractor is responsible for obtaining structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, & fire alarm/sprinklers permits. For electrical work, Oregon law requires that if an electrical contractor performs the work, the contractor responsible for obtaining the permit.
  • Question: When can I start work?
    • Answer: When an actual construction permit is issued to you, work can begin. The permit must be available to the inspector. If you've submitted plans and specifications, the Building Department will return one set of plans stamped "approved" to you. These approved plans, along with the construction permit, must be available on the job site and available to the inspector.
  • Question: What technical information do I need to submit with my plans?
    • Answer: You may be required to submit some or all of the following:

Plot map
      • Floor plans
      • Elevations

      • Mechanical, Plumbing & Electrical drawings

      • Foundation plan

      • Energy Documentation
      • Structural Calculations
      • Required Fire-protection Equipment

    • For more information call or visit the Building Department 503-635-0290
  • Question: Which Building Codes does Lake Oswego use?
    • Answer: “The City of Lake Oswego and all jurisdictions in the State of Oregon adopt and use the same building code editions. You may find a list of all the current building codes and view them online on the State of Oregon’s Building Codes Division’s website: