Residential Permit Exemptions Examples

Being exempt from a permit does not mean that you can do work that would violate any law or ordinance. Even if it does not require a permit, it should be built to code.

Examples of permit exemptions

  1. Non-habitable one-story, detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet AND a height of 10 feet measured from the finished floor level, to the average height of the roof surface.
  2. Fences not over 6 feet high, except for barriers around swimming pools as required in Appendix G (ORSC).
  3. Retaining walls not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge (like a driveway).
  4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
  5. Concrete sidewalks, slabs, platforms and driveways.
  6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, interior wall, floor or ceiling covering and similar finish work.
  7. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy where the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade. Barrier requirements found in Appendix G (of the ORSC) are not exempt.
  8. Swings and other playground equipment (including tree houses).
  9. Patio and porch covers not over 200 square feet AND supported by an exterior building wall.
  10. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  11. Nonbearing partitions, except when such partitions create habitable space.
  12. Replacement or repair of siding not required to be fire-resistive.
  13. Retrofitted insulation into existing homes.
  14. Masonry repair.
  15. Porches and decks, where the floor or deck is not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade measured at any point within 3 feet horizontally of the floor or deck, and where in the case of a covered porch, the covered portion of the porch does not come closer than 3 feet to property lines.
  16. Gutters and downspouts (a plumbing permit may still be required for storm water disposal).
  17. Door and window replacements (where no structural member is changed) and where any replacements in a sleeping room still meets the emergency egress requirements as detailed in the "Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings" section of the current edition of the ORSC.
  18. Re-roofing, 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-resistive.
  19. Plastic glazed storm windows.
  20. Framed-covered non-habitable accessory buildings not more than 500 square feet in area, one-story in height AND not closer than 3 feet to a property line, where the structure is composed of a rigid framework that supports a fabric membrane.