Building Services F.A.Q. and Information
Building Services reviews and inspects new buildings, additions and alterations, as well as plumbing and mechanical permits. Building Services inspects only those projects which have permits. Below is a list of frequently asked questions and general information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DO I NEED A PERMIT?
Most construction, alteration or repair work requires a permit. There are some exceptions, which you will find under Work Exempt from Permit.
MAY I COMBINE MY BUILDING, MECHANICAL OR PLUMBING PERMITS INTO ONE PERMIT?
We encourage you to combine all permit applications onto one application form. There is no additional cost for this, and it will simplify the plan review process. If you choose to separate the mechanical or plumbing from the building permit, you will need to provide much of the information a second time, as well as separate plans. A separate mechanical or plumbing plan review fee is also charged. Many permits require analysis of the building. Combining the plan review allows the same plans examiner to review the applications and perform the calculations one time. This will allow the contractor to use one permit number when calling in inspections.
WHERE CAN I APPLY FOR A PERMIT?
Come to the Permit Center on the first floor of the Centennial building located at 400 West Gowe Street, in downtown Kent. Please note, most over-the-counter permits can be done online. If you have any questions, the Permit Center can be reached at: (253) 856-5300.
WHERE DO I GET AN ELECTRICAL PERMIT?
The State Department of Labor and Industries handles all electrical permits and inspections for the City of Kent. You many contact Labor and Industries by clicking the highlighted link, or by calling (206) 835-1111.
WHAT IS THE BUILDING CODE FOR THE CITY OF KENT?
The City of Kent does not have its own building code. The City has adopted the 2012 International Building Code, the 2012 International Residential Code and the Washington State Amendments.
WHAT ARE THE PERMIT FEES FOR THE CITY OF KENT?
Permit fees are charges based on the work proposed according to adopted fee schedules. Contact the Permit Center at (253) 856-5300 for a fee estimate.
CAN I DO THE WORK MYSELF, OR DO I NEED TO HIRE A CONTRACTOR?
A property owner may perform work on his own property or use his own employees to perform work. This does not apply to tenants who lease the property they occupy. A permit is required to work on your own property.
WHAT ARE THE CLIMATIC AND GEOGRAPHIC DESIGN CRITERIA FOR KENT?
Click here for the Building Design Criteria
CAN I GET COPIES OF PLANS FOR BUILDINGS IN KENT?
Building plans have been retained in Planning Services for some buildings built after 1990. There may be plans prior to 1990, but there are fewer of these. You may have copies made at a nominal cost to you. Due to space constraints, not all project plans are retained after completion of a project. We are working toward electronic applications and will have a greater ability to store project plans in the future.
Complete an Online Public Records Request through the City Clerk's Office to obtain records or by contacting the City Clerk at (253) 856-5725.
MAY I START WORK BEFORE MY PERMIT IS ISSUED?
Work on a project may not legally begin before a permit is obtained and on the work site. Some clean-up and clearing may begin before the building permit is issued.
DO I NEED A PERMIT TO REROOF A BUILDING?
Yes. Residential reroof applications are processed at the counter of the Permit Center. Commercial projects will require an engineer's analysis if the existing roof covering is to remain. For a commercial roof tear-off and reroof, the applicant will need to provide information about roof insulation.
DO I NEED A PERMIT FOR WINDOWS OR SIDING?
Yes. Per the building code, both need a Residential Alteration permit.
DO I NEED A PERMIT FOR AN ESPRESSO STAND?
Yes. A building permit is required for any building in which someone is working.
DO I GET A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY FOR MY BUSINESS?
No. Certificates of Occupancy (CO) are issued at the completion of a new building's construction. New single-family residences are exempt from the requirement and are not issued a Certificate of Occupancy; the Job Card is signed off as finaled. New tenants are not issued a CO unless a change-of-use for the building has been approved by the City. New tenants may occupy their tenant spaces upon final approval of their permit inspection(s). The building's CO is to be posted in the building.
DO I NEED A PERMIT TO BUILDING A DETACHED STORAGE SHED?
There is an exception for one-story, detached storage buildings less than 200 square feet, so a permit may not be required. The shed may not encroach into the side yards.
DO I NEED A PERMIT TO BUILD A DECK?
Effective July 1, 2010, any deck attached to a dwelling is required to have a permit. See 2012 International Residential Code, Section R105.2 for information about decks which are exempt from the requirement for a permit.
DURING WHAT HOURS IS CONSTRUCTION ALLOWED IN THE CITY OF KENT?
Construction is allowed between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., seven days per week.
IS THERE ANYWHERE ELSE I SHOULD LOOK FOR REGULATIONS ABOUT MY PROJECT?
Perhaps. Electrical Permits, Mobile Home alterations, Contractor Information, and other agency information may apply to your construction project. Click Other Building-Related Agencies for additional information.
There are several reasons to comply with the laws regarding building, plumbing, and mechanical permits. This site will help homeowners understand permit requirements for their projects.
Several other City departments are involved in reviewing and inspecting construction projects in the City of Kent.
ZONING, LAND USE, SEPA ACT COMPLIANCE, DESIGN REVIEW
Planning Services is Responsible for Land Use, Zoning, Comprehensive Plan, SEPA Act compliance, and Design Review. We offer Pre-application meetings for large construction projects.
SPRINKLERS, ALARM SYSTEMS, FIRE LANES, NEW COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, HAZARDOUS USES
Fire Prevention reviews and inspects new buildings, additions and alterations for Fire Code Compliance. Fire Prevention regulates fire sprinkler alarm permits as well as other functions.
ROADS, SIDEWALKS, GRADING, DRAINAGE, SEWER, WATER, LOCAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS (LID'S)
Public Works is responsible for roads, sidewalks, grading, drainage, sewer, water, and Local Improvement Districts (LIDs).
For answers about inspections and frequently asked questions.
ONLINE CODE VIOLATION REPORT FORM