Frequently Asked Questions

1) When is a permit required?

Permits are required for any new construction or for alterations and additions to existing buildings, including structural, plumbing, mechanical and electrical work.

However, there are some exceptions to the structural requirement.  If you aren’t sure you need a permit call the City of Hood River Building Department at (541) 387-5202.

2) Can I receive over-the-counter permits?

The only permits issued over the counter are simple mechanical and re-roof permit (excluding Commercial)

3) Why do I have to obtain a permit on my own property?

Oregon law requires you to obtain permits, even if you build on your own property.  The reason is to ensure that the minimum building standards are met for your own safety and for the safety of future property owners and occupants.

4) Who is responsible for obtaining permits?

The property owner or contractor is responsible for obtaining structural, mechanical, manufactured home, electrical and plumbing permits.  These are obtained at Hood River Building Department with the exception of plumbing and mechanical, which are obtained with the County.

5) Where do I get permits?

You can obtain permits by calling the local jurisdiction which the work is planned to be performed in.

6) When can I start work?

Work can begin as soon as the permit is issued.  The permit must be on the job site while work is in progress.  If you have submitted structural plans, one set of the approved plans must be on site at all times. 

7) Can a permit be issued before the plan review is completed?

No.  All plans must be approved prior to issuance of a permit.

8) What happens if I do not submit a complete building permit application?

You will be contacted by phone or mail with the list of outstanding items required in order to process your building permit application.  If all items are not submitted at the time of the original submittal your application will be deemed incomplete, which may delay construction.

9) When does my permit expire?

All building permits expire if work does not start within 180 days of the date of issuance.  Once you begin work, your permit expires if work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days.

10) Do I need to hire an architect or engineer to design my building project?

You are required to have an Oregon licensed engineer or architect design, prepare and stamp your plans when constructing a new building or altering or repairing a building (other than a single family residence) that has a ground area of 4000 square feet or more or is more than 20 feet high (from the lowest finish floor to highest finish ceiling).  Plans prepared by an Oregon licensed engineer or architect are required when the occupancy classification requires a fire and life safety review regardless of the building size.  Architect and/or engineer certified drawings and calculations may be required for single family residential homes that exceed prescriptive path guidelines.  (Contact the Building Department.)

11) When do I submit plans for review?

Structural plans must accompany the building permit application for new construction or for additions or alterations to an existing building.  Two (2) complete sets of plans including site plans must be submitted with the permit application.  The plans and site plans must be drawn to scale with the scale indicated on the plans
12) What information is required to be submitted with the plans?

You may be required to submit some or all of the following:
• Scope of work clearly noted/depicted on drawings
• Building codes project is designed and built to
• Site Plan
• Foundation Plan (with footing detail)
• Floor Plan (proposed and existing)
• Elevations
• Wall Cross Section
• Structural Calculations (additional engineering for anything beyond prescriptive path)
• Mechanical Plans (Including Utility Plan)
• Oregon Energy Handout Efficiency Handout
• Required Fire Protection Equipment and Plans