Activity-Related FAQs

All I am adding is an interior nonbearing wall.  Do I need a permit?

Yes, minor remodeling projects such as this are considered to be alterations and a permit is required.

What can I do to make my home more earthquake safe?

Yes, the Eastside cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond are participating in FEMA's Project Impact. Our Project Impact page can provide you with information on retrofitting your home and other methods to limit earthquake damage.

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 permit is required for work on your own property when not exempt from the IBC or IRC (See above: Do I need a permit?). If you are a homeowner or occupant of a personal residence doing the work yourself and not hiring a contractor, please see 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 review the information on this web site from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

CAUTION: Be wary of contractors who ask you to pick up the permit. In most cases, the contractor is required to take out the necessary permits. Permits are your protection and help ensure that work performed meets local building codes.

Why do I need a thermal expansion tank for my hot water heater?

Thermal expansion tanks provide a safe place for expanded water to go. Most water meters are installed with backflow prevention devices that can create a closed system. Pipes in your home may burst unless there is someplace for this expanded water to go.

Do I need a building permit?

The International Building Code and the International Residential Code have slightly different requirements for when permits are required.

The International Building Code (IBC)

The International Building Code Section 105.1 states, "Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit."

There are some exceptions, which you will find under the IBC Exempt Work provision in the Redmond Municipal Code, Chapter 15.08, Section 105.2.

The International Residential Code (IRC)

The International Residential Code Section R105.1 states, "Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit."

There are some exceptions, which you will find under the IRC Exempt Work provision in the Redmond Municipal Code, Chapter 15.08, Section R105.2.

Do I need a permit to build a deck?

Yes, a permit is required for attached decks, but not for detached decks that are not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade and not over any basement or story below.

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

Maybe.  If the shed is one story and has a floor area that measures less than 200 square feet and is an accessory structure to a one- or two-family dwelling, then a permit is not required. Please see Ordinance 2452(AM) For commercial and multifamily buildings or structures, refer to the IBC Exempt Work web page.

What is a Demolition Permit used for?

A Demolition Permit is used when removing an entire building or structure. The Redmond Building Division does not issue Demolition permits for work inside a building or structure to prepare the space for tenant improvement or remodel work. This type of interior demolition is considered to be part of the Commercial Tenant Improvement or Single Family Building Permit.

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

Construction is allowed between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm seven days per week, as long as the construction noise does not impact residential zones. Please refer to the Redmond Municipal Code Chapter 6.36 Noise Standards, for complete information.

Construction noise that impacts Residential Zones has the following restricted hours:
Monday through Friday: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday or Legal Holidays: Prohibited

Do I need a permit to create an Accessory Dwelling Unit (aka mother-in-law apartment)?

Creating an ADU no longer requires a Special Use permit, but in many cases it requires a building permit, and also requires planner review to ensure that all provisions of the code are met. For more information, see the ADU submittal requirements.

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

If you wish to build a fence, you do not need a permit to proceed. Be aware, however, that a fence built in a residential neighborhood may not exceed a height of six feet and must be outside of any sight triangles. A commercial fence may be eight feet in height and would require a permit. You should also be sure of your property lines before you proceed. Check with your neighbors and be sure you are not infringing on any of their property.

Can I put a concrete patio or walkway up to my property line?

Yes. Note that the size of the patio/walkway may be limited by the maximum allowable impervious surface area for the zone.

Do I need a permit to cut down a tree?

Yes, a tree removal permit is required for the removal of any significant tree (greater than 6 inches in diameter). No permit fee is charged for single-family homeowners. For more information, read more Frequently Asked Questions about trees in residential areas or download a residential or commercial tree removal application. For specific questions, contact the Planner on Call at 425-556-2494 or planneroncall@redmond.gov.

May I cut down my neighbor's shrubs or tree limbs that overhang into my property?

Yes, you may cut down the growth or limbs that hang over onto your property or airspace.

Do I need a permit to build/repair a dock?

Yes, permits are required to construct a new dock or repair an existing dock. If you are proposing to construct a new dock that is less than $10,000 or conducting normal maintenance and repair of an existing dock, a Shoreline Exemption Permit is required. “Normal maintenance” generally includes work to prevent a decline or lapse of a legally permitted dock. “Normal repair” generally means to restore the dock to the state of its original condition, including its size, shape, configuration, location, and external appearance.

If your proposal exceeds either of the thresholds noted above, then you will be required to apply for a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. A building permit is required for new docks and may be required for any maintenance or repair, depending upon the nature of the repair. Submittal of a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist and application is also required.  The SEPA Checklist may be submitted electronically.  Please email the electronic copy to planneroncall@redmond.gov.  In the email subject heading, please state "SEPA Checklist for (Project Name).