Do I Need a Permit?

All applicable commercial and residential construction in Anacortes requires a permit to ensure that safety matters are addressed, as well as Washington State Code, Anacortes Municipal Code, & International Building Codes.

Generally, Anacortes requires a building permit (or a mechanical, plumbing, or grading permit) anytime you erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, convert, or demolish a building or structure. 

If in doubt, please ask!  360-293-1901 or

Types of Work: Building Permit Not Required*

  • Painting, papering, & similar finish work

  • Shelves & counters

  • Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.

  • Residential storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided that the area does not exceed 144 square feet.  The structure must comply with required setbacks from property lines.*

  • Retaining Walls 4 ft. or less with no unbalanced backfill or supported surcharge*

*A permit may be required if the property is near a critical area such as a wetland, stream, steep slope, or shoreline.

Types of Work: Building Permit Required

The following are projects that would require a building permit issued by the City - Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.
  • Additions
  • Antenna towers, extensions, & replacements
  • Change in location of plumbing fixtures
  • Decks
  • Demolition of structures, tank removals, or any removal of materials with asbestos
  • Fences
  • Fireplaces, including gas
  • Flag poles
  • Garage conversions
  • Heaters & log lighters
  • Interior remodels 
  • Membrane structures
  • Mobile homes
  • Mobile homes
  • Moving or removing walls
  • Range hoods
  • Re-roofs
  • Replacement of mechanical fixtures (i.e. furnaces, water heaters, & gas piping)
  • Satellite dishes
  • Siding
  • Solar panels
  • Solariums
  • Structure framing
  • Water heaters
  • Window or door replacements
  • Wood stoves