Building Division - FAQ

If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please contact the Building Division at 253-922-8743.

Do I need a permit?

Most construction, alteration, or repair work requires a permit. There are some exceptions, which you will find under the Exempted Work provision of the Building Code.

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 from the building permit, you will need to provide much of the information a second time, as well as separate plans. A separate mechanical plan review fee is also charged. Many mechanical permits require an 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?

You can apply for permits in the Planning & Community Development Department in the Planning/Public Works Building at 1000 Laurel Street, in Milton. The phone number is 253-922-8738.

Where do I get an electrical permit?

Tacoma Public Utilities handles all electrical permits and inspections for the City of Milton. You may contact them at 253- 503-8277. Their location is 3628 S. 35th St., Tacoma, Wash. 98409 (South 35th St. and Union Ave.) and you can visit their web page here.

What is the Building code for the City of Milton?

The City of Milton 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 Milton?

Permit fees are charged based on the work proposed according to adopted fee schedules. See the Fee Schedule for fee information.

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.

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.  Talk to an Inspector or the Building Official for more information.

Do I need a permit to reroof a building?

Yes. Residential reroof applications are processed at the counter.  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 to replace a water heater?

Yes.  Water heater applications are processed at the counter.

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 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 Certificate of Occupancy is to be posted in the building.

Do I need a permit to build 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 yard setbacks.

Do I need a permit to build a deck?

A permit is required if the deck is more than 30 inches above grade.

How long will it take to get a permit?

The process of obtaining a permit is an interactive process.  Several factors affect the length of time necessary to receive a permit:

  • Completeness of plans;
  • Whether your submittal contain all of the required information;
  • How quickly the contact person responds to review comments;
  • Current workload of the plan review staff at the time of submittal; and
  • The type of review required.

Plan reviews for permit issuance are completed on a “first in – first out” basis.

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

Construction is allowed between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on weekdays and between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM on weekends and legal holidays.

I am a contractor. Will I be required to get a City of Milton business license?

The City of Milton requires all businesses located within the city limits, or who conduct business within the city limits, to be licensed with the city.  For clarification of your individual circumstances, please consult Title 5 of the Milton Municipal Code and the City’s Business License Fees.

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 go to for information on hiring a contractor or remodeler from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.