FAQs

Does my project require a permit?

While it varies depending on the jurisdiction, most major alterations to your home require a permit. Factors include the scope of work, the retail cost of the alteration, and the location of the project in relation to your home and lot. Generally, structures either attached to your home, or greater than 30″ above grade require a permit.

How long will my permit take?

This process can be slowed by discrepancies in the initial plan but our permitting department is required to have all drawings to the homeowner within 10 business days from purchase.  Once we have approval from the sales person, project manager, & the homeowner we submit the permit to the Engineer.  The Engineer has 10 days to get us calculations and our permitting department then has 5 business days to make the corrections/changes and submit to your jurisdiction.   Most cities average 60 days to release permits but depending on the complexity of the lot, time of year and specific jurisdiction we have seen permitting take as long as 6 months.   Once the permit is released we will reach out within 10 business days to set up a pre-construction meeting to discuss scheduling.  As building services are generally less busy during the winter, the earlier in the year you can begin getting your permit the better.  We get 99.5% of permits but sometimes patience is the key to this success.

Why hasn't my project started?

If your project requires a permit, USI is prohibited by your jurisdiction to start your project until a permit has been issued.  Starting a project before the permit has been issued can result in fines issued to the homeowner by their jurisdiction and could lead to further project delays.

I already paid for the permitting service. Why am I getting another bill?

The initial fee for Permitting Services covers the time and materials required to prepare the site plan and structural drawings, as well as to meet and negotiate with the various departments involved in processing a permit application (Land Use, Building, Utilities, etc.).  Each jurisdiction charges a fee for permits based on the scope of the project.  These charges cannot be predicted beforehand, so are invoiced to the homeowner once the permit has been issued.  Additional fees include engineering approval, which cities/counties require for various structural connections and footing specifications.

Where is my permit?

If you are located within the cities of Bothell, Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Renton, Sammamish, Snohomish County, Snoqualmie, or Woodinville, you can search for your permit here.  If you are located within Unincorporated Pierce County, you can search for your permit at PALS Online.  For any other jurisdictions, please consult with them directly via telephone.

Why haven't I heard from anyone?

Unfortunately, there is very little USI can do once the permit has been submitted to move the process along.  Keep in mind: we may be overseeing a dozen or so permits at a time, but the cities/counties oversee hundreds.  We do our best to ensure that they are keeping on task with your permit and will contact you with any changes and as soon as the permitting process is complete to begin the preliminary scheduling.

How long will my project take?

Our average from contract signing to final payment is 145 days for the past 3 years, some jobs take less and others more.  If it is a roof only we are normally completed within 3 weeks. If you add an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, or deck add another 3 weeks to your project for each.

What will my payment schedule look like?

This is determined by the project manager and also by how the contract is written, please refer to both the project manager and the contract. Make sure that payments are made on-time, in order to keep the project moving forward.

How long will my permit take ?

This process can be slowed by discrepancies in the initial plan but our permitting department is required to have all drawings to the homeowner within 10 business days from purchase. Once we have approval from sales person, project manager, & homeowner we submit to the engineer. Engineer has 10 days to get us calculations and our permitting department then has 5 business days to make the corrections/changes and submit to your jurisdiction. Most cities average 60 days to release permits but depending on the complexity of the lot, time of year and specific jurisdiction we have seen permitting take as long as 6 months. Once the permit is released we will reach out within 10 business days to set up a pre-construction meeting to discuss scheduling. As building services are generally less busy during the winter, the earlier in the year you can begin getting your permit the better. We get 99.5% of permits but sometimes patience is the key to this success.

How long will my project take?

Our average from contract signing to final payment is 145 days for the past 3 years, some jobs take less and others more. If it is a roof only we are normally completed within 3 weeks, if you have an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, or deck add another 3 weeks to your project for each.