Determine If You Need a Building Permit

​As a property owner, you may want to change something on the property. For example, you might want to build a home or business on your property, or you might want to update your house. The State and the City have established processes and rules to make sure these changes are safe for you and future owners. You can work through the permit process in person or online.

Work requiring a permit

The State of Oregon and City of Salem operate under the guidelines of the Oregon Specialty Codes.

A permit is always required for:

Some work requires a permit under certain circumstances such as:

Work not requiring a permit

A permit usually is not required for interior, cosmetic changes such as:

  • Installing new carpet or other flooring
  • Painting
  • Installing trim
  • Installing counter tops
  • Installing cabinets

Exterior work you can do without a permit includes:

  • Putting up swings and other playground equipment
  • Installing gutters and downspouts
  • Replacing residential doors and windows where the structure is not changed

You can review regulations about work exempt from permit:

Historic buildings or properties may require historic design use review.

Contact us

Permit Application Center
General Questions
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Permit/License Processing
8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Plans Intake
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mail payments to:
PO Box 3405
Portland OR 97208