FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Permits are the way the City of Coeur d'Alene regulates construction. There are several different types of permits, based on the type of construction:

  • Building Permit: New construction, additions, alterations, window replacement, remodels, tenant improvements, gazebos, patio covers, decks, siding, house moves, manufactured home setting, most retaining walls, fences over 6 feet high, or repairs to either residential or non-residential structures.
  • Electrical Permit: New installations, additions, extensions, alterations, changes, and fire and accident repairs of any electrical wiring and electrical equipment associated with a structure or project.
  • Plumbing Permit: New installation, removal, alteration, repair, or replacement of any plumbing, gas, or drainage piping work, or any fixture or water heater or treating equipment in a building or premise.
  • Mechanical Permit: New installations; alterations; repair; replacement; remodel; and/or removal of duct work, heating, venting, or air conditioning equipment (HVAC) and gas piping.
  • Re-roof Permit: Re-roofing in Coeur d'Alene requires the replacement of any dry rot or fungus damaged wood and the replacement with new minimum Class A or B, 25 year roofing, flashing and ventilation of enclosed spaces.
  • Demolition Permit: The complete or partial (interior and exterior) demolition of an existing structure.
  • Moving Permit: To relocate an existing structure by traveling along, over or through the public thoroughfares within the City limits.

Some examples of projects requiring permits are as follows:

  • Covered Patios
  • Sewer Replacements
  • Room Additions
  • Tenant Improvements
  • Heaters / Air Conditioners
  • Water Heater Replacements
  • Lawn Sprinkler Systems
  • Decks
  • Swimming Pools
  • Re-Roofs
  • Window Replacement
  • Siding
  • Any and All Electrical Work
  • Any and All Plumbing Work

Most projects will require permits of some kind (building permits and/or other development permits). This is necessary to ensure that all buildings meet minimum standards which protect its occupants and neighbors in everyday living and in the case of emergencies or natural disasters. Some minor projects are allowed without obtaining building permits. However, depending upon the project, other permits (development permits, encroachment permits, special activities permits, etc.) may be required. In either case, the construction of such projects should be in conformance with all applicable codes. Some of the projects which do not require a building permit are:

International Residential Code (IRC)
SECTION R105
PERMITS
 
R105.2 Work exempt from permit.
Permits shall not be required for the following. Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
 
Building:
  1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2).
  2. Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
  3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
  4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 927 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
  5. Sidewalks and driveways.
  6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  7. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 48 inches (610 mm) deep.
  8. Swings and other playground equipment.
  9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  10. Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 m2) in area, that are not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4.

  11. Flag poles.

Electrical:
Repairs and maintenance: A permit shall not be required for minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
 
Gas:
  1. Portable heating, cooking or clothes drying appliances.
  2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
  3. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
Mechanical:
  1. Portable heating appliances.
  2. Portable ventilation appliances.
  3. Portable cooling units.
  4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
  5. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
  6. Portable evaporative coolers.
  7. Self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
  8. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
 
R105.2.1 Emergency repairs.
Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.
 
R105.2.2 Repairs.
Application or notice to the building official is not required for ordinary repairs to structures, replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
 
 
Generally, yes unless the work is included in the list of exempted work. Note that partitions over 5 feet 9 inches require a permit.
If you begin construction without the required permit(s), a Stop Work Order will immediately be issued by an Inspector. You will be required to apply for the permit(s) and pay additional fees (twice the amount of the permit fee). After the permit has been properly issued, you will then be required to uncover any work which has been covered so that it may be inspected prior to the release of the Stop Work Order. In some cases, regulations or codes may not permit the type of construction that has been done. In this case, you would be required to reconstruct to comply with Codes.

Permits are issued by the Customer Service Center located in the Coeur d'Alene City Hall at 710 E. Mullan Avenue. The Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and submittals are accepted 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  You can contact the Customer Service Center/Building Team by calling (208) 769-2267.

On most re-roof, demolition, siding, mechanical and plumbing applications, a permit can be obtained over-the-counter. A residential building permit application submittal is required to have a detailed plan review prior to issuing any permits.

Staff at the Customer Service Center can assist you with the requirements for your specific project.  Residential applications have a checklist of submittal requirements and is available under Applications/Forms.  Commerical submittals require one paper plan set and one cd of the same to be submitted with a completed application.  A plan check fee (cash or check) is due at the time of submittal. 

In general, a complete plan set includes (but is not necessarily limited to):

  • Site Plan - showing the position of the proposed project in relation to existing buildings, property lines, right of ways, and any easements.
  • Foundation Plan - indicating the type, size and location of new foundations or footings.
  • Floor Plan - detailing the location of walls, supports, size and location of doors, windows, electrical outlets, heaters, plumbing fixtures, smoke detectors, and the square footage of the project. Again, as with the plot plan, what is existing and what is proposed to be built should be clearly noted.
  • Roof Framing - Clearly indicating the size and methods of assembly of roof rafters and ceiling joists, or truss layout. Typically, roof slope and roofing materials are called out on this plan.
  • Floor Framing - Clearly indicating the size and methods of assembly of all floor framing members. Floor joists, girders and sub floor size along with foundation connections should be shown on this plan.
  • Cross Sections - Clearly indicating ceiling heights, wall construction, and R-value of any insulation to be used.
  • Exterior Elevations - Clearly showing how the exterior of the building will look upon completion. Doors, windows, exterior material, etc. should be shown.
  • Energy Calculations - Except for residential occupancies up to and including three stories, any time conditioned (heated or cooled) space is added to a building you are required to show compliance with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or Internation Residential Code (IRC) by submitting energy calculations.
  • Structural Calculations - Structural calculations may be required if your project is of large size, unusual shape and/or more than two stories in height. These calculations allow the Building Division to verify that structural elements are adequately sized and connected. A lateral analysis is generally required on large projects to determine the capacity of the building to resist lateral motion caused by earthquakes or wind. This portion of the project must be prepared by a licensed engineer.

The following criteria is required for development in the City of Coeur d'Alene:

  • 2012 International Building and Fire Codes, 2012 Residential, Mechanical, Fuel Gas Codes, and 2009 Idaho State Plumbing Code
  • IBC Architect/Engineer plan preparation clarification (SOP 2005-1 Amended August 19, 2010)
  • Code Amendments
  • Seismic Design Category C
  • Wind speed: 105-120 mph (ultimate design wind speed)
  • Soil bearing capacity of 1500 psf (without soils investigation)
  • Frost depth: 24" minimum
  • Roof snow load: 40 lbs per sq. ft.
  • Ground snow load: 60 lbs per sq. ft.

When applying for a residential building permit, the following checklist will assist you with assembling the documents and/or drawings required for a complete submittal package:

  1. A plan review fee based on the value of the job is due in the form of cash or check at the time of permit submittal.

  2. Submittals are required to be an electronic PDF file.

  3. Building and Mechanical applications must be fully completed.

  4. Site plan. 

  • A drawing representation of the property line, structure(s) on the property and the distance from all structures to the property lines. Distance between structures should also be included. Distinguish between existing and proposed structures and driveways or approaches.

  • North Arrow for bearings.

   5. Floor Plan for each level of the house including the garage. Identify each room.

  • Show smoke detector locations. One smoke detector is required in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and at least 1 per level of the house.

  • Show carbon monoxide detector locations. One shall be installed outside of each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

   6. The height of any proposed buildings or accessory structures from grade to peak is required to be reflected on the  plan.

   7. Plan details. The details should be complete enough for the plans examiner to be able to look at your plan and perform the construction of the project. Details would include such items as elevations, roof plan, framing plans, spacing, joist hangers, joist size and spacing, flashing, ledgers, beam size and type.

   8. Zoning:    R-1     R-3     R-5   R-8   R-12   R-17   MH-8   DC 

                      PUD: ______________ 

                      Infill overlay district: DO-N  DO-E   MO     Hillside

  9. All headers and beams location including type, size and connections.

  10. Foundation plan with cross sections of footings, pads, wall reinforcement, anchor bolts, hold downs and sill plates.  Include deck and patio details.

  11. Floor framing details. Show beams, joists type, size, spacing and installation details.

  12. Roof framing plan and details or truss layout and datasheets, include over-framing details.

  13. Furnace and hot water heater location.

  14. Egress windows. Provide at least one egress window in every bedroom and at least one on each level.

  15. All braced wall panel types. Show locations and details of installation, including engineered design.

  16. Shear / Braced Wall Plan.

  17. Attic access. Should be 22”x30” (not allowed in closets smaller then 5’ x 7’)

  18. Crawl space access. Should be 18” x 24” min (22”x30” min if access to mechanical equipment)

 19. One-hour fire resistive separation detail between house and garage.

 20. Energy Calculations (PDF 2009 IECC): Including percentage of glazing, U-factor of windows, R-values of basement, slab, crawl, floors, exterior walls and ceilings. Website: www.energycodes.gov Tech support: techsupport@becp.pnl.gov

Plans, drawings and specifications may be prepared by anyone for the following projects:

  • Single-family dwellings of commonly accepted materials and methods of construction
  • Multiple dwellings containing no more than two dwelling units of commonly accepted materials and methods of construction not more than two stories and a basement in height with less than 3,000 sq. ft. above the 1st story
  • Private garages, carports, or other accessory structures appurtenant to residential buildings

If any portion of any structure exempted by this section deviates from substantial compliance with conventional framing requirements, that portion must be designed by a licensed design professional.

Permits may be issued to:

  • Property owners (for work on owner occupied single family or duplex buildings)
  • Contractors and sub-contractors

Mechanical contractors are required to have a current State of Idaho HVAC license. Mechanical, Plumbers, and Electricians must all have a current State of Idaho license in order to obtain a permit. Contact the Division of Building Safety at (208) 334-3950. Drain layers and excavators must be registered with the City in order to obtain a permit. For further information call Municipal Services at 769-2229.

The cost of building permits is based upon the valuation of the project. Valuation includes but is not limited to all labor and materials, and all lighting, heating, ventilation, water supply, plumbing, electrical, fire sprinklers, permanent equipment, site work, designer fees and contractor's profit.

The permit application process involves many services. Based upon the project valuation, specific and separate fees have been determined for these services. This allows you to pay for only those services your project may require.  The City does have a handout with estimated fees based on construction of a new single family dwelling with a valuation of $200,000.

Payment of fees may be made in the form of cash, personal check, money order, or credit card.  When paying by credit card there is a 3% convenience fee on the dollar amount charged.

Permit issuance periods vary. Some projects, such as re-roofs, water heaters, window replacements, etc., can be fully permitted over-the-counter, meaning a return trip won't be needed. Other projects, however, require that plans be left for additional review. Most single-family dwelling, duplexes, and garages can be plan checked within 7 - 14 days time, with longer time frames for commercial projects.

It is your responsibility to call to schedule inspections for specific times during construction. You as the homeowner may arrange to have your contractor make the call, but it is ultimately your responsibility, as the property owner and recipient of the work covered by the permit, to make sure the inspections are scheduled.

During the construction phase, inspections by City Staff are required prior to:

  • Placing concrete or grout
  • Covering electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work
  • Covering floor framing
  • Covering interior sides of wall framing, rough electrical, plumbing and mechanical
  • Taping gypsum wallboard of fire-resistive assemblies
  • Applying stucco, E.I.F.S.. and veneer finishes
  • Covering fire sprinkler systems
  • Covering penetrations of fire-rated walls, ceilings, or floors
  • Final inspection and issuance of Certificate of Occupancy prior to occupying the building

Special inspections: Are necessary for specific structural conditions and require inspection by an approved third party agency. Inspections are also required prior to connecting to, or the hook-up of:

  • Gas lines
  • Electrical service
  • Water and sewer services

These inspections are required to insure that the construction is proceeding according to the approved plans and project conditions-of-approval, and/or that all current code standards are being met. In turn, this will help to insure your personal safety and to secure the value of the improvement.

It is your responsibility to schedule all inspections. An appointment must be made at least one working day in advance. During busy construction months, you may want to schedule several days in advance. Periodic inspections must be scheduled until the project is completed and final approval is given by the City. After the job has received a final inspection, a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued.  The building permit will be kept on file with the City of Coeur d?Alene as proof of the work which was completed.

Contractor registration is required for all work.  The City of Coeur d’Alene will not accept a building permit application unless the applicant provides proof of contractor registration as required by Idaho Code 54-5209 or is exempt from the registration requirement. 

Property owners may do work on their own property, but all codes and ordinances must be met.

The property owner will need to fill out an "Owner-Builder" statement prior to the issuance of a permit.There is a Contractor Registration Exemption Declaration available. 

Generally, permits expire after 180 days if no inspections have been made. In order for the project to be complete, it must pass inspection. When all of the requirements have been verified, all habitable structures where permitted work has occurred will be issued a Certificate of Occupancy. A Certificate of Occupancy must be issued prior to the structure or space being occupied or used. If a permit expires before final inspection, the project is in violation of City codes. If this is the case, call (208) 769-2267. We'll help you to reactivate the permit when possible or apply for another with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing your project complete...including final inspection
Backflow is a situation where water can flow backwards from the customer's plumbing into the general water system.  In some cases, this back flowing water can contai hazardrous substances capable of causing significant health problems.  The following link will take you to the latest American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) video which explains backflow and the importance of having an effective cross connection control program.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVRtfTIqCl0  Contact the Water Department at 769-2210 if you have questions regarding the City's backflow prevention program.
Yes. A residential building permit is required.
Yes.