EPISODE 2: Renovating my home in Tacoma. Permits – City of Tacoma

EPISODE 2: Getting Building Permits with the City of Tacoma

Do I need to get permits when renovation my Home in Tacoma, WA?

When I started my home remodel, permitting was a non negotiable. It had to be done for these reasons: personal learning as a Home Owner and Realtor AND to avoid any serious errors while work was being complete. Despite the less-than-good reputation the City of Tacoma Permitting department carries, I’m convinced the professionals who work there and the code requirements in place, are intended to protect home owners. NOT to make the process more difficult (although sometimes it doesn’t feel like it!) Five weeks, five revisions and DOZENS of meetings later, we are now SIGNED OFF on our building permit with the City of Tacoma!!!!! It wasn’t easy, But I learned SOOO much and want to share my learnings with you.

How do you obtain permits approval by the City of Tacoma? (Specifically Building and Mechanical Permits)


  • Your permits are only as good as your drawings. If there are deficiencies in your drawings, your contractor(s) who complete the work will likely not have the information needed to complete in its entirety. Resulting in change orders and MORE MONEY that you as the home owner have to fork out.

STEP 2: ASK QUESTIONS and Hire contractors who ASK QUESTIONS!

  • Speaking with my City Inspector directly, provided me insight into deficiencies for the plans and gave me tangible “to do’s”. This helped me hold the professionals I had hired accountable. I asked a lot of questions. Set up meetings with all involved parties to assure we were on the same page to eliminate any communication errors. (We are all familiar with telephone! Messages get construed and details lost as they pass through hands).
  • My contractors see me asking questions and I CONSISTENTLY remind them to treat my house as if it was their own. Because of this, I’m convinced they are motivated to probe when they aren’t getting the full picture.

STEP 3:TRUST the contractors you hire and hold yourself accountable for hiring them!

  • Did you interview multiple professionals before hiring them? If you aren’t excited for your chosen contractors to start the work, reconsider hiring them.


Successful permitting is a melting pot of many things including communication, collaboration and the work of talented and willing trade professional.  The start of Building and Mechanical Permits is heavily dependent on the quality of your drawings. When navigating through revisions, success is in the details and building/maintain relationships with your contractors, city inspectors and engineers is key to successfully get obtain approval of your permits.


Next up! Selecting the Modern Kitchen Design!  If you are considering renovating your home in Tacoma, take a look at the completed series to avoid major road bumps. 20 Minutes could save you thousands of dollars and a LOT of time. On another note, if you are looking to sell your home in Tacoma, click on the “Home Seller” resource tab, or reach out directly.

Realtor with Windermere Abode – Jenny Wetzel

2200 N 30th street Suite 102 Tacoma, WA 98403


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Get In Touch

Tacoma Realtor - Jenny Wetzel

Jenny Wetzel

Call or Text: 253.381.9788

Email: jenny@jennywetzelhomes.com

Fax: 253.381.9788