Mike McDowell, Assessor
Contact Us: Click Here
P: (208) 446-1500
F: (208) 446-1501

Physical Address:
451 Government Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Click here for map.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 9000
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-9000

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A Guide to Building in Kootenai County

In 1971, Kootenai County initiated a building permit system for all construction. Since that time, the County program has changed to fit local needs and conditions. This pamphlet answers some common questions on the basis of current practice. Please contact the County Building Department if you have additional or technical questions [Phone: (208) 446-1040].

  • Where and when are building permits needed?
  • What purpose do building codes serve?
  • What is required to apply for a building permit?
  • Where do I apply and what are the hours for applying?
  • How long will it take to issue the permit?
  • Why are engineered plans required?
  • What other permits and agency reviews are there?
  • What inspections are required?
  • When are inspections conducted?
  • How long is a building permit valid?
  • What is the certificate of occupancy?
  • What type of deposit is required?

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    Where and when are building permits needed?

    Kootenai County’s building permit program does not apply to incorporated cities such as Worley, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Hayden or Athol, but does include unincorporated towns like Bayview and Cataldo. If your property is within a city or incorporated, contact your City Hall for proper permits.

    Building permits are required in the following cases:

    • All residential construction, such as dwellings, decks garages, additions, alterations, roof replacements, and agricultural buildings, relocating or demolishing existing structures; and grading permits when required by the Building Code.
    • All public, commercial, or industrial construction (including those structures where farm products are packaged or processed by employees).
    • Manufactured homes.
    • Converting manufactured (mobile) homes to real property.
    • All accessory structures over 200 square feet, such as tool or storage sheds (measured from outside eave to outside eave).
    • All changes in use.

    A Change-of-Use Permit is required whenever a building is being modified from one use to another, even from one type of commercial use to another; for example, changing a single-family residence to commercial or a day-care center to a tavern. If a building is converted from an exempt status to a "code" use (i.e., barn to dwelling), a permit is required.

    [NOTE: All structures, even exempt buildings, are subject to zoning regulations for setbacks, lot coverage, height limitations, etc.]


    Effective April 1, 1996, Kootenai County Building Department requires contractors/owners to obtain Mechanical Permits for installation of fuel gas systems and appliances. The following are requirements for mechanical permits.

    All mechanical installers shall be licensed.


    • New Residential Construction: Type and placement of appliance(s) and BTU rating(s).
    • Commercial: Two complete sets of mechanical plans stamped by a licensed Architect or Mechanical
    • Engineer showing detailed drawings of appliance location(s) and system; duct work, venting and BTU rating(s).
    • Residential Addition/Alteration: If utilizing gas appliances in new construction, type of appliance and BTU rating.


    Manufactured homes are inspected at the plant and must meet HUD standards. However, a setting permit is required prior to setting the home on the site and building permits are required for additions, covers, decks, etc. Modular homes are those that are built to the International Building Code standards at another location and assembled at the site. A foundation permit is required. Manufacturer specifications for setting (blocking) are required for all setting permits. See Manufactured Home Installation And/Or Mobile To Real Permit


    Moving permits are required before moving a structure into Kootenai County or from one location to another in the unincorporated areas of the County. Please contact the Building Department for further information.

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    What purpose do building codes serve?

    Kootenai County ordinance requires builders to meet minimum construction standards. A builder could rely on his own expertise or hire someone to provide advice and assistance. However, minimum standards provide benefits to other County residents as well as for the owner. For example:

    1. LOWER FIRE INSURANCE RATES. Insurance rates are based partially upon the number of fires in an area. In areas with substandard construction, fires are more common and often do more damage.
    2. PROTECTION OF PROPERTY VALUES. Building codes ensure that neighbors will not build substandard housing.
    3. SAFETY FOR OTHERS. People other than the owner/builder will probably use the building. Minimum standards provide protection for guests, tenants, and employees.
    4. COMMUNITY BENEFITS. All residents of the area benefit from the appearance and stable value of quality construction. Some standards also result in lower energy demands, reducing the need for new and costly power plants.
    5. COMPLIANCE WITH ZONING. Setback and land-use regulations are enforced, and thus protect neighbors from fire hazards and nuisances associated with inappropriate building locations and uses.
    6. IMPROVED VALUE AT SALE. Inspections during construction help assure a buyer that a building is "up to Code". Detailed inspections are difficult or impossible after construction is finished.
    7. ELIGIBILITY FOR FEDERAL AND STATE FUNDS. Flood insurance and some housing loans might not be available if "Code" construction were not assured by a building inspection program.

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    What is required to apply for a building permit?

    Either the landowner or contractor may obtain the building permit. The application and issuance of the permit must be done in person. No mailed, e-mailed or faxed applications will be accepted. See Web page for blank "Application Worksheet" form. The form may be filled out before coming in to apply. (If the site and/or the plans require engineering, the customer must obtain the engineer or architect’s Idaho stamps on the plans before applying). The following information is required in order to apply:

    1. Parcel number (or Assessor's Serial Number) of the property, obtained from the Assessor's records or the tax statement.
    2. A site plan – please see blank Example Site Plan sheet.
    3. Complete, detailed directions to the site.
    4. Names, addresses, and daytime phone numbers of BOTH the owner and the contractor and FAX number if available.
    5. Name, address, phone number and license number of mechanical contractor needed for all gas fueled appliances.
    6. Erosion/sedimentation and stormwater runoff control plans shall be required for building sites with erodible soils on slopes in excess of 15% and/or within 500 feet of surface water. Additional information from an engineer licensed in the State of Idaho may be required for areas of geologic hazard, including engineered site disturbance plans, foundation plans, and a geo-technical report. See Guide to Site Disturbance Ordinance No. 251, adopted January 1, 1997 and Site Disturbance Plan Checklist,
    7. Elevation certificates are required for all structures built within a flood hazard area. Contact the Planning and Zoning Department at (208) 446-1070.
    8. FOR MANUFACTURED HOMES: Items 1, 2, and 3 (above) are required, plus the dimensions, make/model, and year of the manufactured home and manufacturer’s setting requirements. Also needed are the mover's name, address, phone number, and Idaho license number or service number. As of October 1, 2002, manufactured homes are required to meet the forty pound (40 lb.) snow load requirement for minimum roof load limits See Manufactured Home Installation and/or Mobile to Real Permit.

    10. Plans for new commercial, industrial, or public structures must be prepared, designed, and stamped by an architect licensed in the State of Idaho.
    11. A mechanical permit will be required. Drawings for all plumbing, heating, ventilation systems, finish work details are necessary.
    12. Plans shall show compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code for the building envelope, lighting compliance, and mechanical compliance. Plans shall be prepared and stamped by an Architect, Engineer, or design professional, currently licensed in the State of Idaho, and accompanied with Comcheck compliance reports.
    13. Project specifications and structural computations, if required by the Building
    14. Additional site plan requirements:
      1. All grade elevations of the property.
      2. Location of all utilities.
      3. Professionally designed site disturbance plan for erosion and stormwater drainage
      4. Location and dimensions of off-street parking.
      5. Building height.
      6. The plans must address building and facility accessibility for the physically challenged.
    15. Modular Units (i.e., commercial coach, etc.) – The following items will be required:
      1. Contact the State of Idaho in Boise at (208) 334-3896 for an information packet on shipment or construction of modular units.
      2. State of Idaho plan approval or insignia number (obtain this prior to applying for the building permit).
      3. Set up requirements for placement of unit.
      4. Type of construction.
      5. Occupancy classification.
      6. Exiting.
      7. Building accessibility (ramps, restrooms, etc.).

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    Where do I apply and what are the hours for applying?

    The Planning and Zoning Department must first approve the application. Both the Planning and Zoning Department and the Building Departments are located at:

    451 N. Government Way, Lower Level
    Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816-9000

    Application hours are from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Based on first come first served, appointments are not taken. During the peak season and peak hours, the waiting time to apply or pick up permits may take longer. Schedule your time accordingly.

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    How long will it take to issue the permit?

    The date your permit will be ready may vary according to the number of permits that need to be processed. Permits are reviewed in the order that they are taken. Please inquire at the time your application is taken for an approximate issue date.

    Permits are only issued in person. The owner, contractor or owner’s acting Agent can pick up the permit. The permit is to be paid in full, by check or cash, at the time it is issued.

    If a permit application is not issued within six (6) months from the date of application, it will be cancelled.

    Permits are issued Monday through Friday, except legal holidays, from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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    Why are engineered plans required?

    The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 applies to multifamily dwelling consisting of four or more units. Therefore, architects, builders, and other persons involved in the design and construction of housing must be aware of the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, not the Kootenai County Building Department administers the Fair Housing Act.

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    What other permits and agency reviews are there?

    When building in Kootenai County, the following permits may be required:

    1. Review by the Kootenai County Planning Department, 451 Government Way, P.O. Box 9000, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-1978, Phone: (208) 446-1070.
    2. Sewage disposal permit from the Panhandle Health District, 2195 Ironwood Court, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, Phone: (208) 667-9513.
    3. Approach permit from the appropriate County Highway District or State Highway Department:

      • East Side Highway District
        2903 Ramsey Road
        Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
        Phone: (208) 765-4714

      • Lakes Highway District
        11311 N. Ramsey Road
        Hayden Lake, ID 83835
        Phone: (208) 772-7527

      • Post Falls Highway District
        5701 E. Seltice Way
        Post Falls, ID 83854
        Phone: (208) 765-3717

      • Worley Highway District
        5800 W. Kidd Island Bay Road
        Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
        Phone: (208) 664-0483

      • Idaho Department of Transportation
        600 W. Prairie Avenue
        Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
        Phone: (208) 772-1200

    4. Electrical and Plumbing permits from Idaho Department of Labor & Industrial Services, 1250 Ironwood Drive #220, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, Phone: (208) 765-1579.
    5. New Structure Occupancy Report for Kootenai County Assessor's Office, 415 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, Phone: (208) 446-1500.
    6. Fire Departments review road access for single-family homes. Plan reviews are conducted for commercial structures.
    7. Encroachment permit (when construction is into or over navigable waters) obtained from the Idaho Department of Lands, Navigable-Water Division, 1910 Northwest Blvd., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, Phone: (208) 769-1535.
    8. When the project involves environmental concerns (such as underground storage tanks), signature approval is required from the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality, 2110 Ironwood Drive, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814,Phone: (208) 769-1422.
    9. When moving earth, a Site Disturbance permit is may be required from the Kootenai County Building Department, 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816, Phone: (208) 446-1040.
    10. Elevation Certificate – When a land development permit is requested for a waterfront building site or sites located in a flood-prone area, an Elevation Certificate shall be required. Kootenai County Planning and Building Departments can provide the needed forms that shall be completed before a permit can be issued.

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    What inspections are required?

    1. SITE DISTURBANCE-Erosion and storm water control designs may be inspected by the Building Department or by the Design Professional, depending upon the degree of risk. Inspections may include inspecting the site prior to disturbance, through the construction process and at the final inspection.
    2. FOUNDATION – after trenches are excavated and forms are set for footings and BEFORE the concrete is poured. Reinforcement must be supported or hung in place.
    3. BASEMENT OR ENGINEERED FOUNDATION WALLS - Kootenai County Ordinance prescriptive rebar placement in basement walls up to eight feet high is 18 inch on center, both vertical and horizontal. If rebar placement is designed from the International Residential Code Tables or is designed by an engineer, a foundation wall rebar inspection will be required PRIOR to pouring concrete.
    4. SLAB INSPECTION – to be made prior to pouring slab, when the insulation is installed.
    5. FRAMING – after rough plumbing and electrical is installed and all bracing, blocking and exterior sheathing is in place.
    6. MASONRY - while reinforcing steel is still visible in chimneys and fireplaces.
    7. INSULATION - after insulation has been installed and all caulking has been finished.
    8. DRYWALL (interior/exterior) - after drywall is installed but before any taping or finishing is done.
    9. FINAL - when the structure is complete and ready for occupancy. The life safety details, such as smoke detectors, handrails, guardrails and landings should be in place. The final grading should also be completed.
    10. Manufactured Homes require a setting inspection to determine if the manufacturer's setup requirements have been followed. Older manufactured homes shall be setup according to ANSI A225.1 NFPA 501A standards.
    11. MECHANICAL – Pressure test, Rough -In and final. These will be on a separate inspection card given by the Building Department.

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    When are inspections conducted?

    On-site inspections are conducted upon request while construction is in progress. Please call for an inspection at least one calendar (work) day prior to the date needed. ALL PERMITS ARE FILED BY PERMIT NUMBER ONLY, please have your permit number available when you call for an inspection. The Building Department is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.

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    How long is a building permit valid?

    A building permit is valid for 180 days (6 months) from the date of issuance. Each inspection will reactivate the permit for an additional 180 days. According to Code, if requested in writing before the permit has expired, the Building Official may grant one (1) six-month extension.

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    What is the certificate of occupancy?

    The Kootenai County Building Code Ordinance requires that a Certificate of Occupancy be issued for all buildings (including dwellings) prior to occupying a structure. Buildings excluded from this requirement are those classified as "U" occupancies, such as private garages, carports, sheds or agricultural buildings; and manufactured (mobile) homes.

    To receive a Certificate of Occupancy, a building permit must have been obtained prior to starting any work. Next, all required inspections must be requested by the owner or his representative and completed by a Kootenai County Building Inspector. When all required inspections have been approved and all other impacted jurisdictions have signed off their final approval, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

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    What type of deposit is required?

    Kootenai County Building Department requires that an applicant submitting plans for a building permit pay a plan review fee at the time of submitting plans. All applicants submitting plans for new commercial or residential building permits will be required to pay a non-refundable $235 towards the total plan review fee. All applications for permits such as mobile home settings, decks, additions, garages and miscellaneous structures will pay a non-refundable fee of $100 which will be applied to the building permit fee at the time it is issued. These fees, in the form of check or cash (credit card payment is not available) will be paid at the time of application.

    Building Department Planning and Zoning Department
    451 N. Government Way
    P. O. Box 9000
    Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816-9000

    (208) 446-1040

    If you would like more information concerning land development, building permits, stormwater management or zoning regulations, the Kootenai County Planning and Building Departments have other pamphlets available. In addition, the Building Department staff is available to answer any questions you may have.

    RECOMMENDATION: If your building site is located within an active homeowner’s association that has a plan review committee, it is advisable to contact them before applying for a building permit.

    Main County Administration Building
    Physical Address: 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814 Mailing Address: PO Box 9000, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-9000
    Main Phone Number: (208) 446-1000 Contact Us
    Click here for directions to the County Administration Building and Courthouse.