Building FAQs

BUILDING DEPARTMENT FAQ’S

This information is for Gem County residential property building permits only.
It does not address commercial or industrial building permits

City building permits may be obtained through the City of Emmett, City Clerk’s

 office at (208)365-6050

Q:  Do I need a building permit?

A:  You need a building permit for all building-related projects EXCEPT the following:

  • Any freestanding, stick-built structure that is 10’ X 12’ (120 square feet)
    or less in size.

  • A remodel that does not affect any weight-bearing walls or the resizing
    of windows.  (For the actual interior remodel, please check with our
    office to see if you will need a building permit)

  • Fences not over 6 feet high

  • Retaining walls not over 4 feet in height

  • Re-siding of a building

  • Painting

          Q:  How much does a building permit cost?

          A:  Building permit costs are based on the square footage of the project.  You may call
our office with building type and square footage information. We will figure a valuation
of the project and the cost estimate of the permit.  Pricing for building permits are set
by Resolution, as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.

          Q:  Do I need a permit for an Agricultural building?
          Standard building permits are not required for agricultural structures. 
 However, you are required to obtain an agricultural zoning permit.

          A:  The cost of an agricultural zoning permit is $35.00.  However, you must qualify for
this type of permit.

  • The building parcel must be at least 5 acres or more in size.

  • The building must be used strictly for agricultural purposes, such as, housing livestock,
    hay storage, etc.

  • Proof of ownership or written permission from the property owner allowing the agricultural
    building to be built on his/her property.

            You will be required to file an Agricultural Declaration form when applying for the permit
 stating what the building will be used for.  Please submit a drawing of the building with
the dimensions and approximately how far off of the property lines the building will be placed.

Q:  Do I need a permit to tear down a house or a manufactured home?

A:  Yes.  You will need to get a Demolition Permit.  The cost is $35.00.

Q:  Once I have turned in all of the required paperwork for my building permit,
how long will it take before I can pick up my permit?

A:  Our Building Official has 30 days to review your plans and issue the building
permit.  However, in most cases, it only takes a few days to a week.

Q:  Can I download the building permit application from your website?

A:  Yes.  You may download and print off a copy of the building permit application.
Fill it out and bring it with you when you submit your plans to the Building Department.

Q:  Does my contractor need to be licensed?

A:  Per Idaho State Code, contractors are required to be registered, which is not a license.
When a contractor applies for a building permit and the construction job exceeds the amount
of $2,000 (material and labor), the contractor is required to have a current registration, or
the building permit will not be issued.  In addition, if you are a homeowner and will be doing
all of the work yourself, no registration is required.

Q:  How long is my building permit valid?

A:  The permit becomes null and void if work or construction has not commenced within 180 days of the issue date, or if construction or work has been suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days at any time after the work began.

Q:  What are the requirements for adding bedrooms to my house?

A:  Before submitting your plans to the Building Department, you will need to
contact Southwest District Health at 365-6371, ext.15, to make sure your septic
system is large enough to support more bedrooms.  Once you have the required
paperwork from them, you will need to bring that paperwork with you when
submitting your building plans.

Q:  Will I be notified when my building permit is ready?

A:  Yes.  The Administrative Assistant will call you when your permit is ready to
be picked up.

Q:  Does your office accept credit cards?

A:  We do not accept credit cards at this time.  You may pay for your permit with
a check or cash.

Q:  Who do I contact for my inspections?

A:  You will need to call 365-4743 and leave a message with the following information:
permit number, type of inspection, name of contractor, name of owner, job address, a
contact phone number and when you would like to have the inspection.  We require
12 to 24 hours notice, so please call the day before you require the inspection.  For all electrical permits and inspections please call 334-2183.   For all plumbing and HVAC
permits and inspections please call 334-3442.  For driveway approach inspections
please call Gem County Road and Bridge Department at 365-3305.

Q:  What are your office hours?

A:  Our office hours are Monday 8am-5pm, Tuesday 8am-5pm, Wednesday 9am-5pm,
Thursday 8am-5pm and Friday 8am-5pm.

Q:  Where is your office located?

A:  Our office address is 109 S. McKinley Avenue in Emmett.  From South Washington Avenue, turn east on Main Street, go 3 blocks and turn right on S. McKinley Avenue.  We are located directly between The Coffee Shop and Motor Vehicle Licensing.