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Building Department

Phone: (208) 365-5144

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’s Building Department office at (208)365-9569

As of July 3, 2023, a permit from Southwest District Health approving the site plan, will be required for all building permits.

Building FAQs

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)
  • Retaining walls not over 4 feet in height
  • Re-siding of a building
  • Painting
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.
Standard building permits are not required for agricultural structures.  However, you are required to obtain an agricultural zoning permit.

The cost of an agricultural zoning permit is $130.00.  However, you must qualify for this type of permit.

    • The building parcel must be at least 5 acres or more in size and in an agricultural zone.
    • The building must be used strictly for agricultural purposes, such as, housing livestock, hay storage, etc. (Structures with facilities, offices and/or riding arenas do not qualify as an agricultural building.)
    • 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.
Yes.  You will need to get a Demolition Permit.  The cost is $55.00.
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.
Yes.  You may download and print off a copy of the building permit application (link to application).  Fill it out and bring it with you when you submit your plans and other required documents to the Building Department
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.
The permit becomes null and void if work or construction has not commenced within 120 days of the issue date, or if construction or work has been suspended or abandoned for a period of 120 days at any time after the work began.
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 permit application and plans.
Yes.  You will receive a text or phone call you when your permit is ready to be picked up.
Yes.  There is a 3% fee that is charged for using this service.  You may also pay for your permit with a check or cash.
You will need to call 208-365-4743 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 208-334-2183.  For all plumbing and HVAC permits and inspections please call 208-334-3442.  For driveway approach inspections please call Gem County Road and Bridge Department at 208-365-3305.
Our office hours are Monday 8am-4pm, Tuesday 8am-5pm, Wednesday 9am-5pm, Thursday Closed and Friday 8am-5pm.
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 directly across from the West parking lot of the County Courthouse.