Frequently Asked Questions

What fees are NOT included in the Online Fee Estimator?

Your Online Fee Estimate may not represent all the fees that will be charged during the review of your building permit application.  Additional permits and/or fees may be required.  Some of these permits/fees are dependant upon a specific property location—you will not choose a property with your online estimate. The following fees are not included in the Online Fee Estimator:

When is the Online Fee Estimator available?

The Online Fee Estimator is generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Like any other website, there is an occasional need for maintenance. We try to schedule maintenance on Saturdays between 7 a.m. and noon. If other non-routine maintenance is required, we will post a message at the top of the BDS Fee Estimator webpage. We recommend you bookmark this page.

How do I access the Online Fee Estimator?

To access the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services online permitting system use the BDS web address:  and choose the "I want to..." button, from the table in the center of the page: Estimate Permit Cost. The new Online Fee Estimator requires you to have a unique PortlandOnline (POL) account. A PortlandOnline account is free and protected by the City's Privacy Policy.

Why do I need a PortlandOnline Account to use the Online Fee Estimator?

When you have a unique PortlandOnline account, the estimates you generate in the Online Fee Estimator will be listed in your own page called “My Estimates” when you log in.  Your estimates can be viewed, printed, modified, or saved in progress since they are tied to your POL account.

How long will my estimates be available to me online?

Your Fee Estimates will be available via your PortlandOnline account and retained in our system for 90 days, then deleted. We will also delete any stored estimates when we have fee changes which would render the estimate out of date. Fees are typically updated each year on July 1. You can also delete them yourself if you choose, by clicking on the “Delete” option next to your estimate on the My Estimates page.

How accurate will my estimate be using the Online Fee Estimator?

The Online Fee Estimator runs the same permitting software used to issue building permits and can be highly accurate, based on the project information you enter on each screen. All estimated fees are rounded up to the nearest $10. The more accurate you are in entering the correct project information, the more accurate your estimate will be. Please use the TIPS section on each page to help you make the best choices to accurately reflect the unique features of your project. Please remember that your actual permit and review fees may be higher or lower than estimated, based on project location, scope, and complexity.

What online help is available in the Online Fee Estimator?

Throughout the Online Fee Estimator you’ll see lots of information on fees designed to help you get the best estimate possible.  These features are outlined below.

Do you have Questions, Comments, or Feedback about the Online Fee Estimator?

What is the Bureau of Development Services Online Fee Estimator?

The Online Fee Estimator is a collaboration of all the City’s development bureaus who charge fees for their services involved in development activity in the City of Portland:

What fees ARE included in the Online Fee Estimator?

The Online Fee Estimator will provide an estimated amount for the typical permit fees required to obtain a commercial or residential building permit based on the project information you enter. It includes estimates for:

How is the valuation of the work determined?

Some permit fees are flat fees, others are based on the fair market value of the construction work being done. See our page on Valuation Methods for additional information.