Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Permitting Questions

Q: What kind of permit do I need to take down my house if it is subject to the deconstruction ordinance?
A: You need a demolition permit. No separate permit is required for deconstructing a house.

Q: Is the permit fee more for a deconstruction?
A: No, the fee for a demolition permit is fixed and how the building comes down does not change the price.

Q: I called for my final inspections, but the inspector won’t sign off because I’m missing something called Deconstruction Documentation on the permit, what’s that?
A: Your deconstruction contractor will submit a Post-Deconstruction Form at the end of the project and will identify all salvaged material and submit receipts for what was salvaged and what was recycled/disposed. Once this form is submitted and approved by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), final inspections can be scheduled.

Contractor Questions

Q: Why do I have to use a Certified Deconstruction Contractor?
A: Certified Deconstruction Contractors have been trained in safe and effective techniques for dismantling a structure. They are also accountable if they do not meet the deconstruction requirements.

Q: Can I deconstruct my own house?
A: No, only Certified Deconstruction Contractors can deconstruct your house. You can work with them to identify things you can do to help cut costs.

Q: What if I don’t have a contractor selected for my demolition permit, can I still apply for my permit?
A: Yes, you can still apply for the demolition permit without a Certified Deconstruction Contractor, however your permit will not be issued until one is selected and they have submitted a Pre-Deconstruction Form for the project.

Exemptions from Deconstruction

Q: My house is in terrible shape and nothing is worth salvaging, do I still need to have it deconstructed?
A: Your house may appear in poor condition (dated fixtures, poor paint, etc.), however the framing behind the walls is the primary element of value and likely well preserved. If you think more than 50% of the framing (interior and exterior) is not suitable for salvage (reuse) because of fire damage, rot, or mold, then you can request an exemption. Contact Shawn Wood (shawn.wood@portlandoregon.gov) to discuss.

Q: My house is ready to collapse, and I think it’s too dangerous to deconstruct, can I get an exemption?
A: You can request an exemption if you think the house is structurally unsafe or hazardous to human life. Contact Shawn Wood (shawn.wood@portlandoregon.gov) to discuss.