Following a conversation with a Planner in Step 1, ask a Plans Examiner to assist you with questions you might have regarding building permits. The plans examiner will be able to go over building code issues with you.
There are two basic building code items to address when evaluating requirements for a carport: 1) Distance from property lines and other buildings on your property, and 2) Structural design. These are discussed below:
Distance from property lines:
The building codes evaluate “Fire Separation Distance” which is used to determine fire ratings for walls and limitations on openings in the walls as a means of protecting the structure from fires on neighboring properties and to aid in the prevention of spreading fires.
In general, if a building or structure is less than 5 ft from a property line, the nearest wall parallel to the property line will need to be 1-hr fire-rated. Greater than 5 ft requires no fire protection.
All carport structures require lateral engineering analysis and designs to address lateral loads acting on the structure (wind and seismic), as well as gravity engineering to adequately support snow loads and the weight of the structure itself.
If interested in purchasing a pre-manufactured carport, or a ready-to-assemble carport kit, we would advise to verify that the structure includes engineering by a current WA State licensed engineer. If it does not have such engineering, chances are it will not comply with current codes and will not be permitted.