Building a custom home is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. You can remove much of the stress that accompanies the building process by doing your research and educating yourself on what’s required before, during, and after. Picking your contractor from highly-rated, knowledgeable custom home builders is more than half the battle.

If you’ve already purchased your land, you’re ready to begin the building process. Here’s what you need to know to dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s. Doing things properly from the beginning can save a lot of grief later on.

Custom Home Builders Introduction to Camano Island, WA

In Washington, state building standards are codified in the Washington State Building Code. This document defines minimum construction standards in areas including plumbing, electrical, fire safety, and more. These regulations apply to all new construction throughout the state.

Additionally, each county maintains its own, secondary set of standards. Camano Island is located in Island County. Island County has adopted the 2012 Editions of the International Model Codes. Find these through the Washington State Building Code Council.

If you’re working with custom home builders you won’t need to familiarize yourself with these lengthy documents.  Any reputable builder in the area will make certain all work is completed to code. They can answer any questions you might have. You can also get help you with the steps we’re detailing below. Note that these recommendations are summaries, shortened for brevity’s sake. For detailed information, you can check the resources available through Island County’s building permits page.

Where Do You Start?

Before any work can begin, you need to take care of permitting, septic, water availability, and access.

First, request a “Parcel Information Report” from the Planning and Community Development Department. If any critical areas found around your parcel require you to file land use permits, this report will let you know.

Next, gather your as-built septic permit or consult with a septic designer and get the Department of Health to approve a new permit. You’ll also need an approved Water Availability Verification Form. The Island County Health Department needs to sign off in order for your WAV to be valid.

If your lot or a private road leading to your lot directly accesses a public road you’ll need to acquire an approved access permit.

Many custom home builders recommend having your site surveyed. A feasibility study, which informs you about what you can and can’t do on a given lot can also be valuable. These aren’t requirements, but they can help you catch problems early.

Submitting Your Paperwork

Submit everything above along with your:

  • Ink completed Master Building Permit Application
  • One and Two Family Dwelling & Attached Accessory Structures Permit
  • Two sets of structural plans wet stamped if applicable
  • Two sets of engineering drawings bearing their original wet stamp
  • Engineering-scale Plot Plan (one no larger than 11 x 17)
  • Plan check fee

The Camano Island planning office is located at 121 N East Camano Dr, Camano Island, WA in the Camano Annex.

There are a number of other permits that may be required depending on your situation. Custom home builders will often take care of this for you, or offer help if you choose to do it on your own. Consult with a planning office representative to learn which additional permits you need to complete.

Your permit may not be approved on the first try due to an error. Don’t worry, the office will inform you of the changes you need to make to secure approval.

Once the office approves your permit it will be valid for two years from the date of issuance.

Inspection Expectations for Custom Home Builders

You’ll need to complete inspections as you finish subsystems in your home. For example, you’ll want to have an inspector come for a rough electrical inspection once all connections have been made from the panel, but before the walls go in. You’ll wait to schedule your final electrical inspection until the end of the project. Your home builder or your inspector can help you plan a proper inspection schedule.

Note that Island County isn’t responsible for electrical inspections. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries handles these. You can find them at

The building department will issue your Certificate of Occupancy once you complete all necessary inspections, including the final. This signifies that the work done matches your approved plans and aligns with applicable regulations.

Congratulations! Your home is now nearly ready for you to move in and start making memories.

Custom Home Builders Cannon Construction Group Makes This All Easy

Cannon Construction Group is your partner in homebuilding. Our seasoned pros are experts at all phases of new home construction. We can explain your options and guide you through the entire process, which includes everything mentioned above.

We routinely perform feasibility studies for customers on Camano Island and surrounding areas to make certain there aren’t any surprises down the road. As custom home builders, we labor to provide the utmost quality at a fair price.

If you’re thinking about building a custom home and want a builder you can trust to do things right the first time, give us a call. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.