Step by step

Permit process for existing laundromat alterations

Follow this simplified process to get a permit for alterations to existing laundromats

This streamlined process enables property owners to obtain a building permit for rehabilitating and remodeling existing laundromats.

This process is for interior alterations to an existing, legally permitted use only and does not require City Planning review or approval.

Separate electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits are required for any work that is beyond connecting the new appliances to existing infrastructure such as existing electrical receptacles, dryer vents, water supply and drainage systems.

Additional electrical, mechanical, and/or plumbing plans and review may be required if new work is necessary behind existing wall, ceiling, or floor finishes.


Check if your remodel qualifies for this process

To get a building permit using this process, your existing laundromat remodel's scope of work must be as follows:

  • Changeout of existing washers and dryers in the same location as existing appliances that do not reduce the access aisle to less than 36 inches.
  • Changeout of existing folding tables of the same size and in the same location as existing tables and provide folding space that is accessible.
  • Refreshing wall finishes and floor finishes that do not create a floor level difference of more than ¼ inch. Floor thresholds higher than ¼ inch require additional documentation and disabled access review.

The following scopes of work do not qualify for this process and you will need to follow the standard process for obtaining a building permit:

  • Permitting new laundry facilities in existing spaces that constitute a change of use or occupancy.
  • Alterations that create or alter accessory, separated, or non-separated uses or occupancies such as kitchens, bars, personal care salons or other services or mercantile uses not associated with the cleaning and care of clothing and ordinary household fabrics.
  • Alterations to restrooms require additional documentation and disabled access review.
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Gather the required forms, templates and develop the photo documentation

To get a building permit for alterations to your existing laundromat, you will need to submit:

  • Owners Package documenting that you are the building owner or representative
  • A Form 3/8
  • A dimensioned photograph with information about your laundromat's existing conditions (details below)
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Fill out forms about your role on the project

We need to know your role on the project to apply for an Over-the-counter (OTC) permit.

See: Who can obtain a building permit

Pick the form that applies to you.



Print the appropriate form and bring it with you when apply for a sign permit.

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Provide dimensioned photos documenting your laundromat's existing conditions and the scope of work for your alterations

You will need to provide dimensioned photos with labels documenting your existing laundromat's current condition and proposed alternations.

Photos need to be printed on 11”x17” paper. Two colored copies of the photos are required with your permit application.

The following information is required to be printed on the photographs:

  1. The address of the business
  2. The statement “These photos represent the actual conditions of the space within 20 days of the date of the application. No other work is proposed other than what is shown hereon.”
  3. Scope of work (i.e.: Changeout of existing washer, dryers in existing laundromat. Replace existing coin-op soap dispensers.).
  4. The name and signature of the person preparing the documentation.
  5. A government issued identification of the person procuring the permit. Only the owner of the property, a qualified licensed contractor, or an authorized representative of the owner or the licensed contractor can procure a permit.

We will be reviewing the scope of work detailed on the photographs for the following:

  1. No net increase in weight of appliances if the washers and dryers are located on a raised floor or above another use.
  2. A 36 inches wide access aisle is maintained, with appliance doors open at 90 degrees, when the equipment is installed.
  3. 60” wheelchair turn around area within the tenant space.
  4. Equipment (i.e. washer, dryer, change machine, coin-op laundry detergent dispensers, etc.) reach ranges are within 15 inches minimum and 48 inches maximum above the finished floor and have a clear floor space of 30 inches by 48” for access.
  5. At least one replacement folding table has 27 inches minimum knee space with a tabletop height of 34 inches maximum.
  6. The front entry door has the following accessible features:
  • No more than 5 pounds door opening force.
  • Door opening shall have minimum dimensions of 32 inches x 80 inches clear.
  • 1/4 inch maximum door threshold or details of beveled ½ inch threshold.

Click here for a handout about this process, including a sample labeled, dimensioned photo. Chinese Spanish Filipino


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Fill out a building permit application

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Submit your owner’s package, form 3/8, and dimensioned photographs

Come to the Permit Center to apply for an Over the counter (OTC) permit. 

You will get a permit application number. 

We will route your application and documentation to the required permit review stations. You will carry your application and other documents to each permit review station and review your project with staff. You may need to come back on a separate day to finish the permit process.

We will then review your building permit application and check your labeled and dimensioned photos. We will inform you of the additional forms and information you need to provide and help you determine any outstanding information. 

Once the permit station review is complete, you will be issued a job card and permit number.

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Get your laundromat inspected

Call DBI for a final inspection of the completed alternations done to your existing laundromat to close the permit.

Schedule an inspection of your completed alterations.

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Last updated October 20, 2023