First and foremost, if you are planning any improvements or additions to your property (such as placement of a propane tank, fencing, etc.), PLEASE CONTACT THE TOWN OF MALDEN FIRST TO MAKE CERTAIN YOUR PLANS ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH ANY EXISTING ORDINANCES OR OTHER REGULATIONS.
If you are planning to build a dwelling in Malden, the following information will help you determine what you need to do and when, the forms required, and who to contact for answers to any questions. This information can be downloaded as a PDF here and links
to websites and documents are included at the end of this page.
TYPE OF HOME: If you are considering a tiny home, a modular home, or park model home, you should read Whitman County’s “What you need to know about tiny homes” document. THIS DOCUMENT ALSO CONTAINS INFORMATION ABOUT THE OTHER TYPES OF HOMES MENTIONED ABOVE.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? (see article “Mobile/Manufactured/Modular/Park Home”)
~Tiny Home (minimum size is 400 sq. ft. to be approved by Whitman County)
~Modular Home (must be pit set – 32 inches minimum below ground level)
~Manufactured Home (on runners or supports and needs to be anchored above ground)
~Park Model Home (although considered a recreational vehicle, these are transportable and primarily designed for long-term or permanent placement at a destination where an RV or mobile home is allowed. There are restrictions on long-term RV use as a dwelling inside the town limits – check with the town clerk).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Any manufactured, modular or trailer home must have a licensed, bonded contractor that is specifically licensed to install those types of homes and that these homes have different rules for installation than stick built homes that are governed by Labor and Industries (L&I) of Washington State.
****ALL STRUCTURES MUST MEET THE 32 INCH FOUNDATION FROST DEPTH****
BUILDING ON FILL
Typically, Whitman County will allow constructing residential structures on native Palouse Loess silt and clay that has not been disturbed. If you must build on existing fill or new fill, there are many requirements and considerations. SOME of those considerations are listed below. Please contact Ginny Rumiser for complete information and specific answers to your questions before you begin building (contact information below).
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO BUILD ON EXISTING FILL: Where sites are planned on existing fill, Whitman County often requires a geotechnical evaluation to consider the fill depth and characteristics. This has a more substantial cost than testing and should be avoided by positioning structures on native soil wherever possible. NOTE: Structures spanning native soil and fill are prone to differential settlement.
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO CREATE NEW FILL: Whitman County will typically want to have verification that the subgrade is free of debris and vegetation before placing fill. Fill must be put in layers and compacted and certified for each layer. The Whitman County Building Department MUST be given each certification report for the number of layers put in for the fill. Without that information, they cannot and will not issue a building permit for the site. GPI in Pullman is one local company that does fill inspections and certifications. To contact GPI, call Travis Wambeke at 509-339-2000 or email at email@example.com.
Whitman County Environmental Health has issued guidelines concerning new construction and the use of existing cesspools. If the cesspool can be located, pumped, and assessed and is found to need no corrective actions, it can be used in new home construction.
Construction Permitting Process
Whitman County Building & Development Division
Whitman County Building Permit Application
Whitman County Building Permit Application Information
Washington State Energy Code
What you need to know about Tiny Homes (and modular and park model homes)