Building Permits: Do I need one?
The purpose of requiring a Building Permit is to verify code compliance in construction through the use of established code standards that exist for safety reasons. Below you will find information and guidelines to assist you with completing a Residential Building/Zoning Permit Application. Please contact Dependable Construction Code Services at 717-759-5906 or email at Info@dccsinspectors.com if you have additional questions concerning the completion of the application. We can assist you thorough the permit process. Not sure if a permit is required, give us a call for an office meeting or onsite meeting.
The projects most likely to require a permit are those that change the structure or use of a building or have the potential to create unsafe working conditions.
For example, you will likely need a building permit to:
- Adding or removing structural walls
- Adding additional living space (such as by converting a garage to a living room)
- Changing plumbing for different type adding other fixtures to plumbing system
- Changing of plumbing and mechanical equipment with different types
- Demolish a portion of the house.
- Any structural changes
- Decks over 30”
- Stair replacement
- Any pool that holds 24” or more of water.
Projects that don't usually need a permit include:
- Repainting your house
- Adding kitchen cabinets
- Replacing kitchen appliances
- Replacing fixtures
- Installing floor coverings
- Anything cosmetic (painting, siding etc.)
- Agricultural Buildings - Agricultural buildings are defined under Section 7210.103 of the PA UCC Agriculture affidavit needs to be on file.
- Alterations to residential buildings which do not make structural changes or changes to means of egress.
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to one- or two-family dwellings.
- Window replacement without structural change
- Manufactured and industrialized housing (mobile homes and modular homes). The UCC only exempts the work done at the factory. All work performed on-site must be inspected and be code compliant. Therefore, although the housing itself does not need a permit, the installation of the housing unit does.
- Future changes of a building could require inspections. Homeowner has the right to request inspections for anything that is exempt from the Pennsylvania Construction Code
Keep in mind: many provisions of the PA UCC are amendable by the local jurisdiction. It is important to check with the Township prior to the start of construction to confirm that the work is exempt.
the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (PA UCC) under Sections 403.1, 403.42, and 403.62 provide a number of specific exemptions.
(a) An owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a residential building or erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace an electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system regulated by the Uniform Construction Code shall first apply to the building code official and obtain the required permit under § 403.62a (relating to permit application).
(b) An emergency repair or replacement of equipment may be made without first applying for a permit if a permit application is submitted to the building code official within 3 business days of the repair or replacement.
(c) A permit is not required for the exceptions listed in § 403.1(b) (relating to scope) and the following if the work does not violate a law or ordinance:
(1) Fences that are no more than 6 feet high.
(2) Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the lowest level of grade to the top of the wall unless the wall supports a surcharge.
(3) Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
(4) Sidewalks and driveways that are 30 inches or less above adjacent grade and not placed over a basement or story below it.
(5) Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
(6) Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one- or two-family dwelling.
(7) Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not 'project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
(8) Installation of an uncovered deck where the floor of the deck is no more than 30 inches above grade.
(9) Installation or rearrangement of communications wiring.
(d) An ordinary repair does not require a permit. The following are not ordinary repairs:
(1) Cutting away a load-bearing wall, partition, or portion of a wall.
(2) The removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support.
(3) The removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements.
(4) The addition to, or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical.
(e) A permit is not required for the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering or other related equipment under the ownership and control of public service agencies. Call our office directly.
Section 7210.103 of the PA UCC as; "A structure utilized to store farm implements, hay, feed, grain or other agricultural or horticultural products or to house poultry, livestock or other farm animals, a milk house and a structure used to grow mushrooms. The term includes a carriage house owned and used by members of a recognized religious sect for the purposes of housing horses and storing buggies. The term shall not include habitable space or spaces in which agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged and shall not be construed to mean a place of occupancy by the general public.” Horse barns for private use are considered agricultural, and horse barns for commercial stables, and equestrian training facilities are not considered agricultural.
Keep in mind: In addition to the requirement of a zoning permit, many of the projects listed above may also require a building permit in accordance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, and sometimes building permits may be required when a zoning permit is not, such as for changes to plumbing or electrical work.
Step 1: Applicant submits the application with plans to Municipality
BEFORE PERMIT APPLICATIONS ARE ACCEPTED AND THE PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURES CAN BEGIN, ALL OF THE FOLLOWING STEPS MUST BE COMPLETED. NOTE: ALL THE REQUIRED INFORMATION MUST BE FILLED OUT COMPLETELY, including all Date and Signature Lines and the Total Cost of the Project, or the Permit Application will not be accepted for the process.
You cannot provide too much detail…but you can provide too little. This checklist provides the minimum information required for permit submittal.
REQUIRED PERMIT SUBMITTAL INFORMATION
- Permit Application
- Three sets of building plans shall be submitted showing all structural, architectural, site plans, electrical, energy/insulation information and what energy method is being used, plumbing, mechanical, and (fire suppression systems or provide information by law for exemptions used in the construction) New homes only.
- The site plan includes all property lines, public streets, rights-of-way, all existing and proposed buildings, proposed improvements, driveways, sheds, and other buildings.
How to fill out the Permit Application.
- Fill out the Applicant Information, this will also be the main Contact Person, who will be receiving phone calls and emails regarding the permit application. Please provide your Name, Company Name (if there’s one), Address, Phone Number, and Email Address.
- Fill out the Project Information, and provide Property Owner’s Name, Mailing address, Phone Number, Email Address, and Parcel ID Number. You may find the Parcel ID Number from the York County Property Viewer/ GIS Portal. Owner should sign application.
- Please check the boxes that apply to the work proposed. If you do not see a box that applies to your project. Please check the “Other” and write in what work is proposed.
- Fill out the Zoning Permit Section, Provide the dimensions of the proposed structure, yards proposed, total lot area, and impervious coverage proposed.
- IMPORTANT: Must fill out the Estimated Cost of Construction
- Fill out the Construction Discipline Section that pertains to your project and provide a Description of the proposed work to be performed as well as the Contractor’s information.
- Fill out theElectrical Permit Section, Plumbing Permit Section, and HVAC/Mechanical Permit Section with the contractor if the proposed work includes any of these.
- The Applicant MUST SIGN and date on the line that reads Signature of Applicant.
Questions to ask yourself before submitting the permit application.
Do your plans show the design construction code?
Have you provided information for the required for plumbing, electrical, energy (insulation), and mechanical work to be done?
Have you provided two complete sets of documentation?
Your plans should be detailed enough that lumber types, sizes, and spacing, are indicated.
Your plans should provide documentation on any pre-engineered building members such as roof trusses, floor joist systems, or wall systems.
Have you completed all zoning, land development, stormwater management, highway occupancy, as well as water and sewer requirements?
It is very important that you provide complete contact information for all persons who wish to receive copies of the plan reviews. Provide names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, and if possible, e-mail addresses of all parties.
Step 2: DCCS performs the Plan Review
Residential Plan review by law can take 15 business days. When the review is complete, a notice will be sent to the contact person. If revisions are required, a list of the review comments will be included, along with instructions for re-submittal.
Step 3: DCCS returns the approved reviewed plans to the municipality, The municipality will contact you to pick up the permit with the fee amount.
Step 4: Inspections by the Construction Code Official and Approval for the certificate of occupancy
The Owner/Owner Agent is responsible for making arrangements for inspections and ensuring that the municipal Construction Code Official has performed the required inspections.
To schedule building inspections Please call Dependable Construction Code Services at 717-759-5906 or email at Info@Dccsinspectors.com(At least 48 hours in advance)
Inspection Requirements – The following inspections will be required for residential projects. The number and type of inspections may vary based on the type and complexity of the project. Footer (before pouring), Foundation (before backfilling and after waterproofing has been applied or concrete walls before pouring), Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Insulation, Framing, and Final Use & Occupancy approval.
If you have any questions or doubts regarding permits for your project, call Dependable Construction Code Services at 717-759-5906 or email at Info@Dccsinspectors.com
Disclaimer - The information presented above is the basic requirements for residential construction and is not relied upon for the complete requirements for residential construction. It is to your advantage to use a design professional or a professional contractor to assist you with those areas of construction with which you are unfamiliar. Unfamiliarity with the building codes may cause unplanned delays and unforeseen costs to comply with building regulations. Plan Ahead!
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