Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

As a homeowner, do I need to apply for permits or is that the contractor’s responsibility?

  • As a homeowner, you may obtain permits if occupying the dwelling.
  • A homeowner may obtain a permit even if they are hiring a contractor to do the work, however we recommend a contractor obtain the permit.   Contractors must be licensed to obtain permits.

How much will my permit cost?

Permit fees vary based on the type of permit and the scope of the project.

Trade permits (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) are based on the fee schedule included on the application forms, and may also include plan review fees from third-party reviewers.

Building permits are calculated based on construction value (except for some exceptions), and may also include plan review fees from third-party reviewers.

If you’re not sure about something, please give us a call and we will be happy to create a cost estimate for you.

What form of payments are accepted?

We accept checks, cash, and credit/debit card payments.  Card payments will have a 3% (minimum $2) fee assessed by our credit processor.  

Card payments can be accepted over the phone.

When will my check be deposited?

Checks are typically deposited with our banking institution on a weekly basis on Fridays.  

Payments made on a Friday will not be deposited until the following Friday.

However, deposits may also be made when a specific dollar amount of undeposited funds is reached, or when a holiday falls on a regularly scheduled deposit date.  For specific information regarding the deposit of your check payment, contact our office. 

Who is responsible for scheduling inspections?

The permit applicant is responsible for requesting and facilitating all required inspections.

How deep do my footings need to be?

All exterior footings and foundation systems must extend 42 inches below actual grade

The exceptions to this are:

  • Protection of freestanding accessory buildings with an area of 600 square feet or less, of light frame construction, and with an eave height of 10 feet or less is not required.
  • Protection of freestanding accessory buildings with an area of 400 square feet of less, of other than light frame construction, and with an eave height of 10 feet or less is not required.
  • Decks not supported by a dwelling do not need footings which extend below the frost line.

What do I need to obtain a Residential Certificate of Occupancy?

  • All Final trade (Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing) inspections must be approved
  • Blower door test results must be submitted to SMBA (when applicable) contact the Building Official with questions
  • An Energy Compliance sticker on the service panel
  • All required handrails or guardrails must be installed
  • Exit signage and egress path markings (when applicable)
  • All required smoke/CO detectors, fire alarm systems, and fire suppression systems(when applicable) must be operational
  • Approved exterior address identification (characters must be at least 4 inches in height with a stroke width of at least 1/2 inch.)

What do I need to obtain a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy?

  • All life safety and fire safety requirements must be met and operational for all portions of a structure to be occupied
  • All means of egress, guardrail, and handrail requirements must be met for all portions of a structure to be occupied
  • One operable bathroom and kitchen or food prep area must be completed (when applicable)
  • Bond posted with SMBA.
  • Approval from your township, plus bond posted with the township if applicable.
  • Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is good for 30 days.

What inspections do I need to schedule for my project?

  • New Construction

    • Footing (prior to pouring concrete)
    • Rebar (for poured walls, prior to pouring concrete)
    • Foundation (after waterproofing, prior to backfilling)
    • Residential Radon/Vapor Barrier (after installation of soil gas retarder, prior to pouring basement floor)
    • Commercial Vapor Barrier (sub slab-after all underground Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing inspection is approved and prior to concrete being poured)
    • Framing Inspection of framing construction shall be made after the roof, all framing, fire-stopping, draft stopping, and bracing are in place and after the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical rough inspections are approved.
    • Masonry inspections shall be made after the completed installation of base course flashing as specified in Section R 703. 7.3 of the code and water-resistive barrier as specified in Section R 703.2 of the code and after the masonry construction is completed.
    • Energy Compliance (after insulation)
    • Final After Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Approval

    ** These inspections apply to new construction, alterations, and additions to existing structures, and to all projects where the scope of work necessitates any of the required inspections.

  • Specific Projects
    • Pole Barn/Accessory Buildings
      • Footing — After holes are dug — If using precast pads or bag mix, materials are required to be on site at time of footing inspection.
        • Footing size is based on calculated load
      • Framing (if the interior is being finished)
    • Deck
      • Footing — After holes are dug
      • Framing (if underside of the deck framing will be concealed, a framing inspection is required prior to concealment)
      • Final — All required guardrail & handrail is in place
    • Swimming Pool & Pool Barrier
      • Final (be sure to get the Electrical Bonding Inspection before the cement slab is poured/underground gas line if applicable)
    • Re-Roofing
      • Underlayment – “Dry In” after ice & water shield / underlayment is installed, prior to shingles
      • Final
    • Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing – Trades
      • Rough inspections prior to concealment (including underground)
      • Final