When are building permits required and what type of permits are there?
The current Utah state adopted building codes are International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) additions IBC 2015 & IRC 2015. Section 105 in the IRC administrative part of the code says
R105.1 Required. Any owner or owner’s authorized agent
who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish
or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to
erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace
any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the
installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any
such work to be performed, shall first make application to the
building official and obtain the required permit.
This section gives a list of work required to obtain a permit. However it doesn’t go into detail of the work. Section 105.2 gives details of work that is exempted from permits.
R105.2 Work exempt from permit. Exemption from permit
requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization
for any work to be done in any manner in violation of
the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of
this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:
1. One-story detached accessory structures, provided
that the floor area does not exceed 200
square feet (18.58 m2).
2. Fences not over 7 feet (2134 mm) high.
3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm)
in height measured from the bottom of the footing
to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the
capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 927 L)
and the ratio of height to diameter or width does
not exceed 2 to 1.
5. Sidewalks and driveways.
6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets,
counter tops and similar finish work.
7. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24
inches (610 mm) deep.
8. Swings and other playground equipment.
9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall
that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm)
from the exterior wall and do not require additional
10. Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 m2) in
area, that are not more than 30 inches (762 mm)
above grade at any point, are not attached to a
dwelling do not serve the exit door required by
1. Listed cord-and-plug connected temporary decorative
2. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles but not
the outlets therefore.
3. Replacement of branch circuit overcurrent devices
of the required capacity in the same location.
4. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or
equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not
capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
5. Minor repair work, including the replacement of
lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical
equipment to approved permanently installed
1. Portable heating, cooking or clothes drying appliances.
2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter
approval of equipment or make such equipment
3. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected
to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected
to a power grid.
1. Portable heating appliances.
2. Portable ventilation appliances.
3. Portable cooling units.
4. Steam, hot- or chilled-water piping within any heating
or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
5. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter
approval of equipment or make such equipment
6. Portable evaporative coolers.
7. Self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10
pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant or that are
actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
8. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected
to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected
to a power grid.
1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or
vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed
trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe
becomes defective and it becomes necessary to
remove and replace the same with new material,
such work shall be considered as new work and a
permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided
in this code.
2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in
pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation
of water closets, provided such repairs do
not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement
of valves, pipes or fixtures.
Again, a list is provided however sometimes questions still arise if the work being completed is required to be permitted. The best practice is to contact the community development office and give them the complete project details to find out if a permit is required. If its determined a permit is not required, you should get this in writing and keep a record in case the question should come up later.
Comment:The most common permit requirements violations we see are for Agricultural exempt buildings, electrical expansion of a existing system, installation of new water heaters and furnaces, new roofs, new siding, new windows or doors. These are in most cases going to require a permit of some sort.
Do I need a permit for my Agricultural Building and electrical?
Agricultural exempted buildings are one of the most miss used exemptions we see. The state has rules for the exemption of these building.
State Construction Code Administration Act
"Agricultural use" means a use that relates to the tilling of soil and raising of crops, or keeping or raising domestic animals.
“not for human occupancy” means a use of a structure for purposes other than protection or comfort of human beings, but allows people to enter the structure for; (i) Maintenance and repair; (ii) The care of livestock, crops, or equipment intended for agricultural use which are kept there.
Uintah County has put together a list of Qualifying Conditions for agricultural building
1.Is the proposed structure to be used solely in conjunction with “agricultural use” as defined above?
2. Is the structure “not for human occupancy,” as defined above?
3. Is the proposed structure to be constructed with electrical, plumbing and/or mechanical related work? (if yes, certain permits are required.)
4. Is the subject property located within an incorporated city, town, or municipality?
5. Is the subject property located within a platted county subdivision?
6. If the answer to “5” is yes, what is the acreage of your subdivision lot? ___acres
7. Is the subject property located in whole or in part in an Agricultural Protection Area created under Title 17, Chapter 132, Agricultural Protection Area?
8. State the proposed agricultural use
Once you have answered these questions, we can determine if you are exempt from a permit for an Agricultural use. Our web page found at co.uintah.ut.us in the Community Development department tab, has a list of permit applications including an agricultural exemption form.
As for any Agricultural installed electrical, mechanical systems or plumbing, there is no exemptions for permitting of this type of work regardless if they are being installed in an exempt Agricultural building.
So just remember, if you’re not sure, please give us a call and ask. The more specific you are the better we can help you.
Do I need a hydrant letter from my water provider?
Yes, on most applications.
- The reason it is important to obtain this is because the fire district requires all new construction which includes Single Family Dwellings, Commercial structures, Out Buildings, & Additions to provide a hydrant location. Hydrants are required to be located within 600 feet of property. This is to ensure there is adequate fire protection.
- You will need to go to your water provider and have them provide you with a letter showing the fire hydrant location. If the letter indicates that the hydrant is over the required 600 feet, no worries contact the Fire District for an approval letter. You will turn this in along with your building permit application.
Do I need to provide a canal easement letter?
Yes, when there is a canal that runs across your property.
- You will need to go the canal company and have them give you an easement letter stating that you are building outside of their easement.
- Contact information can be found on the Building Permit Application.
Do I need a road encroachment letter?
Yes, if your are not in an approved subdivision with curb, gutter and sidewalk.
The Uintah County Road Department requires all new construction sites to obtain an encroachment permit to ensure that the county roads will not be damaged as driveways, utilities and other improvements are installed on the property.
- Contact Information for the Road Department can be found on the building permit application.
What is proof of ownership?
- Most current tax statement;
- Deed; or
- Property information sheet.
Do I need engineered plans for noncommercial/residential buildings?
If your framed wall height exceeds 10’
If your building is a steel structure, even if it a pre-manufactured kit like a coast to coast building.
- If your structure is non-typical construction. Some examples of this are: log homes, straw construction, green style construction.
- If you have a question about if your building needs engineering please do not hesitate to call us or stop by our office.
Do I need to submit two sets of plans?
Yes, you will need to provide us with two sets of plans.
- You will get one approved set back when you pick up your permit. We keep the other set on file until 6 months after a certificate of occupancy has been issued or the permit is voided/closed.
If I split my property do I need to file for a subdivision?
Yes. There are 4 categories for Subdivisions
- Minor Subdivision
- Standard Subdivision
- Major Subdivision
- PUD Subdivision
Minor Subdivision (1-9 lots on an improved county road)
- Per Utah State Code anytime you split your property to be used for a building lot you will need to go through the appropriate steps to be able to have it deemed as a building lot. Our applications will go over the steps needed to apply. Some of the requirements are a survey of the property, printed mylar plat and signatures from appropriate departments and agencies.
- The process for a standard subdivision is a little different. You will still need to have a surveyed plat but you will need to make application for concept/design and final plat. The concept/design applications will go to the Planning Commission for approval. The final plat will go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation and then to the County Commission for approval.
- As with the Standard Subdivision you will need to have a surveyed plat. You will need to make application for three different phases: Concept, Design and Final plat. The concept and design applications will go to the Planning Commission for approval. The final plat will go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation and then to the County Commission for approval. There will also be a design conference that will take place.
PUD Subdivisions are for master planned communities or mixed use zoning. The PUD also has three approval phases, Concept, Design & Final Plat. All applications will go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation and then to the County Commission for approval. There will also be a design conference that will take place.
All subdivision information can be found in our County Code Title 16, if you have any questions please call our office at (435) 781-5336.
Why do I need a permanent foundation for a manufactured home when it doesn't use it at the perimeter?
Even though your home doesn't use the perimeter foundation to support the home, the foundation is the only acceptable way to attach the home to the property per Uintah County Code 18.03 of the Administrative Manual “manufactured home” definitions. This rule only applies to private lots of land. If you are placing the home in a manufacture home subdivision/park, you may install what we consider to be a “Park Setup” which is the more common manufactured home set up people know of. It consists of typical skirting and frame chassis supports (piers) made up of jacks or concrete blocks.
The perimeter foundation system required around the home shall be an
“approved permanent foundation system that is installed around the exterior of the manufactured home which when completed attaches the home to the ground in accordance with plans providing for vertical loads, uplift, lateral forces and frost protection. The surface of non-concrete foundation applications shall be finished in a manner to appear as masonry or concrete.”
This requirement is in addition to the required chassis support required by the
manufacturer’s installation. Some would describe this as like having 2 foundation systems and costs significantly more money. This would be a fare statement however this is the minimum Uintah County standard for manufactured homes installed on private lots.
Here is a typical approved wood foundation system copied from the International
Residential Code 2015 F403.1(3) See below. If this was chosen and drawn with details as shown, no additional engineering would be required for this portion of the foundation system.
Another design that is commonly done is what we would call a “beam set home”. The foundation system would be designed by a Utah State engineer and would include concrete typical walls and footings with beam pockets casted into the walls so steel I-beams could be set in place and the home set onto the beams.
Another design would be just an average typical footing (9”x20”) with a wall 3-4’ tall (8”thick) and interior strip footings minimum 6” thick x 24” wide under each section of chassis.
Any other designs would most likely require engineers design and approval by our office. You should consult with us prior to choosing a method to see if it’s something we would allow before proceeding with design so you don’t have additional expenses for design we may not approve or require.