FAQ’s

Building Inspection

Ok, what don’t I need a permit for?

Interior and exterior painting, floor coverings, landscaping work, cement walks and drives, (although approaches and driveways must meet specific requirements), and new gutters and downspouts for example.

What types of activities do I need a building permit for?

Plumbing, electrical, re-roofing, residing, a new shed, deck, swimming pool, fence, addition, remodeling interior and exterior, replacing, or installing a furnace or central air conditioning.

Why would I need a building permit to reduce the size of my windows?

The State of Wisconsin minimum housing code requires that a habitable room have 8% of natural light.

Where can I obtain a copy of the State of WI building code book?

For new construction of a home or commercial building – doing electrical or plumbing work, you would need to contact Document Sales in Madison at 608-266-3358. For minimum housing requirements, you can contact building department at 262-728-1891 in order to purchase a copy.

Do I need a building permit for a detached shed with no foundation?

Yes. The building department is required to inform the property owner of any required setbacks from the property line.

Do I need a building permit for a patio?

If the patio is in the same elevation of the grade, no. But if you raise the patio above grade, then it is considered a deck and building permits are required for decks.

I want to remove my existing garage and construct a larger one, what do I need to do?

When replacing an existing garage, the applicant needs a razing permit. The inspector will need a survey (or a copy of one), a floor plan, and a wall section for a new garage.

What happens if the garage I want to build will be too close to my neighbor?

The property owner will have to apply for a variance to the Zoning Board of Appeals; the process could take 6 to 8 weeks before a building permit can be issued.

When are the inspectors available for plan review and issuing permits?

The building inspectors are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.  Office hours are from 7:30 am – 10:00 am and from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. You can call us anytime from 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. If we do not answer the phone we will return the call as soon as possible. The inspectors are out in the field conducting inspections and are available during non-office hours with an appointment.

What State of Wisconsin codes does the Building Department enforce?

UDC (Uniform Dwelling Code) for one and two family residential projects. IBC (International Building Code) for three or more unit residential units and all commercial projects. NEC 2011 (National Electric Code) and SPS 316 for all residential and commercial electrical projects.

Can I as the homeowner pull my own building permit?

Homeowners can pull their own building permits, but they must first read and sign the Cautionary Statement that is found on the forms page under Building prior to the issuance of the building permit.

Building Contractors pulling permits for work being done on one and two family homes are required to have both a State of WI Dwelling Contractor Certification and Dwelling Contractor Qualifier Certification.   For more information click here…http://dsps.wi.gov/sb/SBCredDwelConExplan0707.html

Building Contractors pulling permits for commercial projects need to have a minimum of a Building Contractor Registration.   For more information click here…http://dsps.wi.gov/sb/SB-BuildingContractorProgram.html

Heating Contractors pulling permits need to have a HVAC Contractor Credential.

Electrical Contractors pulling permits need to have a State of WI Masters Card and either a Building Contractor Registration or Electrical Contractors Certification.   For more information click here…http://dsps.wi.gov/sb/SB-DivCreds.html

Note:  Contractors performing work on residential or commercial buildings need to have a minimum of a Building Contractor Registration. Also, if performing renovation work on residential properties, schools  and child care buildings built before 1978, the Lead Safe Rules administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) need to be followed.  For more information click here…http://dsps.wi.gov/sb/SB/BuildingContractorProgram.html and here… http://dsps.wi.gov/sb/SB-BuildingContractorLeadSafe.html

 

Why do I need a Building Permit?

Inspections help protect your health and safety to ensure home improvement projects are completed to the minimum standards of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC).

The City of Waupaca has adopted the UDC as part of the City Building Code. Not only new homes or home additions require compliance with the UDC specifications, but also ANY alteration to a structure, including such things as new partition walls, water heaters, furnaces and ventilation, as well as decks and porches, electric services and wiring, and remodeling projects.

Call the Building Inspector BEFORE you start your project to determine if permits are required. A building Permit is the only way the Building Inspector knows that inspections will be required for a home improvement project. Permit fees double if you or your contractor starts without a permit.

How long is my Building Permit good for?

All permits are good for a period of two years. If projects are not started within 6 months, they are considered void. If your project takes longer than 2 years it could be extended for an additional year for a small fee. Commercial permits would require an extension from the state for approved plans.

Why do I need inspections if my contractor is licensed by the State?

Inspections help ensure that the work has been completed in conformance with the safety and building codes, and the work or installation meets the minimum requirements of the Uniform Dwelling code. It doesn’t hurt to have a second pair of eyes inspect the work to help protect you, your family, and your property investment.

How much do Building Permits cost?

Building Permit fees vary based upon the complexity of the project and the number of inspections required. See the Building Permit Fees Schedule on the Building Department Web Page. Your fee, though, will be determined by the Building Department.

If you start working without a Building Permit, fees double.

Can’t I do my own building, electric, or plumbing work without a Permit?

NO – The City of Waupaca Building Code requires that you must obtain a Building Permit for electric and plumbing projects and inspections are required. However, you may not need a licensed plumber as long as you OWN and RESIDE in the property. A licensed electrician IS required to do all electrical work in the City of Waupaca

But, if you own a rental house, but you do not reside in the property, per the State Uniform Dwelling Code, the work must be performed by a licensed company or individual.

What is a Zoning Permit?

A Zoning Permit is similar to a Building Permit, except that a Zoning Permit is issued to ensure your project is in compliance with the Zoning Code. The most frequent type of Zoning Permit is for Yard setbacks for decks, room additions, and garages. Zoning Permits are also required for fences, signs and swimming pools. Call the Community and Economic Development Department at 715.258.4404 before you start your project.

How long does it take to obtain a Building Permit?

The Building Inspector is allowed 10 days to process an application, but generally it takes only a day or two.