Building Inspection

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

New construction, addition, remodeling interior and/or exterior, plumbing, electrical, re-roofing, residing, windows, a new shed or garage, deck, swimming pool, fence, replacing or installing a furnace and/or central air conditioning, just to name a few.

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.

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.

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.

When is the inspector available for plan review and issuing permits?

The inspector is contracted for 8 hours per week, Monday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and Wednesday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Office hours are typically from 9:00 am – 11:00 am with inspections typically scheduled from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Permits are not issued at the same time the application is submitted.

If the inspector does not answer the phone, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

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 a Cautionary Statement 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

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

Electrical Contractors pulling permits need to have a State of WI Master Electrician Certification and possibly a Electrical Contractors Certification.

Plumbing Contractors pulling permits need to have a Master Plumber Credential.



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 one year. If projects are not started within 6 months, they are considered void. If your project takes longer than a year 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. Your fee 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 permit for building, 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.

However, if you own a rental house and 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. Contact Jarod Rachu – Community & Economic Development Director 715.942.9912 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.

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