Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE PERMITS, AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
Building permits are the way Brigham City regulates construction. Permits help ensure that all construction in the City is not only safe, but meets the requirements of the state of Utah and national organizations like the International Code Council. The safety of the building occupants is the primary reason for having construction codes. The international codes are a conglomeration of safety compliance measures that different jurisdictions, structural engineers, fire departments, and building contractors have learned over many, many years. Brigham City has adopted certain editions of the International Residential & Commercial Building Codes and other supporting codes. In addition, there are federal, state, and local laws that govern construction, such as regulations covering energy conservation, ADA compliance and seismic requirements.
There are several different types of permits, based on the type of construction: structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and combination (used for single family home construction and other small projects). Most home owners’ projects require a combination permit because of the convenience of combining the different trades into one permit. In addition, the complete demolition and relocation of buildings, and a new business moving into an existing building also requires permits.
Obtaining the permit is just the first step in the process. No work should be started without the approved permit in hand. To help the Brigham City building official understand your project and be able to properly review and give you a “heads up” on code related issues, you will be required to provide several details about your project when applying for a permit. (See permit submittal requirements on permit application.)
Once plans are approved, you are required to build the project according to those plans. If any changes are made to the plans, or to the building, they must be made with the City’s approval.
The second step in the project is making sure you have scheduled and passed all the required inspections.
WHEN DO I NEED A BUILDING PERMIT?
A building permit is needed for all new construction. In many cases, a permit is needed for repair or replacement of existing fixtures, such as replacing windows. A plumbing, electrical or mechanical permit may be needed for any additions or changes to a building’s existing system. For example, moving or adding a wall, installing a water heater or furnace, building a deck, or adding or relocating an electrical meter to your home. A building permit IS required for a fence although it is a no fee permit.
To find out if your specific project needs a permit, call 435-734-6604.
WHEN DON’T I NEED A BUILDING PERMIT?
A building permit is not needed for items such as wallpapering, painting, or similar finish work. Permits are also NOT required for complying agricultural buildings. (This permit has many, many requirements that must be satisfied before you can consider it an agricultural exemption. Even after you meet the exemption requirements, a permit and inspections are still required. It is simply the permit fee that is waived.) Placement of flat concrete work such as a drive way or concrete patio do not need a permit.
WHERE DO I GET A BUILDING PERMIT?
Building permits are issued by the City’s Building Department located at 20 North Main. (Second floor of the City offices) Permit applications can be obtained at City Hall or online on Brigham City’s website. https://www.bcutah.org/building-inspections.htm
All permits may be downloaded and printed. Several of the permits may be obtained online, but only if they don’t require a plan review.
WHAT IS THE COST OF A BUILDING PERMIT?
The cost of a building permit depends on the work being done. The permit fee based on the stated value of the construction to be done, along with a fee for the building inspections associated with the permit. Click here for a fee schedule.
Things to remember about your project valuation:
- The valuation should be the market value of the project, not the cost of your project that you will get free help or discounted materials for.
- The fee schedule has been adopted and set as a City resolution. The building department may not arbitrarily change the fee schedule.
- The building official may be able to adjust fees when the value of the project or the permit fees do not accurately reflect the amount of time or inspections required for the project. It us up to the building official to make this determination.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A PERMIT?
Permit issuance periods vary. Some projects such as power to panel or HVAC permits can be fully permitted “over-the-counter”, meaning a return trip won’t be needed, or online. Some projects require that plans, like new homes, additions, decks, sheds, or garages, need additional review. Typically, a residential building permit takes approximately two weeks (14 business days) to be issued, while commercial building permits typically take much longer because of the more detailed requirements and multiple city departments that need to be included in the review.
WHAT IF I DON’T GET A PERMIT?
When a permit (if needed) is not obtained before construction, you have violated the City (and State of Utah) regulations and will be subject to penalties. At best you will be required to obtain permits for the work and such work must pass inspection. If you have a project that has covered up required inspection items you may be required to uncover or dismantle the structure in order for the inspection to take place. If you construct a building that doesn’t meet the zoning requirements (placement on your property) you will be required to dismantle or remove the building. Many times people run into trouble with banks, or title companies when selling their home because the required permits were not obtained.
WHO SHOULD OBTAIN THE PERMIT?
The home/business owner or the project’s contractor can obtain the necessary permits. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the required permits are issued.
CAN I DO THE WORK MYSELF?
In the State of Utah you can do your own work IF all three of the following requirements are met:
- It is a residential dwelling.
- You own the home.
- It is your primary residence.
If you own a rental, but you do not live there, you need to hire a licensed contractor to do the work. ALL
commercial projects require a licensed contractor.EVEN WHEN YOU DO YOUR OWN WORK, YOU ARE RESONSIBLE TO MEET THE CODE REQUIREMENTS JUST AS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR WOULD BE.
CAN I DRAW MY OWN PLANS?
Plans for projects such as room additions, basement finishes, decks, sheds, or other simple structures can usually be drawn by the home owner. Other projects such as new homes, large garages or sheds, or anything commercial, will require plans prepared and signed by an architect or engineer licensed by the State of Utah.
WHO IS A GOOD CONTRACTOR TO HIRE?
The City recommends that you look for good, reputable contractors, by word of mouth, yellow pages, or websites. The building department WILL NOT
give out references or recommendations.
WHAT ABOUT INSPECTIONS?
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to schedule inspections at specific times during construction. Inspections are made during certain points in the project, depending on the work that’s being performed. Your required inspections are detailed either in the plan review or check boxes on the second page of your permit. REMEMBER . . . the project is not complete until it has passed the final inspection.
WHAT IF I HAVE A PERMIT, BUT NEVER CALLED FOR AN INSPECTION?
Generally, permits expire after one-hundred eighty (180) days, if no inspections have been made. Your permit will remain open past the 180 day mark as long as you are getting your inspections. If your permit does extend past the maximum date allowed you will receive a notice from us stating that your permit will be closed if you do not call for an inspection. If we get no answer from the notice we will close out your permit, or record it with the county as non-compliant. If you call or come in to rectify the issue we will help you to reactivate the permit or apply for another with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing your project completed with proper inspections and approvals.
SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR NEED FURTHER CLARIFICATION, PLEASE CALL US AT 435-734-6604.