The inspections department enforces and performs inspections under the 2021 International Building Code (IBC), the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) and the North Dakota State Building Code.
The department requires and provides permits and inspections on any work in the City and within one mile outside the corporate city limits. They enforce the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), the 2021 International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the 2021 International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC).
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a permit?
After all, you’ll only be alerting the local building instructor, not to mention the tax assessor, to your plans. Next thing you know, he’ll be looking over your shoulder making sure you do everything his way, and, in the process, perhaps delaying the project and maybe even requiring additional unplanned changes to already completed work. Who needs that? You do, for any number of reasons including legal and insurance issues as well as the safety of your home and family. Permits are a method the city or county uses to insure that local building codes are followed. Moreover, they are required by law. A permit is your formal, legal permission to start a construction project. And the certificate of occupancy that results from adhering to the local building codes and passing the required inspections is your legal permission to live in your house.
When do I need a permit?
Permits are required for new buildings, remodeling of existing buildings and additions. A permit is required for detached storage buildings, sheds, residential garages and decks (attached or freestanding). Permits are also required for plumbing, mechanical and electrical work or for any excavations done on public property including housemoving, demolition and water and sewer projects. Permit fees are established from time time by Resolution of the City Council. When in doubt about whether or not a permit is necessary for a project you’re about to embark on, please call the building department at City Hall to ask.
How much do I pay for a permit?
Building permits for work done on any residential building, single family or two family, garages (attached or detached), storage buildings and decks are calculated on a square footage element. Building permits for three family dwellings and larger, commercial, industrial, government buildings, schools, churches and hospital are calculated on the total contract cost. Fence, demolition, house-moving, excavation, gas, water and sewer permits are $50.00 each. Plumbing, mechanical and electrical permits are calculated based on total contract cost.
Where can I build on my property?
Every lot in the city limits should have permanent markers at each property corner. If these markers are not at the corners or if they cannot be found, you will be required to have them placed or replaced by a licensed land surveyor.
Where can I place a sign on my property?
The City does not have a sign ordinance but does have some specific requirements relative to the sign placement. On a commercial or industrial lot, the support(s) for the sign face is required to be completely on private property and any part of the sign face cannot extend beyond the property line. No sign at any street intersection shall be taller than 3 feet within 20 feet in each direction to not obscure sight visibility for motorists to be able to see. Exceptions can be made to this requirement based on approval of the location by the Building Inspector and the Police Department.
What kind of building inspections will I need?
The number of inspections depends on the complexity of the job. A deck usually requires only two, one after the footings are dug and one when the framing is finished. A room addition requires one each after the foundation, back-filling and framing; another after the insulation is installed; another to check the wall and ceiling materials; and a final after finished electrical work and smoke alarms are installed.
Can I do my own electrical wiring?
Yes you can, only on property you own or occupy, however, not on commercial or rental property.
Can I change switches, outlets, lights, etc.?
Yes, these are considered normal maintenance.
When are electrical inspections required?
Inspections are required before wiring is covered and a final inspection needs to be done when the work is completed.
How are electrical permit fees determined?
Fees are determined based on a fee schedule designed by the North Dakota State Electrical Board.
Can I do my own plumbing work?
Yes, provided you live in the house. You cannot work on a friends or neighbors house; that work is to be done by a licensed plumber.
Can I install my own water and sewer service?
No, this installation is required to be done by a licensed water and sewer installer or by a licensed plumber.
Can I install my own heating and cooling system in my house?
Yes, the city does not require a licensed contractor to install furnaces, duct work, etc.
Can I install my own gas piping to my house?
No, the city requires that you be a licensed and bonded gas fitter.