Local Regulations and Customs for Building Permits

  1. Contact the building official to determine which construction activities require a building permit and to determine the documents and procedures required to obtain a permit. The building official may not enforce some building permit requirements contained in the IRC and may add additional building permit requirements not contained in the IRC. Read the full Topic

Buildings Governed by the IRC (International Residential Code)

Apply the IRC to townhouses.

A townhouse contains at least (≥) 3 individual dwelling units in one building. See Chapter 2 for a definition and an illustration of a townhouse. Read the full Topic

Certificate of Occupancy

Certificate of Occupancy Required

1. Do not move into or occupy a building until after the building official issues a certificate of occupancy. Read the full Topic


Inspection General Requirements

  1. Contact the building official to determine the required inspections for a construction project.
    Each jurisdiction has its own rules for inspections. These rules include: which inspections it performs,
    what work must be complete before requesting the inspection, how and when to schedule
    the inspection, and how it handles inspections of work that fails inspection. The following descriptions
    list the work that is often completed before scheduling the inspection. Read the full Topic

Manufacturer’s Instructions

Manufacturer’s Instructions Discussion

Manufacturer’s instructions are an important part of the IRC. They are referenced many times in the IRC and in the Commentary. Read the full Topic

Repairs and Alteration to Existing Buildings

1. You are not required to update existing buildings to current code requirements if: (a) the building and systems were lawfully in existence when the local jurisdiction adopted the code, and if (b) the building and systems are safe as determined by the building official. There are exceptions to this general rule. See smoke alarms.

2. Apply current code requirements when adding to or altering a building and its systems. This means that if you perform work requiring a permit, the permitted work must comply with current code. You are not required to update the existing work to current code requirements. This provision applies regardless of whether or not you actually obtain a permit.