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WISPECT LLC | UDC Blog
Saturday, January 14, 2017
UDC Inspections.
Topic: Press Release

WISPECT LLC is no longer the State-Contracted UDC Inspection Agency for municipalities in Ashland, Bayfield, or Clark Counties.However, we will complete all inspections for the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permits issued by this agency. To ascertain who you need to contact for permit applications please call the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

WISPECT LLC   


Posted by wispectllc at 4:07 PM EST
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Friday, March 22, 2013
RE: Licensing of Electricians and Electrical Contractors
Topic: Press Release

Reprint from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Website

Scott Walker                                                David Ross
   Governor                                                    Secretary

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES  

1400 E Washington Ave
PO Box 8935
Madison WI 53708-8935
Email: dsps@wisconsin.gov
Voice: 608-266-2112
FAX: 608-251-3016
TTY: 608-267-2416

March 13, 2013
 
RE: Licensing of Electricians and Electrical Contractor Questions
Notice: 2013 WI Act 4 delayed the effective date of mandatory statewide electrician licensure to April 1st, 2014.

           Technical SPS 316 and NEC requirement Questions


1) When will the 2011 edition of the NEC be adopted by the State of Wisconsin?
The department is putting the finishing touches on this code update and will be completing this project in the near future.
2) Can the satellite or slave cables that are part of a listed luminaire assembly be secured to a non-fire-rated ceiling grid or the ceiling support wires?
Typical non-fire-rated ceiling assemblies are designed to support luminaire assemblies with typical spacing patterns. The slave cables component of the luminaire assembly is also permitted to be secured to and be supported by the grid or ceiling support wiring. Branch circuit wiring is not. The method of securing the slave cables is subject to approval by the AHJ in the same manner that the support and securing of the luminaire to the grid is subject to approval.
The slave cables shall be arranged and supported so as to allow removal of the ceiling panels in accordance with NEC 300.23.

3) How do you size service-entrance conductors that are common to multiple dwelling units? The service equipment consists of two to six service disconnecting means.
The minimum size of the service-entrance conductor’s common to multiple dwelling units is determined by the cumulative calculated load.
4) Shall the existing electrical wiring in a dwelling unit be brought up to current code requirements in any room where the wall or ceiling surfaces are removed in whole or in part?
The existing electrical in the space is not required to be replaced, altered, or upgraded based solely on the removal of wall or ceiling surfaces.
5) Conductors, 4 AWG or larger, are spliced within a pull box. The box is properly sized. However, the distance between raceways entries is not 6 X the diameter of the raceway. Are spliced conductors considered the “same” conductor?
NEC 314.28(A)(2) Paragraph 2 “ The distance between raceways containing the same conductor shall not be less than six times the metric designator (trade size) of the larger raceway.
The intent of the code section is to protect conductor insulation from damage as the conductor is being pulled through an enclosure.
The minimum size of the enclosure containing the spliced conductors, 4AWG and larger, is determined by 314.28(a)(2). The distance between raceways requirement does not apply to spliced conductors.


Posted by wispectllc at 10:06 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 10:28 AM EDT
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Friday, January 25, 2013
WISPECT LLC Frequently Asked Questions
Topic: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Uniform Dwelling Code

Q. What is the UDC?
A. The UDC (Uniform Dwelling Code) is Wisconsin’s residential building code.
Q. What is the purpose of the UDC?

A. The UDC is a uniform statewide code that sets minimum standards for:

  • Fire Safety
  • Structural Strength
  • Energy Conservation
  • Erosion Control
  • HVAC Systems
  • Plumbing Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • General Safety and Health in Residential Dwellings.

Q. Who enforces the UDC?
A. The UDC is principally enforced by municipal or county building inspection departments and by state-contracted UDC Inspection Agencies. The Wisconsin Division of Safety and Buildings facilitates uniformity through code development, code interpretations, special investigations, inspector training, processing of petitions for variance, and monitoring manufactured dwellings firms.
The day to day enforcement of the UDC is primarily performed by municipal, county building inspectors, or privately employed inspectors who must be state-certified.
Q. What buildings are covered by the UDC?
A. The UDC covers new one- and two-family dwellings built since June 1, 1980 and their additions or alterations. This includes:

  • Seasonal and Recreational Dwellings (Electrical, heating, or plumbing systems are not required, but if they are installed they shall comply with the applicable codes. If a home is heated , then it shall comply with the code’s dwelling envelope standards. If the dwelling will be unheated or will utilize a renewable energy source insulation may be omitted. Local sanitary requirements may necessitate certain plumbing systems).
  • One- and two-family condominium buildings.
  • A single-family residence connected to a commercial occupancy.
  • Community-based residential facilities with up to eight (8) residents.
  • Manufactured , modular, or panelized dwellings regulated by the State of Wisconsin (but not mobile or manufactured homes regulated by the Federal Government).
  • Additions to mobile or manufactured homes produced after June 1, 1980.
  • A non-residential building, such as a barn, that is converted to a dwelling.

Q. What structures are not covered by the UDC?
A.

  • Dwellings built before June 1, 1980 or additions and alterations to such dwellings.
  • Mobile (manufactured) homes which are instead subject to Federal standards.
  • Multi-unit (three or more) residential building which are regulated by the State Building Codes.
  • Detached garages or accessory buildings.

Q. What about homes built before June 1, 1980?
A. The State does not have a construction or heating code for additions or alterations to older homes or any accessory structures or outbuildings. However, the State Plumbing, Electrical, and Smoke Detector codes DO apply to all dwellings, regardless of age. For the construction and heating standards for older homes, municipalities may adopt any or no code standard. Many use the UDC, while others use the Wisconsin Uniform Building Code, which is not a State code but rather a regional code in southeastern Wisconsin.

Home Inspections

Q. What is a home inspection?
A. A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. A home inspection is the equivalent of a physical examination from your doctor. When problems or symptoms of problems are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation or remedies.
Q. What does a home inspection include?
A. A standard home inspection summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the condition of the subject home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement, and the visible structures of the home.
Q. Why do I need a home inspection?
A. A home inspection summarizes the condition of a property, points out the need for major repairs and identifies areas that may need attention in the near future. Buyers and sellers depend on an accurate home inspection to maximize their knowledge of the property in order to make intelligent decisions before executing an agreement for sale or purchase.
A home inspection points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After an inspection, both parties have a much clearer understanding of the value and needs of the property.
For homeowners, an inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn about preventive measures, which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, an inspection prior to placing your home on the market provides a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector, and provides you an opportunity to make repairs that will make your home more desirable to potential buyers.
Q. What will it cost?
A. Inspection fees for a typical single family home vary by geography, size and features of the property, and age of the home. Additionally, services such as septic inspections and radon testing may be warranted depending upon the individual property. Prices vary. It is a good idea to check local prices in your area as you consider a professional home inspection.
Do not let the cost deter you from having a home inspection or selecting an inspector you are comfortable with – knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the time and expense. The lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration in your selection.
Q. Can’t I do it myself?
A. Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge and training to make an unbiased and informed report of the condition of a property. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. An inspector understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail and knows what to look for and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.
Most buyers find it difficult to remain objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information about the condition of a home, always obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
Q. Can a house fail a home inspection?
A. No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property and indicates what may need repair or replacement.
Q. When do I call in the home inspector?
A. Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Home inspectors are aware of the time constraints involved in purchase agreements and most are available to conduct the required inspection within a few days.
Q. Do I have to be there?
A. While it is not necessary for you to be present, it is always recommended that you make time to join the inspector for their visit. This allows you to observe the inspector, ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain them. After you have seen the property with the inspector, you will find the written report easier to understand.
Q. What if the report reveals problems?
A. No house is perfect. When the inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. His findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.
Q. If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
A. Yes. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. From the inspection, you will have learned many things about your new home, and will want to keep that information for future reference.

Radon

Q. What is radon?
A. Radon is a radioactive gas, which comes from the radioactive decay of radium, which is a fairly common, naturally-occurring mineral in the earth's crust. Radon goes through a fairly rapid radioactive decay period with a half-life of 3.82 days, and in about 28 days, all of it has decayed away leaving only its daughter products which ultimately decay away to lead 206, the familiar soft metal of a number of uses. The major risk of radon radiation is in the form of alpha radiation, which is also a form of ionizing radiation. Alpha radiation from radon is actually somewhat like two bullets, which are, released the instant that the radon atom disintegrates into its short-lived daughter products. These "bullets" are very powerful in a molecular world, and they contain a comparatively great deal of energy. When they strike a living cell, they can be disruptive both by creating chemical changes as well as genetic changes, which may be disruptive to the cell's growth. Usually, radon reaches an equilibrium concentration within a building wherein the amount of radon leaking into the building is the same as the rate that radon decays away and leaks out of the building. It will remain at that level for extended periods unless ventilation or leakage rates change, or unless the entry pathway is changed in some manner.
Q. How dangerous is radon?
A. Radon exposure over time at sufficient concentrations causes lung cancer, especially in smokers, and it is believed to be more dangerous to the very young. The last statistics that I have heard was that lung cancer is fatal in 95 percent of persons having it. Lung cancer progresses rapidly, and there is usually only about 6 months from the time of its occurring until death.
Q. Is radon visible to the human eye or can we smell it?
A. None of our five senses can detect the presence of radon. We can detect its presence only by way of tests, which look for and measure alpha or gamma radiation of a specific energy level. Do it yourself radon test kits are reasonably reliable, readily available and inexpensive. Testing protocol for the tests must be followed.
Q. Are there any symptoms for the inhabitants of a house suspected of having radon?
A. So far as I know, there are no symptoms, except that if one of the residents contracts lung cancer, it will be but a short period before it is apparent that the person is very seriously sick. And of course, then it is too late in almost every case.
Q. What do I need to do to get a radon inspection of my house?
A. Professional radon measurement folks are often listed in the telephone yellow pages. You also may contact your state radon office, which may provide you with a list of qualified testers.
Q. How effective are the "do it yourself" kits for radon measurement?
A. I believe that the kits are of uniformly good quality, and they will provide you with a reliable indication of the radon exposure, so long as the testing protocols are follow precisely. The greatest opportunity for error to be introduced is in the testing protocol, including the return of the device to the laboratory. Of course, the product must be listed by name within the EPA device list.
Q. If I want to get an outside vendor to do a radon inspection what are the criteria I should use in finding a reputable vendor?
A. A firm who performs both radon testing and radon mitigation is presented with tempting opportunities for fraud every day. I am also of the opinion that some of the most ethical folks I have met are engaged in both measurement and mitigation of radon. I encourage the use of do it yourself kits, and if there is question of the results or if the results are adverse, that you call the experts. Get two or more bids and compare them.
Q. Is there any EPA or other certification for radon inspectors?
A. In the past, such was the case. Currently voluntary certification is available from two voluntary agencies. Most states have mandatory certification programs. We suspect that some of the public are overly impressed by lots of credentials in some folk's efforts to dress up like they know something that others do not. Kind of like the biggest lawyer ad in the yellow pages. Folks who graduated from Harvard will never tell you that they did. They will tell you that they went to school in "the east."
Q. How can I know whether a particular town has a lot of radon in its homes?
A. It may not be easy. I suspect that the record-keeping of the state is frustrated by some measurement and mitigation guys' desire to keep their success quiet and private. However it is not important if a town has lots of radon or not. Radon can always be fixed. And the fixes are usually very reliable.
Q. Does radon effect all the rooms of a house?
A. Radon is likely more often found at higher concentrations in a basement or at ground level. My major radon concern is in bedrooms, children's play rooms and the rooms where invalids may be. Test those rooms for sure.
Q. At what level of radon reading in my house should I get concerned?
A. 4.0 Pico-Curies per Liter is the official EPA "action level." I have heard it suggested that such level is VERY ROUGHLY the equivalent of smoking seven cigarettes per day. You may seek a lower exposure.
Q. If I find I have radon in my home how do I get rid of it or is there no cure?
A. Radon cures are usually fairly quick and reliable. If your home has levels in the thousands! It may likely be reduced to less than 4.0 without great difficulty. Sometimes a radon reduction from 8 to less than 4 may be much more difficult.
Q. Should I get radon "check ups" for my home? Does the radon level vary?
A. If you have a home in which radon work has been done, I suggest an annual do it yourself test at New Year's. If your home has had modifications to the heating or air conditioning system, or if you have had renovation work done, I recommend that you radon test upon completion of such work. And, you bet, radon levels will vary by time of day, season, air temperature, precipitation, open or closed interior doors, wind, and more. Make sure you follow the testing protocols which are provided with the do it yourself kit, or that you maintain the conditions advised by your radon test professionals. If you find radon, have your home tested professionally and mitigated if necessary, to ensure that you have peace of mind as well as a good, healthy and safe home.

CAUTIONARY NOTE: We suspect that relative humidity increases that may occur in a hot, humid climate from a certain type of radon mitigation procedure may be much more dangerous to human health than radon. We suggest that maintaining an indoor relative humidity of ABOVE 50-55 percent during cooling periods should be avoided, especially for persons wit unusual irritability, allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems but also including rashes, burning eyes, blurring vision, headaches, and a number of other seemingly unconnected ailments. Visible mold or moldy odors are powerful clues to a potentially dangerous condition which may have originated in the unintentional or negligent creation of a mold and dust mite-favorable high humidity environment The presence of mold, dust mites and dust mite allergens can beconfirmed by blood tests by the sufferer.
Q. How can I test for indoor humidity levels?
A. Testing for indoor relative humidity is the easiest of all. An inexpensive digital thermo-hygrometer will constantly monitor the onset of a risky high humidity condition for the cost of a battery once every three years. If indoor relative humidity can be maintained below 50 percent constantly, all dust mites will dehydrate and die within 12 days. They can then safely be vacuumed up with a HEPA vacuum. They will not return unless new specimens can absorb the moisture they need out of the air. Most molds do very poorly at 50 percent relative humidity unless dew point is reached or unless there are water leaks and moisture. Molds can thrive in wall cavities where they cannot be seen. If you see mold, it is likely that it is ten times greater in your home than you can see. The most important means to control mold and eliminate dust mites is to maintain relative humidity to 50 percent or less at all times, to avoid condensation problems, and immediately to repair and to dry water leaks and all moist materials. Immediately means within 24 hours. Usually this means you should immediately call for professional help. Mold cleanup can be very expensive. Moisture and water extraction is relatively inexpensive.

Asbestos

Q. What is asbestos?
A.
• Asbestos is the name for a group of fibrous minerals that are mined and mixed into building materials.
• Asbestos is very resistant to heat and chemicals.
• Asbestos has been used in a wide range of manufactured goods including floor and ceiling tiles, coatings, texturing materials and thermal insulation.
• Currently, asbestos is used only in products where another material has not been found to replace it.
• Generally, asbestos is not a health risk when bound together with a substance that prevents the fibers from entering the environment.
Q. When is asbestos a hazard?
A. Asbestos is not always an immediate hazard. In fact, if asbestos can be maintained in good condition, it is recommended that it be left alone and periodic surveillance performed to monitor it's condition. Only when materials containing asbestos are disturbed or those materials become damaged that it becomes a hazard. When asbestos containing materials become damaged, the fibers separate and may then become airborne. Airborne fibers are a hazard to your health.
Q. How might someone be exposed?
A. By far, the most common form of exposure is by breathing in air containing asbestos fibers. Ingesting the fibers is also a health risk.
Q. What are the possible health risks of asbestos?
A.
• The body cannot breakdown or eliminate inhaled fibers.
• A slow buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs (called asbestosis) can occur.
• Asbestosis has typically been observed in asbestos workers.
• Asbestos is known to cause cancer.
• There are no symptoms of exposure such as coughing, sneezing or itching and therefore you cannot tell if asbestos is in the air or if you
have inhaled it.
Q. Can asbestos cause cancer?
A. Yes, Asbestos has been proven to cause cancer. Three types of cancer have been observed in individuals exposed to asbestos:
• Lung cancer - both small and large cell;
• Mesothelioma ( a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen);
• Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

Drinking Water

Know Your Water Supply

Whether for drinking, cooking, bathing, or doing laundry, a supply of clean water is important to a healthy home. Know where your water comes from.

Tips for All Water Users

• Install devices to prevent garden hose water from flowing backwards into your drinking water.
• Consult your local building code office before making major repairs or changes to your plumbing system.
• Conserve water because clean water is precious. Don’t waste it, instead, use water-saving toilets, and showerheads. Repair
plumbing leaks right away.

Water Supply Problems

Bacteria & Viruses

The most common problem in private well water is bacteria. If bacteria are found, it means that human or animal wastes may be entering your water. Some bacteria can cause stomach upset or diarrhea.

Chemicals

Harmful chemicals such as gasoline, solvents, and pesticides can get into drinking water. Natural chemicals like arsenic, manganese, iron, and radon can also get into your drinking water.

Water Quality Testing

Public water supplies are tested for more than 100 chemicals. If you use public water you can call the water utility for information about your drinking water.
All private wells and many public water supplies use groundwater. Groundwater is water held in underground soils and rock. Several communities use water from nearby lakes, like Lake Winnebago, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.

Tips for People who use Public Water Supplies

• Find out where your water comes from. Contact your water utility if you have questions about your water supply.
• Protect your water supply. Follow any water-use warnings. Dispose of pesticides, motor oil, and other chemicals properly.
Reduce your use of lawn and garden chemicals since these chemicals may seep into drinking water.
• Call your water utility if you have questions or if you notice a change in the taste, odor, smell or color of your water. If you own a private well, be sure your water supply is safe. Yearly testing and maintenance will help protect your water supply. Call your local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office for more information.

Tips for People who use Private Wells

• Find out the age and depth of your well and the length of its casing (the pipe inside the drilled hole). Learn about the types of soil, bedrock and water supply problems in your area.
• Find out when your drinking water was last tested. Know what tests were run, and the results. Keep records of any tests or repairs that you make.
• Test at least once a year for bacteria. Several labs in Wisconsin can do these tests. Check the yellow pages in your phone book for a lab near you.
• Test for nitrate. This is especially important if there is a pregnant woman or infant in your home. Nitrates come from fertilizer use,
barnyard runoff, and septic systems. A high nitrate level may mean that your water also has bacteria or farm chemicals.
• You may want to do other tests. Talk to a regional water supply expert at your local DNR office to find out if arsenic or radon are common in your area. If your well is near an old landfill, gas station, or buried fuel tank you might want to test for volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). If your well is near an orchard or farm field, a test for pesticides might be advised.
• Have your water tested if you notice a change in its taste, odor, or color. Some tests are expensive and may be hard to do. Contact your well driller, local DNR office, or your local health department for help.
• If your water contains bacteria or chemicals find out the source of the problem. Fix it and test the water again to be sure it is safe.
• Keep chemicals, septic tanks, and animal waste away from your well. Dispose of chemicals and motor oil properly. Don’t put waste chemicals in your septic system. Limit your use of lawn and garden chemicals. Keep the area around your well clean.

MOLD

Q. I heard about toxic molds that grow in homes and other buildings. Should I be concerned about a serious health risk to my family and me?
A. The hazards presented by molds that may contain my-co-toxins should be considered the same as other common molds, which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few case reports that toxic molds (those containing certain my-co-toxins) inside homes can cause unique or rare, health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxic mold and these conditions has not been proven. A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes. The common health concerns from molds include hay - fever like allergic symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. For the most part, one should take routine measures to prevent mold growth in the home.
Q. How common is mold, including Stachybotrys chart arum (also known by its synonyn Stachybotrys atra) in buildings?
A. Molds are very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture. The most common
indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. We do not have accurate information about how often
Stachybotrys chart arum is found in buildings and homes. While it is less common than other mold species it is not rare.
Q. How do molds get in the indoor environment and how do they grow?
A. Molds naturally grow in the indoor environment. Mold spores may also enter your house through open doorways, windows,
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making
clothing, shoes, bags, and pet’s convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Q. What is Stachybotrys chartarum (stachybotrys atra)?
A. Stachybotrys chart arum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.
Q. Are there any circumstances where people should vacate a home or other building because of mold?
A. These decisions have to be made individually. If you believe you are ill because of exposure to mold in a building, you should consult your physician to determine the appropriate action to take.
Q. Who are the people who are most at risk for health problems associated with exposure to mold?
A. People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections.
Q. How do you know if you have a mold problem?
A. Large mold infestations can usually be seen or smelled.
Q. Does Stachybotrys chart arum (Stachybotrys atra) cause acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants?
A. To date, a possible association between acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants and Stachybotrys chart arum
(Stachybotrys atra) has not been proved. Further studies are needed to determine what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage.
Q. What if my child has acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage?
A. Parents should ensure that their children get proper medical treatment.
Q. What are the potential health effects of mold in buildings and homes?
A. Mold exposure does not always present a health problem indoors. However some people are sensitive to molds. These people may experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, or wheezing when exposed to molds. Some people may have more severe reactions to molds. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
Q. How do you get the molds out of buildings, including homes, schools, and places of employment?
A. In most cases mold can be removed by a thorough cleaning with bleach and water. If you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, you may want to contact a professional who has experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Q. What should people to do if they determine they have Stachybotrys chart arum (Stachybotrys atra) in their buildings
or homes?

A. Mold growing in homes and buildings, whether it is Stachybotrys chart arum (Stachybotrys atra) or other molds, indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem that needs to be addressed. Mold can be cleaned off surfaces with a weak bleach solution. Mold under carpets typically requires that the carpets be removed. Once mold starts to grow in insulation or wallboard the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement. We do not believe that one needs to take any different precautions with Stachybotrys chart arum (Stachybotrys atra), than with other molds. In areas where flooding has occurred, prompt cleaning of walls and other flood-damaged items with water mixed with chlorine bleach, diluted 10 parts water to 1 part bleach, is necessary to prevent mold growth. Never mix bleach with ammonia. Moldy items should be
discarded.
Q. How do you keep mold out of buildings and homes?
A. As part of routine building maintenance, buildings should be inspected for evidence of water damage and visible mold. The
conditions causing mold (such as water leaks, condensation, infiltration, or flooding) should be corrected to prevent mold from
growing.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity level in house below 50%.
  • Use air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans in kitchen and bathrooms (make sure the vent directly to the
  • exterior.)
  • Use mold inhibitors, which can be added to paints.
  • Clean bathroom with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms.
  • Remove and replace flooded carpets.

Summary: Stachybotrys chart arum (Stachybotrys atra) and other molds may cause health symptoms that are nonspecific. At present there is no test that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) and particular health symptoms. Individuals with persistent symptoms should see their physician. However, if Stachybotrys chartarum (stachybotrys atra) or other molds are found in a building, prudent practice recommends that they be removed. Use the simplest and most expedient method that properly and safely removes mold.

LEAD

Lead is a toxic heavy metal that is released into the environment through industrial sources, the previous use of leaded gasoline (now banned), disposal of lead wastes and the peeling or flaking of lead-based paint. Individuals are exposed every day to varying amounts of lead in our diets, water, air and soil. House dust may contain lead originating from contaminated soil or from lead-based paint.
Q. How are children affected by lead?
A. The fetus, infants and young children are most at risk from lead exposure. High levels of lead in children may result in reduced hearing, muscle coordination and intellectual development. Lead contamination may also contribute either to lethargy or to aggressive behavior. If you have concerns and would like more information, contact your local health unit or your medical doctor.
Q. How much lead is there in our soil?
A. The natural background level of lead in soil is less than 100 parts per million (ppm). Lead in surface soil in residential communities is commonly higher than 200 ppm. In older, urban residential areas lead in soil on some properties may range from 500 to 1000 ppm, even when there is no local industrial source. Where historically there have been commercial or industrial operations mixed with residential housing, lead levels around homes may be higher.
Q. Is lead in soil harmful?
A. Children take in an average of 80 milligrams of soil and dust (equal to the size of a grain of rice) each day while they play. Depending on the concentration of lead in the soil, they may develop elevated levels of lead in their blood. In addition, lead-contaminated soil contributes to the lead found in dust in the home. Lead-based paints and industrial pollution can also contribute to lead dust in the home. Soil and dust are considered a major route of exposure for children. Many reputable sources have advised that there is minimal risk from exposure to soil with lead levels below 200 ppm. However, when soil lead levels are greater than 1000 ppm on your property or greater than 400 ppm in bare soil areas of a child’s play area, the health department strongly advises that you take measures to reduce or minimize your child’s exposure. Various ways to do this are described below. If you are selling or renting your home or other real estate and lead is present, you may have an obligation to disclose the presence of lead to potential purchasers and others.
Q. What can I do to reduce exposure to lead?
A. There are ways of reducing or minimizing lead exposure, particularly for young children: Keep your children away from soil contaminated with lead. Contaminated soil can be removed, or exposure can be reduced by covering the soil with clean soil or sod. Soil can also be paved over or covered with paving stones or decking. Wash children’s hands and faces after they have been playing outdoors and before eating. Don’t let your children eat paint chips. They like them because the lead in the paint makes the chips taste sweet. Clean your home regularly using a damp mop or cloth. Vacuuming and sweeping can increase dust levels in the home. Use rugs, curtains and slipcovers that can be cleaned easily. Have forced air ducts cleaned by professionals and replace or clean furnace filters often. Avoid bringing outdoor dirt inside by removing outdoor shoes. Brush pets often as their fur collects dust. Pets should be brushed outside if possible. Locate your vegetable garden at least three to four feet away from roads, driveways and downspouts. Also make sure your garden is at least a metre away from sources of flaking paint such as walls, sheds and fences. Gardeners should consider bringing in clean soil for growing vegetables. Before eating, wash all vegetables thoroughly and peel root crops.
Q. Can I eat vegetables from the garden?
A. Lead enters and is stored in vegetables grown in lead-contaminated garden soils. The amount of lead taken up and stored in these vegetables will vary depending on the type of vegetable, the type of soil, your gardening practices and the amount of lead in the soil. Although lead normally increases in plants as they age, it is taken up and stored differently in roots and in plant leaves. For example, lettuce leaves can store seven times more lead than the roots of carrots. Beet leaves contain more lead than beet roots. Therefore, it is not always safe to assume that root vegetables will contain more lead than leafy vegetables. Fruit crops such as tomatoes, berries, apples and cucumbers, present a much lower risk because they take up and store very little lead. There is minimal risk in consuming home- grown vegetables grown in soil containing less than 200 ppm of lead. However, this is only a guide and it should be remembered that eating vegetables grown in soil contaminated with lead will always increase your exposure to lead and the risk to your health, especially for infants and young children if they are used in baby food recipes. You should not eat any vegetables out of your garden if lead levels are above 1000 ppm.
Q. How can I get more information?
A. If you live in the vicinity of a source of lead pollution and you suspect your soil may be contaminated, contact your local Health Department office for information. The number is listed in the yellow pages section of the telephone directory. Contact your local health unit or your medical doctor if you are concerned about being exposed to lead or have questions about health effects.


Posted by wispectllc at 3:35 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 9:13 PM EST
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Our sample "Walk Through" Home Inspection gives you a feel for the inspection we will do for you.
Topic: Home Inspections

Are you ready? Let’s start by strongly encouraging you to participate in the home inspection. If it is at all possible, try to be present for the inspection. The inspection report you receive is very detailed and easy to understand, (every room is individually reported) but it is always easier to understand when you have participated in the inspection yourself.

During the inspection you will be encouraged to ask questions about the house and voice your concerns, no matter how trivial they may seem. This is your opportunity to learn about the house, its systems and controls, as well as home safety and maintenance needed.

Every inspection is different and takes into account your particular situation whether you're "handy" around the home or whether you're looking for a "low maintenance" house. Our inspector will also consider your family and any special safety issues you have that relate to children or the elderly.

Now.... we get serious

Let's Begin the Inspection.

Our inspections begin with the inspector explaining to you about the inspection and how it will progress through the house, and you will receive a brief overview of what the inspection entails.

The Grounds are of great concern. The grading, walkways, driveway, patio and deck are all inspected. Downspout positions, condition and drainage patterns are observed. Outside hose bibs and electrical outlets are all checked. The electrical service wire is observed and any dangerous conditions noted along with the condition of the fascia and soffit.

Grading and vegetation along side the house is described. Hose bibs, lighting, outlets and main electrical supply type are all described in detail. Types of driveway, patio, porch, walkways, decks, and retaining walls included.

The Roof, gutters and chimney are observed. The roof is examined from the ground looking for signs of deterioration, damage, wear, or failure. In some cases the inspector will observe the roof from a ladder at the eaves during the inspection, in other instances binoculars are used to observe the roof, or a combination of both.

The report reflects how the roof is inspected, the material, type of roof, as well as approximate age. Types of flashing, valleys and skylights. Chimney locations, type of flue, cap / crown and flashing as well as the plumbing vents, gutter, downspout and leaders are all identified.

As the Inspector Continues around the exterior of the house.

The Exterior of the house is given a thorough going over. In this phase, particular attention is paid to the exterior facades and the foundation area. The inspector looks for cracks, sagging, bowing or deflection that are possible signs of serious structural failure.

The exterior of all windows and doors are examined and the condition of all the trim work and caulking is observed.

The type of exterior finish and trim types are described. Soffit and fascia types (trims) are noted. The front door and patio door types described. The types of windows, storms and screens are noted.

Then, it's on to the Garage where the floor, walls, ceiling, outlets, lighting, and windows are all checked. The garage door seals and weather stripping are examined. The door opener is operated and the safety devices checked.

Location, type of structure and number of car spaces are noted. Garage door type and operation, as well as door opener information are recorded. Roof, gutters, downspouts, leaders, structure, service door, walls, floor, ceiling and window information noted. Descriptions of hose bibs, lighting, outlets and heating are entered in the report.

The outside is complete!

And it's time to go inside....  are you still following?

Attic area

This is then entered and examined in its entirety. The access ladder is checked for safe operation. If there is a whole house fan it is operated. Attic fans are operated and their cut in temperature checked. All roof, soffit and cross vents are examined. The roofs decking is inspected for signs of rotting, leaks or serious structural failure. The trusses and rafters are inspected for signs of damage. All lighting, wiring and junction boxes are inspected. Bathroom vent fans discharge pipes observed. The chimney, plumbing vent pipes and insulation are examined.

Roof framing and sheeting types are identified. Ventilation and insulation type and depth recorded. Attic and house fans described, bathroom venting, lighting and outlets noted.

Every Room in the house is inspected; all the windows are opened and closed, the glazing and locks are checked. All accessible electrical outlets are tested for correct polarity and proper grounding if applicable. All lights are operated, air vents and returns checked. The floors, walls, and ceilings are examined. Doors are operated, and closets inspected. If you intend using a computer in a particular room we can test those outlets for computer compatible grounding.

The report will describe the wall and floor coverings as well as ceiling type. If there is a closet and type. The door and window types, if the room has outlets and lighting circuits or just outlets, and the type of HVAC supply.

All Bathrooms are examined with particular attention paid to water leaks, the operation and attachment of the toilet and tank, sink or vanity units, bathtub, Jacuzzi tub, shower tray, faucets, and water flow. Tiling, grouting, caulking, ventilation fans as well as lighting and electrical outlets are all examined.

The ceiling , floor, walls, doors and windows are fully described, along with the counter top and cabinet type. Sinks, toilet, bath tub and shower are described, as well as ventilation, HVAC and electrical outlets and lighting.

In the Laundry Room the washing machine hook up is examined. The clothes dryer connections and vent pipe inspected. The dryer vent pipe length and termination is checked.  The laundry sink, faucets and drain are inspected.

Washing machine and dryer hook-ups are all described in detail. If gas for the dryer is available and the type of dryer outlet (three of four prong) is noted. Laundry sink and drain type is described. The walls, ceiling, floors, doors and windows are described. Electrical and HVAC types noted.

As each room is inspected the inspector will discuss various aspects of the room with you, pointing out positive features as well as any problem, or potential problem areas. During the inspection you will be learning useful maintenance tips and helpful suggestions for doing home improvements.

Fireplace / Stove, hearth, damper, smoke chamber and chimney are inspected with particular attention being paid to safety.

Location, construction, fuel, flue and damper type all noted. Hearth and insert are described.

The Kitchen, starting with the stove, dishwasher, garbage disposal, cabinets, countertop, plumbing, all the accessible outlets, light fixtures, air vents and returns, windows, walls, floors, ceiling, and doors. All are checked and operated.

The report will include the brand names, equipment types and descriptions of the appliances. Descriptions of the cabinets, countertops, sink, faucet type as well as floor and wall coverings. Ceiling finish, electrical outlets and / or lighting, window types and HVAC source are all noted.

The Heating System is inspected and operated. The furnace along with the blower, burners, flue pipe, draft control, chimney, fuel lines, electrical connections, shut off switches, and air filter are all examined.

The location of the system, brand name, capacity (BTU's) and fuel type along with approximate age and a description of the area served is noted. Distribution, flue pipe type, thermostat type and additional devices are noted.

The air-conditioning unit is inspected, the temperature difference between the flow and return vents is monitored. The compressor, condenser, evaporator coil and fan are all examined. Refrigerant lines, piping insulation, condensate drain checked, and condensate pump operated if applicable.

Manufacturer, type of cooling, location, area served, fuel, and temp differential (delta-T), refrigerant lines, along with the type of electrical disconnect, condensate removal, thermostat, and condition of the coil and condenser are noted.

Plumbing Components, all the water, drain and vent pipes are inspected for damage, leaks, or deterioration.

The report describes in detail the types of piping used for the water main, interior water lines, drain and vent pipes. Location of the main water shutoff is noted. Water softener operation recorded.

As the inspection proceeds the inspector will keep you up-to-date showing you what he sees and answering any questions you have.

The Water Heater's condition and operation is checked, burner examined, and the flue pipes condition and installation are noted. Gas lines or electrical connections are examined. Water temperature (approx) and pressure relief valve are checked as well as the plumbing connections and shut off valves.

It's location, operation, manufacturer, fuel type, approximate age, capacity and area served are noted in the report, along with the type of flue pipe and info on the TPR valve and pipe.

The Load Center ( breaker panel or fuse box) is opened, the cover removed and the wiring examined. The wiring is checked for hazardous conditions (over fusing, double taps, scorching etc)

For your information the incoming service size, amperage, and wire type, along with info on GFCI's, grounding, and smoke detectors is noted. The electric panel - it's location, manufacturer, maximum capacity, size of main over current protector, description of breakers or fuses, and bonding. All sub panels are fully described.

Basement

Particular attention being paid to the foundation walls and floor. Signs of cracking, bulging, bowing, damp, mildew, rot or other serious problems are investigated, discussed with you and noted. The sump pump is operated, water level monitored and the non-return valve checked.

The first floor joists, sill plate and band board are examined as well as all the wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling components in the ceiling.

Ceiling, floor, walls, doors, windows, stairs and electrical components are all described. Floor drains, sump pumps, insulation and ventilation noted in detail.

Crawl Space is entered and is inspected from end to end. This area is examined with particular attention being paid to ventilation, insulation, drainage, foundation, wiring, plumbing and health issues.

Access entrance is noted. Ceiling, floor, walls, electrical components, sump pump, insulation, ventilation and HVAC are all described in detail.

All Smoke, Fire, and Carbon Monoxide alarms are tested as the inspector goes through the house. Ways of making your future home a safer place to live in are discussed.

The report describes the type of alarms in the house.

Any Pest or mold infestation problem observed by the inspector will be brought to your attention and recommendations made. This is not a substitute for a termite or mold inspection.

The location of any problem observed is given in the report.

At the conclusion of the inspection inspector will go over the complete report with you and walk you through the house again (if you need to) discussing any concerns you may have and answering any other questions you might still have.

Finally,  you receive your inspection report within 2 business days. Bound in a soft cover folder is the certified inspection report with overall evaluation and summary report. The report will also include any known recalls on any system utilized in the structure. Also included are the Wisconsin Administrative Code and the WISPECT® Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct (explaining the protocol the inspector used to base the observations on), along with a home maintenance schedule and information on safety in your "new" home.

If you have any questions that this walk through did not answer please call us with your questions or concerns at (715) 393-5442.

Note: If the inspection is a pre-listing inspection (for a home seller or real estate agency) or for a homeowner as a general maintenance inspection, additional punch list items are added to the report. This lists all the decorative or trim items that need to be repaired or replaced, these items are not included in a regular home inspection.


Posted by wispectllc at 9:57 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:15 AM EST
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Completing the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96
Topic: Uniform Dwelling Code

This is the fifth installment in a series of articles that are being written to highlight the permit application process in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC. The articles are based on Chapters SPS 320 - 325 of the Uniform Dwelling Code and its incorporated standards. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that this information is current, complete and accurate, however no claim is made that this information is beyond question. For further information on the building permit process and inspections contact the municipality you will be building in. For further information on the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC visit our website, www.wispect.com.

When completing the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application there are two areas that the permit applicant will need to enter information that is directly connected to soil erosion. If the owner will be acting as the permit applicant, the permit application also has a compliance statement that must be read and checked off on as well. The statement is asking the permit applicant to vouch that they will be an owner-occupant of the dwelling applying for an erosion control or construction permit without a dwelling contractor certification and you have read the Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining UDC Building Permits. The permit application also asks for the square footage of the lot area and if an acre or more of land will be disturbed. With a few exceptions most of the residential construction in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC is rural. We recommend that for the size of the lot area you enter the area that will actually be disturbed if your building in the country. When constructing a new home in Bayfield, Glidden,  or other urban area you need to enter the actual size of the lot. If an acre or more of land is being disturbed there are special rules regarding soil erosion control measures in this instance. According to s. SPS 321.126, storm water management practices shall be employed in accordance with s. NR 151.12 and maintained when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more acres. Per s. SPS 320.09 (5) (d)  1. and  2., a storm water management plan shall be prepared for a site where one acre or more of land will be disturbed. The storm water management plan shall delineate and describe the post construction storm water management practices to be employed to comply with s. SPS 321.126.

An applicant for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit should check with the municipality they will be building in for their soil erosion control requirements. It should noted; the UDC in s.  SPS 320.02 (e) 1. and 2., does not prevent a municipality from implementing erosion and sediment control requirements that are more stringent than the standards of this code when directed by an order of the United States Environmental Protection Agency or by an administrative rule of the department of natural resources under s. NR 151.004. They may also regulate erosion and sediment control for sites that are not under the scope of this chapter.

Soil erosion control measures are one of the least understood aspects of the Uniform Dwelling Code. It can also be one of the most troublesome aspects of building a new home in Wisconsin. Failure to install and maintain soil erosion control measures in the State of Wisconsin is a prosecutable offense.  

The following is an excerpt from the Wisconsin Department of Justice website:

Oneida County Landowner to Pay $30,000 for Un-permitted Filling of Wetlands and Grading on the Bed/Banks of Lake Minocqua

Monday, August 06, 2012

MADISON —
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has settled its lawsuit against Jerome Untiedt, an Illinois resident who violated Wisconsin's waterway and wetland protection laws at his Oneida County property.

According to the complaint, filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mr. Untiedt filled wetlands and graded at least 10,000 square feet of ground on banks of Lake Minocqua in 2005, 2009 and 2010, each time without first obtaining proper permits and authorizations and each time without first taking steps to protect the lake and adjacent wetlands from erosion.


The complaint states that in 2004, Mr. Untiedt approached the DNR to see if he could cut trees and dredge a wetland to create a pond on his Lake Minocqua property. The DNR told him he could cut a 30-foot viewing corridor, but that he could not alter the wetland. In 2005, Mr.Untiedt cleared a significant number of trees and placed fill in approximately 30,600 square feet of wetlands on his property. He also graded more than 10,000 square feet on the banks of the lake without a permit. After the DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated enforcement, Mr. Untiedt removed the fill from the wetland and re-graded the site.

In 2009, Mr. Untiedt again placed fill in wetlands and graded approximately 47,000 square feet of land on the banks of Lake Minocqua. He did not obtain the proper permits and permissions for this work, and did not attempt to control construction site erosion before he began disturbing the site. After the DNR discovered these violations, Mr. Untiedt again agreed to remove the fill, install erosion control measures and generally restore the site. The restoration work was completed in October 2009.


In 2010, the DNR learned that Mr. Untiedt had again filled wetlands and graded his property without first obtaining permits from the DNR. The DNR and Oneida County determined that portions of the filled wetland were below the ordinary high water mark of and connected to Lake Minocqua, thus also constituted lakebed. Mr. Untiedt installed an 8-to-10 foot by 300+ foot semi-circular concrete retaining wall in the slope up-gradient from the wetland, and placed soil and gravel that had been excavated for the retaining wall footings in the wetlands. The silt fences installed in 2009 had failed in places, and sand/gravel had slumped into the wetland. The newly graded area totaled approximately 29,815 square feet.


Wisconsin law prohibits persons from placing fill in wetlands without first obtaining certification or waiver from the DNR, and fill cannot be placed on lakebed without a state permit. State law also prohibits persons from grading more than 10,000 square feet on the bank of a navigable waterway without first getting a permit. Wisconsin law further requires that persons who must obtain grading permits must also develop and implement site specific erosion control plans designed to control erosion using measures that meet or exceed specific technical standards developed. Mr. Untiedt violated all of these laws in 2005, 2009 and 2010.

As part of the parties' settlement, Mr. Untiedt agreed to refrain from engaging in any kind of land disturbing construction activities (clearing and grubbing, demolition, excavating, filling and grading) on his Lake Minocqua property or on any other property he owns that abuts a lake, stream or river. If he desires to have any such work done in the future, he has agreed to retain a qualified third party contractor to engage in such work, and he will ensure that this consultant consults with the DNR and the appropriate county, and obtains any and all necessary state, federal or county permits before engaging in the work.


Mr. Untiedt promptly removed the 2010 wetland fill, he committed to seeding the upland portion of the graded area with a suitable plant mix, and he agreed to let the wetland re-colonize with wetland plants. He also agreed to have a qualified environmental consultant or landscape architect specializing in the area of wetland plants and restoration conduct inspections of the site to document the restoration, to monitor for the presence of invasive or non-wetland plant species in the wetland areas, and to promptly remove such plants during the next three years. Mr. Untiedt will pay the costs of restoration and monitoring in addition to the $30,000 in forfeitures, fees, costs and attorney's fees he has agreed to pay.


WHEN ARE SOIL EROSION CONTROL MEASURES NECESSARY?

Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code in s. SPS 321.125 (1) states;
GENERAL. (a) Where land disturbing construction activity is to occur erosion and sediment control practices shall be employed, as necessary, and maintained to prevent or reduce the
potential deposition of soil or sediment to all of the following:
1. The waters of the state.
2. Adjacent properties.
(b) Land disturbing construction activities, except those activities necessary to implement erosion or sediment control practices, may not begin until the sediment control practices are in place for each area to be disturbed in accordance with the approved plan.
(c) Erosion and sediment control practices shall be maintained until the disturbed areas are stabilized. A disturbed area shall be considered stabilized by vegetation when a perennial cover has been established with a density of at least 70%.
(d) Erosion and sediment control practices shall either be approved by the department or listed by the department of natural resources in accordance with the process under s. NR 151.32 (2).

In some instances a permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary for their project. The permit applicant should then ensure they are also completing the Erosion Control Plan Checklist and the Management Strategies sections of the worksheet to show why they feel soil erosion control measures are not necessary. On-site inspections for soil erosion control are conducted throughout the building process. If an Inspector determines soil erosion control measures are needed on your site, your project will be issued a Stop Work Order until proper erosion control measures have been installed. There are only a few instances when an Inspector with WISPECT LLC will stop work on a project. One of them is the failure to install and maintain soil erosion control measures. Pursuant to s. SPS 320.10 (4) (b) 2. and 101.653 (7) (b), Stats., the department, a municipality or the designated UDC inspection agency may issue a special order directing an immediate cessation of construction work on other aspects of the dwelling until compliance with the erosion and sediment control provisions under s. SPS 321.125 is attained. Construction work may resume once the erosion and sediment control compliance corrections are completed. Per s. SPS 320.10 (4) (b) 1., the time period allowed for compliance with the erosion and sediment control provisions under s. SPS 321.125 shall be determined based on the severity of the noncompliance in relation to soil loss or potential damage to the waters of the state.

A permit applicant does have appeal rights in the event they disagree with a determination made by an Inspector with WISPECT LLC. According to s. SPS 320.11 (2), any person aggrieved by a determination made by the department, a municipality or a registered UDC inspection agency may appeal the decision in accordance with s. SPS 320.21. When filing an appeal for a determination made by a State-Contracted Inspection Agency for the cessation of construction work in accordance with SPS 320.21 (4) (b), the permit applicant should ensure they are meeting all the requirements of Ch. 68, WI Stats. Per s. SPS 320.21 (4) (b) which states: Appeals of a final determination by a municipality on cessation of work orders may be made to the department. The department shall issue a final determination on the appeal within 3 business days after receipt of such appeal. Appeals should be forwarded to the:

Wisconsin Division of Industry Services
RE: UDC Appeal
P.O. Box 2509
Madison, WI 53701-2509.


ARE THERE ANY MANDATED PRACTICES FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL REQUIRED BY THE UDC?

The mandated practices required by the code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (2) which states; Specific practices at each site where land disturbing construction activity is to occur shall be utilized to prevent or reduce all of the following:
(a) The deposition of soil from being tracked onto streets by vehicles.
(b) The discharge of sediment from disturbed areas into on− site storm water inlets.
(c) The discharge of sediment from disturbed areas into abutting waters of the state.
(d) The discharge of sediment from drainage ways that flow off the site.
(e) The discharge of sediment by dewatering activities.
(f) The discharge of sediment eroding from soil stockpiles existing for more than 7 days.

WHAT ARE THE SOIL EROSION CONTROL MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE UDC?

The maintenance requirements of the code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (6) which states; MAINTENANCE. (a) 1. Except as provided in subd. 3., off− site sediment deposition resulting from the failure of an erosion or sediment control practice shall be cleaned up by the end of the next day.
Note: Contact the Department of Natural Resources before attempting to clean up any sediment deposited or discharged into the waters of the state.
2. Except as provided in subd. 3., off− site soil deposition, resulting from construction activity, that creates a nuisance shall be cleaned up by the end of the work day.
3. A municipality may enact more stringent requirements regarding cleanup of soil or sediment deposition onto public ways.
(b) 1. Except as required in subd. 2., the owner or owner’s agent shall complete repair or replacement of erosion and sediment control practices as necessary within 48 hours of an interval specified under sub. (5).
2. When the failure of erosion or sediment control practices results in an immediate threat of sediment entering public sewers or the waters of the state, procedures shall be implemented immediately to repair or replace the practices.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE UDC FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL MEASURES FOR ONE- AND TWO-FAMILY DWELLING CONSTRUCTION SITES?

The erosion control standards required by code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (3) which states; CONTROL STANDARDS. Including the practices under sub. (2), additional erosion and sediment control practices shall be employed, as necessary, to accomplish one of the following:
(a) A potential annual cumulative soil loss rate of not more than one of the following:
1. Five tons per acre per year where sand, loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, sandy clay loam, clay loam, sandy clay, silty clay or clay textures are exposed.
2. Seven and a half tons per acre per [year] where silt, silty clay loam or silt loam textures are exposed.
(b) A reduction of at least 80% of the potential sediment load in storm water runoff from the site on an average annual basis as compared with no sediment or erosion controls for the site when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more
acres.
(c) A reduction of at least 40% of the potential sediment load in storm water runoff from the site on an average annual basis as compared with no sediment or erosion controls for the site where less than one acre of land disturbing construction activity is to occur.

WHAT ARE THE MONITORING REQUIREMENTS OF THE UDC FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL MEASURES FOR ONE- AND TWO-FAMILY DWELLING CONSTRUCTION SITES?

The construction monitoring required by the code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (5) which states; MONITORING. (a) The owner or owner’s agent shall check the erosion and sediment control practices for maintenance needs at all the following intervals until the site is stabilized:
1. At least weekly.
2. Within 24 hours after a rainfall event of 0.5 inches or greater. A rainfall event shall be considered to be the total amount of rainfall recorded in any continuous 24 hour period.
3. At all intervals cited on the erosion and sediment control plan.
(b) The owner or owner’s agent shall maintain a monitoring record when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more acres.
(c) The monitoring record shall contain at least the following information:
1. The condition of the erosion and sediment control practices at the intervals specified under par. (a).
2. A description of the maintenance conducted to repair or replace erosion and sediment control practices.

Submitting a UDC Compliant Site & Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites

When submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit or municipal or county zoning permit, the AHJ and the municipal or county zoning department require a site-plan. Complying with s. SPS 320 09 (5) (a) 1. requires a site plan to show the location of the dwelling, dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and any surface waters adjacent to the site. It should also show the areas of land-disturbing activities and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed to show compliance with s. SPS 321.125, the soil and sediment control requirements of the code. For this reason, a permit applicant may use the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites to complete the site plan for the project. It should be noted, WISPECT LLC will accept separate site and erosion control plans if a permit applicant wishes to submit the documentation in this manner. However, it is reasonable that a permit applicant submits the site and erosion control plan in one document.

The requirements for site plans will vary from municipality to municipality. In the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC the site plan you will be required to submit to the Ashland and Bayfield County Zoning Departments will not be required by this Inspection Agency. In the same token, you do not have to show erosion control measures on the site plan you will submit to the Ashland or Bayfield County Zoning Departments. Keep in mind; WISPECT is required to ensure compliance with s. SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 1., 2., and 3. The site plan in accordance with the UDC is required to show all of the following:

  • The location of the dwelling and any other buildings, wells, surface waters and dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and surface waters adjacent to the site;
  • The areas of land disturbing construction activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed in order to comply with s. SPS 321.125;
  • The preconstruction ground surface slope and direction of runoff flow within the proposed areas of land disturbance.

The Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application does ask for the following information:

  1.  The legal description of the property;
  2.  Zoning District;
  3.  Zoning Permit Number; and
  4.  The setbacks.

It should be noted; WISPECT will accept a site plan that includes all the information you will be submitting to the Zoning Department. It is reasonable to assume the Zoning Department(s) would accept a site plan with soil erosion control measures being highlighted. The Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application also asks for the name of the subdivision, the block and lot numbers, if applicable.

The benefits of using the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96 is it is a fairly simple document to complete. It contains a legend which highlights the various symbols which can be used indicate the type of erosion control measure(s) that will utilized and other information regarding the site.  

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

A very good document that can assist builders with ensuring proper soil erosion control measures are being installed is the Erosion Control for Home Builders brochure. The following are some excellent educational sources for erosion and sediment control and storm-water management:

  • Uniform Dwelling Code Appendix - SPS 320 - 325 - Page 146;
  • Erosion and Sediment Control - North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Association - http://www.naseca.org;
  • The Wisconsin River Alliance offers workshops to help river organizations understand the state's erosion control program: http://www.wisconsinrivers.org/index.php?page=content&mode=view&id=11DNR - http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/wm/nps/stormwater.htm;
  • Basin Educators – http://www.runoffinfo.uwex.edu/;
  • Center for Water Shed Protection - http://www.cwp.org/;
  • International Erosion Control Association - http://www.ieca.org/;
  • Post-Construction Stormwater - North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Association - http://www.naseca.org/.

The EROSION CONTROL PLAN CHECKLIST section of the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites is asking for characteristics of the site you will be building on. It is also asking for the erosion control practices that will be employed. The permit applicant can identify that these items have been completed or that they don’t apply. If the permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary they need to check the not applicable boxes. As mentioned before, an Inspector can only determine if control measures are necessary when making the first site visit.

The Management Strategies section of the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites is asking about temporary and permanent stabilization measures that have or will be taken. The date permanent stabilization of the site will take place. It is also seeking information on:

  • Indicate re-vegetation method: ❏ Seed ❏ Sod ❏ Other ___________
  • Expected date of permanent re-vegetation: ___________________
  • Re-vegetation responsibility of: ❏ Builder  ❏Owner/Buyer
  • Is temporary seeding or mulching planned if site is not seeded by Sept. 15 or sodded by Nov. 15? ❏Yes   ❏No

The remainder of this section is covering:

  • Use of downspout and/or sump pump outlet extensions;
  • Trapping sediment during de-watering operations;
  • Proper disposal of building material waste so that pollutants and debris are not carried off-site by wind or water;
  • Maintenance of erosion control practices.

It is the intent of these articles to ensure anyone applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the state-contracted areas of WISPCECT LLC is complying with the Uniform Dwelling Code. Our goal is to eliminate the disapproval of permit applications, for any reason, and ensure construction projects for one- and two-family dwellings in our state-contracted areas are permitted in a timely manner.

Next Article: Complying with Wisconsin’s Energy Conservation Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings

Future Article: Summary of the Construction Plan Review Requirements in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC and the UDC Updates Effective January 1, 2011


Posted by wispectllc at 2:48 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013 6:04 PM EST
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Sunday, January 13, 2013
One- and Two-Family Residential Design Services
Topic: Press Release
WISPECT LLC® offers one- and two-family residential design services to individuals and companies wanting to add to, build, expand, or remodel a home in Wisconsin. We’ll take your dream and make it a reality. A residential designer with WISPECT® will conduct an in-house interview to ascertain the details you want incorporated into your new home. When we have completed designing your new home the plans will be ready for submission for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit or other type of municipal permit.

A residential building designer with WISPECT® will ensure that your new home meets all of your requirements and will ensure compliance with:
  • Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code Construction requirements;
  • Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code Energy Conservation requirements;
  • the American with Disabilities Act 2010 Design Standards;
  • Wisconsin’s Electrical Code and the National Electrical Code requirements;
  • Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning requirements.
When submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit it is imperative that the documentation and plan review materials meet all the requirements of Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code and it’s adopted standards. This also applies to plan submissions for additions, expansions, and remodeling projects. Failure to submit code-complying documentation can delay or even cause your permit application to be denied. This can cost you time and money.

The residential building designers with WISPECT® have the experience and expertise to assist with all aspects of the design of your new home. Each designer has:
  • Over 30 years of experience designing code-compliant homes;
  • Over 30 years of experience in the construction, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing industries;
  • Over 22 years of experience in administering and enforcing Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling;
  • Been Certified by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services as a Commercial or UDC Building Inspector;
Discover the advantage of working with a Wisconsin based firm that specializes in residential building design. WISPECT LLC® can be an advocate you can trust throughout the custom home building process. Starting the residential building process with code-compliant construction plans can save you time, money, and can achieve the best results. Make WISPECT LLC® a vital part of your construction team. It’s your dream, your home, and your money.

Our Residential Design Services Include:
  • One- and Two-Family Residential Additions Design and Planning;
  • One- and Two-Family Residential Remodeling Design and Planning;
  • One- and Two-Family Residential Room Expansion Design and Planning;
  • New One- and Two-Family Residential Design and Planning.

For all of your residential design needs call on the professionals with WISPECT LLC® at: (715) 393-5442.

WISPECT® does not offer this service in the following municipalities:

Ashland County
                                Town of Ashland
                                Town of Jacobs
                                Town of Sanborn
                                Town of White River

Bayfield County
                                City of Bayfield
                                Town of Bayfield
                                Town of Bayview
                                Town of Clover
                                Town of Orienta
                                Town of Russell

We will not offer this service in any municipality we currently, or may in the future, administer and enforce Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code.


Posted by wispectllc at 5:12 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:27 AM EST
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Friday, January 11, 2013
Submitting a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application Part 2 - Submitting Code Compliant Construction Plans
Topic: Uniform Dwelling Code

This is the fourth installment in a series of articles that are being written to highlight the permit application process in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC®. The articles are based on Chapters SPS 320 - 325 of the Uniform Dwelling Code and its incorporated standards. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that this information is current, complete and accurate, however no claim is made that this information is beyond question. For further information on the building permit process and inspections contact the municipality you will be building in. For further information on the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® visit our website, www.wispect.com.

There are 10 instances when an individual or company is required to apply for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC®. As a reminder to all individuals or companies who will be building or installing a new one- and two-family dwelling in the State of Wisconsin; the UDC has other permitting requirements that apply in municipalities that have adopted the code or municipalities that have opted for county enforcement which may not apply in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC®. Check with the municipality you will be building in for their requirements of the UDC building permit process.

A reminder to all permit applicants for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit; per s. SPS 320.08 which states; Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit. (1) WHERE REQUIRED. Except as provided under s. SPS 320.09 (9) (b), a Wisconsin uniform building permit shall be obtained from the municipality administering and enforcing this code or from a registered UDC inspection agency administering and enforcing this code in a municipality where the department has jurisdiction pursuant to s. 101.651 (3) (b), Stats., before any on–site construction, including excavation for a structure, may begin. Obtaining a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction, as outlined in s. SPS 320.09 (9) (b), was covered in Article Three of this series.

When individuals or companies start construction prior to the issuance of any permit, certain administrative measures are taken to bring a construction project into compliance. These measures will be explored further in a future article.

A Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit is required in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® when building or installing a:

1) New Site-Built One- and Two-Family Dwelling with or without electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems (includes dwellings that will re-use an existing foundation and any structure that will have living and/or sleeping quarters and meets the definition of a dwelling unit);

2) New Site-Built One- and Two- Family Dwelling which will be used for commercial purposes, i.e. Rental Cabins,  etc;

3) Mixed-use commercial-residential buildings that contain one (1) commercial space and one (1) dwelling unit (a permit will be issued for the residential portion only);

4) Manufactured home (mobile home) built to Federal Housing and Urban Development standards and produced on or after April 1, 2007;

5) Modular home built under Wisconsin’s Modular Home program possessing a Wisconsin Insignia or Minnesota Stamp;

6) Other factory-built dwelling built according Wisconsin UDC standards;

7) Relocated dwelling originally built after January 1, 2005;

8) Structures built after January 1, 2005 that were originally zoned as another type of building and are being converted to a one- or two-family dwelling;

9) New slab-on-grade foundation without installation of a manufactured home (mobile home);

10) Manufactured home (mobile home) change-out using an existing slab.

The installation of a new slab-on-grade foundation without installation of a manufactured home (mobile home) and the change-out of a manufactured home (mobile home) using an existing slab will be reviewed in a future article.

When submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit for any type of situation the UDC outlines the requirements for plan review submissions in s. SPS 320.09.

SPS 320.09 (4) states;

PLAN SUBMITTALS. At least 2 sets of plans for all one− and 2−family dwellings shall be submitted to the municipality or authorized UDC inspection agency administering and enforcing this code, for examination and approval at the time the Wisconsin uniform building permit application is filed.

SPS 320.09 (5) states:

REQUIRED PLANS. The required building plans shall be legible and drawn to scale or dimensioned and shall include all of the following:
(a) Site plan. The site plan shall show all of the following:
1. The location of the dwelling and any other buildings, wells, surface waters and dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and surface waters adjacent to the site.
2. The areas of land−disturbing construction activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed in order to comply with s. SPS 321.125.
3. The pre−construction ground surface slope and direction of runoff flow within the proposed areas of land disturbance.
(b) Floor plan. 1. Floor plans shall be provided for each floor.
2. The following features shall be included on all floor plans:
a. The size and location of all rooms, doors, windows, structural features, exit passageways and stairs.
b. The use of each room.
c. The location of plumbing fixtures, chimneys, heating and cooling appliances, and a heating distribution layout.
d. The location and construction details of the braced wall lines.
(c) Elevations. The elevations shall show all of the following:
1. The exterior appearance of the building, including the type of exterior materials.
2. The location, size and configuration of doors, windows, roof, chimneys, exterior grade, footings and foundation walls.
SPS 320.09 (6) (b) also requires the data and information for determining compliance with the energy conservation standards shall be submitted in a format approved by the department.

This applies to any application for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit. The documentation required in each situation is slightly different. However, compliance with s. SPS 320.09 is what the plan reviewer will be ensuring.

The following is a highlight of the documentation required when submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® for a site-built (with electrical, HVAC, and plumbing system(s) installed), modular, or manufactured home. When an individual or company requests a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application packet, a very detailed Permit Application Checklist is included to assist with submitting the correct, code-compliant documentation for review and approval. Excerpts from the Permit Application Checklists for site-built, modular, or manufactured homes are highlighted in this article. The plan review requirements for electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems will be reviewed in future articles. Soil erosion control measures and site plan requirements will covered in the next article of this series. The purpose of this article is to focus on requirements for construction plan submissions for: site-built dwellings with electricity, HVAC, and plumbing being installed, UDC modular homes, and US HUD manufactured homes. The plan review requirements for site-built dwellings without electricity, HVAC, and plumbing will be discussed in a future article. It should noted; per SPS 320.04 (1) (c) 1. The installation of heating, air conditioning, plumbing or electrical systems is not required. However, SPS 320.04 (1) (c) 2. states: If any of the systems under subd. 1. are installed, the systems and their installation shall comply with this code. SPS 323.02 states: Design. Every dwelling shall be equipped with a heating system designed in accordance with this section. Heating equipment requirements may be waived for recreational dwellings used only during the non−heating season. Where a cooling system is provided, the cooling requirements of this section shall be met. The UDC doesn’t address the time frame for a seasonal occupancy for a recreational dwelling. However, Wisconsin’s Commercial Building Code can be our guide on the timeframe of a “seasonal occupancy” as starting May 1 and ending on November 15 of each year.

Site-Built Dwellings

Without a doubt the important part for obtaining a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit for a site-built dwelling lies with the submission of detailed, code compliant construction plans. The code in SPS 320.09 (5) requires all plans to be legible and drawn to scale or dimensioned and shall include all the requirements of SPS 320.09 (4), (5) (a), (b), (c) and 6 (a) and (b) in accordance with SPS 320.09 (5). Per s. SPS 320.09 (6) (c), a municipality exercising jurisdiction may not require plans or calculations to be stamped or sealed by an architect or engineer except as required under s. SPS 321.33 and 321.34. This also applies to all state-contracted areas as well. However, it should be noted by anyone designing a new one- or two-family dwelling in accordance with the UDC, other adopted standards may be needed to assist in the design of the dwelling. Some of the adopted standards incorporated into the code will need to be purchased.

SPS 320.09 (8) (a) states that plans must “substantially comply” with the code before the approval of a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit may take place. WISPECT LLC® will find construction plans that fail to highlight what may be critical violations of the code and missing structural information as not substantially complying with code. Critical violations of the code will covered in a future article. A plan reviewer or UDC Building Inspector can not assist in the design of one- or two-family dwelling that they will be reviewing or inspecting.

The following is an excerpt from the Permit Application Checklist for Site-Built Dwellings with electricity, HVAC, and plumbing system(s) being installed:

Appropriate Permits Fees
Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application
This form must be filled out completely up to the “approval conditions” area.
Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies
Two (2) full plan sets which include:
Site Plan SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 1. 2., and 3.

  • A site plan shall show the location of the dwelling and any other buildings, wells, surface waters and dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and surface waters adjacent to the site. For rural areas, include directions for locating the dwelling.
Note: The Soil Erosion Worksheet may also be used as the site plan.

Floor plan for each floor SPS 320.09 (5) (b) 1., 2. A., b., c., and d. / SPS 21
  • Floor plans shall be provided for each floor. The floor plans shall show the size and locations of:
  • Rooms;
  • Doors;
  • Windows;
  • Room Use;
  • Structural features which include:
  • Size, species and grade of lumber or other structural materials for joists, beams, rafters, trusses, headers, studs and columns;
  • Strength, thickness and reinforcement (in any) of concrete for footings, foundations, floors, and any other concrete work; height and thickness of concrete and/or masonry construction.
  • Braced wall plan, including the location and construction details of the braced wall lines and braced wall panels in those lines;
  • Exit passageways (hallways) and stairs (including all stair dimensions - riser height, tread width, stair width, headroom and handrail heights);
  • Plumbing fixtures (bathroom, kitchen, etc.) - lavatory, water closet, water heater, softener, etc.;
  • Location of any exhaust fans to be installed;
  • Chimney(s) - also include the type of construction (masonry or factory built) and rating, if metal;
  • Heating Equipment: Heating supply and return register locations on floor plans; Equipment type and capacity;
  • Cooling Equipment (central air conditioning, if provided);
  • Attic and crawl space access;
  • Fire separation between dwelling and attached garage (if applicable).
Exterior elevation views SPS 320.09 (5) (c) 1. and 2./SPS 21
  • The elevations shall contain information on the exterior appearance of the building, indicate the location, size, and configuration of doors, windows, roof, chimney(s), exterior grade, footings and foundation walls, and include the type of exterior materials.
Footing and Foundation Plan SPS 321.15, 21.16, and 21.18/SPS 322
Slab-on-Grade Foundation SPS 321.15 (2) (e)
  • Any dwelling supported on a floating slab on grade shall be designed through structural analysis. When submitting the plans for a floating slab-on-grade foundation the engineering calculations shall be submitted at this time. Designers may also submit data from the Builder's Guide to Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations or ASCE 32-01.
Building cross-section highlighting materials and structural details SPS 320.09 (5) (c) 1. and 2.
  • The building cross-section shall show:
  • Exterior grade level;
  • Footing and foundation wall sizes, drain tile system and types of materials;
  • Exterior wall construction identifying materials used (including insulation and vapor barrier);
  • Roof construction identifying materials used and spans (including Insulation, if used).
REScheck Compliance Report (REScheck can be downloaded at www.energycodes.gov. Version 4.1.0 or later must be submitted as required by SPS 322.31 (2) (b).
Completed Soil Erosion Worksheet SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 2. / SPS 321.125 / SPS 321.126 / SPS 320.09 (5) (b) 1. PAGES 2 & 3 NEED TO BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED
  • The Soil Erosion Worksheet shall show the areas of land disturbing activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control practices to be employed. The pre-construction ground surface slope and direction of runoff flow within the proposed areas of land disturbance.
2 Sets of Electrical Plans/Electrical Calculation Worksheet NEC 2011 Edition / SPS 316
  • Electrical plan shall show all circuits to be installed, including wire size for each circuit; panel location, size in amps, number of spaces, over-current protection of each circuit, service entrance location, size and type of service entrance cable; reduced neutral size; location of smoke detectors; lighting outlets; receptacle outlets; and GFCI outlets.
Water Calculation Worksheet SPS 382.

It is important that anyone designing a new one- and two-family dwelling in the State of Wisconsin ensures they are addressing every construction detail listed in the Permit Application Checklist and the Uniform Dwelling Code. Be sure to check with the municipality you will be building in for all of their requirements for plan review submissions. As a reminder; per s. SPS 320.09 (6): REQUIRED DATA. (a) All plans submitted for approval shall be accompanied by sufficient data, calculations and information to determine if the dwelling will meet the requirements of this code. A breakdown of the construction plan review requirements of WISPECT LLC®, along with the code updates effective January 1, 2011, will be covered in a future article.

UDC Modular Home

The State of Wisconsin’s definition of a modular home can be found in s. 101.71 (6) (a), Stats., which states: "Modular home" means any structure or component thereof which is intended for use as a dwelling and:
1. Is of closed construction and fabricated or assembled on-site or off-site in manufacturing facilities for installation, connection, or assembly and installation, at the building site; or
2. Is a building of open construction which is made or assembled in manufacturing facilities away from the building site for installation, connection, or assembly and installation, on the building site and for which certification is sought by the manufacturer.
(b) "Modular home" does not mean any manufactured home under s. 101.91 or any building of open construction which is not subject to par. (a) 2.

The definitions that are associated with this statute should also be noted. Per s. 101.71, Stats., which states:
(1) "Closed construction" means any building, building component, assembly or system manufactured in such a manner that it cannot be inspected before installation at the building site without disassembly, damage or destruction.
(2) "Dwelling" means any building that contains one or more dwelling units. "Dwelling unit" means a structure or that part of a structure which is used or intended to be used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person or by 2 or more persons maintaining a common household, to the exclusion of all others.
(3) "Insignia" means a device or seal approved by the department to certify compliance with this subchapter.
(4) "Installation" means the assembly of a modular home on-site and the process of affixing a modular home to land, a foundation, footing, or an existing building.
(5) "Manufacture" means the process of making, fabricating, constructing, forming or assembling a product from raw, unfinished, semi-finished or finished materials.
(7) "Open construction" means any building, building component, assembly or system manufactured in such a manner that it can be readily inspected at the building site without disassembly, damage or destruction.

In most instances a modular home has been submitted to the State of Wisconsin for approval in accordance with s. SPS 320.14 which states:

Approval procedures. (1) APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL. (a) An application for approval of any modular home, building system or component shall be submitted to the department in the form required by the department, along with the appropriate fees in accordance with s. SPS 302.34.
(b) The department shall review and make a determination on an application for approval of a modular home, building system or component within 3 months.
(2) APPROVAL OF BUILDING SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS. (a) Approval of building systems. 1. ‘Plans and specifications.’ All plans and specifications shall be submitted to the department according to subd. 1. a. or b.:
a. Three complete sets of building, structural, mechanical and electrical plans, (including elevations, sections and details), specifications and calculations shall be submitted to the department on behalf of the manufacturer for examination and approval.
b. At least one complete set of building, structural, mechanical and electrical plans, (including elevations, sections and details), specifications and calculations shall be submitted to the department on behalf of a manufacturer. All plans and specifications
submitted to the department shall be stamped “conditionally approved” by a UDC certified inspector or inspectors.
2. ‘Compliance assurance program.’ a. Three sets of the compliance assurance program shall be submitted for examination and approval.
b. The compliance assurance program shall meet the standards of the Model Documents for the Evaluation, Approval and Inspection of Manufactured Buildings or an equivalent standard acceptable to the department.
(b) Approval of building components. 1. ‘Plans and specifications.’ All plans and specifications shall be submitted to the department according to subd. 1. a. or b.:
a. At least 3 complete sets of plans and specifications for manufactured dwelling building components shall be submitted to the department on behalf of the manufacturer for examination and approval.
b. At least one complete set of plans and specifications for manufactured dwelling building components shall be submitted to the department on behalf of the manufacturer. All plans and specifications submitted to the department shall be stamped “conditionally approved” by a UDC certified inspector or inspectors.
2. ‘Compliance assurance program.’ a. Three sets of the compliance assurance program shall be submitted to the department for examination and approval of components.
b. The compliance assurance program shall meet the requirements established by the department or, where applicable, be in the form of the Model Documents for the Evaluation, Approval and Inspection of Manufactured Buildings or an equivalent standard
acceptable to the department.

There are instances where a modular home has been built to standards that comply with Wisconsin’s UDC but it hasn’t received a state approval at the time of application. In these instances a Certified UDC Inspector with WISPECT® will conduct a review of all the documentation required for submission to the State of Wisconsin in accordance with s. SPS 320.14. If the modular home is found to comply with all the requirements of the UDC a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit will be issued. Any non-compliances noted by the plan reviewer would need to be corrected and updated plans resubmitted showing compliance with the code before the building permit would be issued. This would include the submission of plans showing  compliance with all electrical, HVAC, and plumbing requirements as well. It should be noted; you will not be receiving an approval from the State of Wisconsin in this instance. You are merely receiving permission to install the modular home in the State-Contracted area(s) of WISPECT LLC®.

Oftentimes individuals and companies are confused when submitting for a permit for the installation of a modular home. It is commonly believed that since the State of Wisconsin may have approved the modular home, simply submitting plans from the factory will satisfy the requirements of s. SPS 320.09. Plan-sets can be obtained from the manufacturer. However, exterior views will need to show the modular home and all the site-built additions - finished or unfinished, along with the construction plans showing compliance with the UDC. The Soil Erosion Control Worksheet, Site Plan, and REScheck Compliance Report will need to be completed by the permit applicant or by someone on their behalf. The drain tile system and footing and foundation plans provided by the manufacturer can used by the permit applicant provided they reflect the construction that will take place.

The following documentation is required in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® when submitting an application for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit for a state-approved modular home. This checklist is forwarded when an individual or company is installing a closed-construction modular home.

Appropriate Permits Fees
Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application
This form must be filled out completely up to the “approval conditions” area.
Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies
Two (2) full plan sets which include:
Site Plan SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 1. 2., and 3.

  • A site plan shall show the location of the dwelling and any other buildings, wells, surface waters and dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and surface waters adjacent to the site. For rural areas, include directions for locating the dwelling.
      Note: The Soil Erosion Worksheet may also be used as the site plan.
Floor plan for each floor SPS 320.09 (5) (b) 1. and 2.
  • General floor plans of modular home indicating size and model number.
  • Floor plans and construction drawings for site-built additions to the modular home, such as:
  • Attached garages, porches, decks, etc.; or
  • Drawings or description of construction to be completed at the site for the modular home, such as finishing drywall, siding, kitchen cabinets, etc.
Exterior elevation views SPS 320.09 (5) (c)
  • The elevations shall contain information on the exterior appearance of the building, indicate the location, size, and configuration of doors, windows, roof, chimney(s), exterior grade, footings and foundation walls, and include the type of exterior materials.
Footing and Foundation plan SPS 320.09 (5) (c) 2./SPS 321.15/SPS 321.18
  • Footing and foundation (basement) plan (if applicable) showing the size and locations of:
  • Rooms;
  • Doors;
  • Windows;
  • Room use;
  • Structural features - size, species and grade of lumber or other structural material for beams, headers, studs, and columns; strength;
  • thickness, and reinforcement (if any) of concrete for footings; foundations, floors and any other concrete work; height and thickness of concrete and/or masonry construction;
  • Exit passageways (hallways) and stairs (including all stair dimensions - riser height, tread width, stair width, headroom and handrail heights);
  • Plumbing fixtures (if any, such as laundry trays, lavatory, water closet, water heater, softener, floor drains, etc.);
  • Chimney(s) - include also the type of construction (masonry or factory built) and rating, if metal;
  • Heating equipment;
  • Cooling equipment (central air conditioning, if provided);
  • Crawlspace access; and
  • Fire separation between dwelling and garage (if applicable).
Slab-on-Grade Foundation SPS 321.15 (2) (e)
  • Any dwelling supported on a floating slab on grade shall be designed through structural analysis. When submitting the plans for a floating slab-on-grade foundation the engineering calculations shall be submitted at this time. Designers may also submit data from the Builder's Guide to Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations or ASCE 32-01.
Building cross-section highlighting materials and structural details SPS 320.09 (6) (a)
  • Foundation cross-sectional drawing which shows:
  • Exterior grade level; and
  • Footing and foundation wall sizes, drain tile system and types of materials;
  • Exterior wall construction identifying materials used (including insulation and vapor barrier);
  • Anchorage of modular home to foundation, beams, walls, etc.; and
  • Amount and type of any field-installed insulation.
REScheck Compliance Report (REScheck can be downloaded at www.energycodes.gov. Version 4.1.0 or later must be submitted as required by SPS 322.31 (2) (b).
Completed Soil Erosion Worksheet SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 2./SPS 321.125/SPS 321.126/SPS 320.09 (4) (b) PAGES 2 & 3 NEED TO BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED
  • The Soil Erosion Worksheet shall show the areas of land disturbing activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control practices to be employed. The pre-construction ground surface slope and direction of runoff flow within the proposed areas of land disturbance.
When a individual or company is submitting a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application for an open-construction modular home, the checklist will also require submission of an electrical layout, NEC Standard Electrical Load Calculation for Dwellings, a water calculation worksheet, and heating layout.

US HUD Manufactured Home

All manufactured (mobile) homes built on or after April 1, 2007 are required to submit for Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC®. The State of Wisconsin’s definition of a manufactured home can be found in s. 101.91 (2), Stats., which states:  Stats., "Manufactured home" means any of the following:
(am) A structure that is designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation and that is certified by the federal department of housing and urban development as complying with the standards established under 42 USC 5401 to 5425.
(c) A mobile home, unless a mobile home is specifically excluded under the applicable statute.
The definitions that are associated with this statute should also be noted. Per s. 101.91, Stats., which states:
(11) "New manufactured home" means a manufactured home that has never been occupied, used or sold for personal or business use.
(12) "Used manufactured home" means a manufactured home that has previously been occupied, used or sold for personal or business use.

Plan-sets can be obtained from the manufacturer. However, exterior views will need to show the modular home and all the site-built additions - finished or unfinished, along with the construction details showing compliance with the UDC. The Soil Erosion Control Worksheet and Site Plan will need to be completed by the permit applicant or by someone on their behalf.

The following documentation is required in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® when submitting an application for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit for a federally-regulated manufactured home. This checklist is forwarded when an individual or company is installing a manufactured home.

Appropriate Permits Fees
Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application
This form must be filled out completely up to the “approval conditions” area.
Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies
Two (2) full plan sets which include:
Site Plan SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 1. 2., and 3.
  • A site plan shall show the location of the dwelling and any other buildings, wells, surface waters and dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and surface waters adjacent to the site. For rural areas, include directions for locating the dwelling. Note: The Soil Erosion Worksheet may also be used as the site plan.
Floor plan for each floor SPS 320.09 (5) (b) 1. and 2.
  • General floor plans of modular home indicating size and model number.
  • Floor plans and construction drawings for site-built additions to the modular home, such as:
  • Attached garages, porches, decks, etc.; or
  • Drawings or description of construction to be completed at the site for the modular home, such as finishing drywall, siding, kitchen cabinets, etc.
Exterior elevation views SPS 320.09 (5) (c)
  • The elevations shall contain information on the exterior appearance of the  building, indicate the location, size, and configuration of doors, windows, roof, chimney(s), exterior grade, footings and foundation walls, and include the type of exterior materials.
Footing and Foundation plan SPS 320.09 (5) (c) 2./SPS 321.15/SPS 321.18
  • Footing and foundation (basement) plan (if applicable) showing the size and locations of:
  • Rooms;
  • Doors;
  • Windows;
  • Room use;
  • Structural features - size, species and grade of lumber or other structural material for beams, headers, studs, and columns; strength;
  • thickness, and reinforcement (if any) of concrete for footings, foundations, floors and any other concrete work; height and thickness of concrete and/or masonry construction;
  • Exit passageways (hallways) and stairs (including all stair dimensions - riser height, tread width, stair width, headroom and handrail heights);
  • Plumbing fixtures (if any, such as laundry trays, lavatory, water closet, water heater, softener, floor drains, etc.);
  • Chimney(s) - include also the type of construction (masonry or factory built) and rating, if metal;
  • Heating equipment;
  • Cooling equipment (central air conditioning, if provided);
  • Crawlspace access; and
  • Fire separation between dwelling and garage (if applicable).
Slab-on-Grade Foundation SPS 321.15 (2) (e)
  • Foundation systems serving manufactured homes may be designed by structural analysis but do not need to be signed and sealed by a registered professional. Here is a PDF file concerning an acceptable slab on grade foundation system for manufactured homes.
Building cross-section highlighting materials and structural details SPS 320.09 (6) (a)
  • Foundation cross-sectional drawing which shows:
  • Exterior grade level; and
  • Footing and foundation wall sizes, drain tile system and types of materials;
  • Exterior wall construction identifying materials used (including insulation and vapor barrier);
  • Anchorage of modular home to foundation, beams, walls, etc.; and
  • Amount and type of any field-installed insulation.
Completed Soil Erosion Worksheet SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 2./SPS 321.125/SPS 321.126/SPS 320.09 (4) (b) PAGES 2 & 3 NEED TO BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED
  • The Soil Erosion Worksheet shall show the areas of land disturbing activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control practices to be employed. The pre-construction ground surface slope and direction of runoff flow within the proposed areas of land disturbance.
Installation of a manufactured home is outlined in s. SPS 321.40, Installation Standards for Manufactured Homes. There are some other notable documents and requirements for manufactured homes in the State of Wisconsin.
  • MANUFACTURED HOME INSTALLERS ARE REQUIRED TO BE CREDENTIALED WITH THE DEPARTMEMENT OF SAFETY AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (Per s. 101.96 (2) (a), Stats., this requirement does not apply to an individual who installs a manufactured home on his or her own property for his or her personal use or to an individual who installs a manufactured home under the general supervision of a licensed installer);
  • WHEN ANYONE (EXCEPT AN OWNER) IS ACTING AS THE PERMIT APPLICANT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A US HUD MANUFACTURED HOME THEY ARE REQUIRED TO BE CREDENTIALED WITH THE DEPARTMEMENT OF SAFETY AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AS A DWELLING CONTRACTOR AND HAVE ON-STAFF A DWELLING CONTRACTOR QUALIFIER.
When submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit, the UDC and the zoning department require a site-plan. SPS 320 09 (5) (a) requires a site plan to show the location of the dwelling, dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and any surface waters adjacent to the site. It should also show the areas of land-disturbing activities and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed to show compliance with s. SPS 321.125, the soil and sediment control requirements of the code. For this reason, a permit applicant may use the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites to complete the site plan for the project. In some instances a permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary for their project. The permit applicant should then ensure they are also completing the Erosion Control Plan Checklist and the Management Strategies sections of the worksheet to show why they feel soil erosion control measures are not necessary. On-site inspections for soil erosion control are conducted throughout the building process. If an Inspector determines soil erosion control measures are needed on your site, your project will be issued a Stop Work Order until proper erosion control measures have been installed. A very good document that can assist builders with ensuring proper soil erosion control measures are being installed is the Erosion Control for Home Builders brochure. Completing the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites will be covered in the next article of this series.
    
One additional requirement the Authority Having Jurisdiction may have is the installation of a complete drain tile or pipe system designed and installed in accordance with s. SPS 321.17. SPS 321.17 (2) (a) states that a Registered UDC Inspection Agency may determine if a complete drain tile or pipe system is required based on certain factors. You will need to contact the municipality you will be building in for their policy on drain tile or pipe systems. It has been the policy of WISPECT LLC® since January 1st, 2005 that a complete drain tile or pipe system will be installed in all new one- and two-family dwellings with the exception of slab on grade foundations. However, if a permit applicant submit’s the proper documentation showing that a drain tile or pipe system is not necessary, the Inspection Agency will take the information under consideration. The final determination whether a complete drain tile or pipe system is required will be made during the foundation inspection(s).

The following is a reprint of a pertinent section of the plumbing code regarding drain tile systems:
SPS 382.36 (8) SUMPS AND PUMPS. (a) Sumps. 1. ‘General.’ All storm building sub-drains shall discharge into a sump, the contents of which shall be automatically lifted and discharged, dispersed or used in accordance with sub. (4).
2. ‘Construction and installation’. a. Except as provided in subd. 2. c. and d., an interior sump shall have a rim extending at least one inch above the floor immediately adjacent to the sump.
b. A sump shall have a removable cover of sufficient strength for anticipated loads.
c. Where a sump is installed in an exterior meter pit or elevator pit, the rim may be level with the floor.
d. When a sump is provided with an airtight, solid cover.
3. ‘Location’. All sumps installed for the purpose of receiving clearwater, groundwater or stormwater shall be separated from water wells by the applicable separation distances contained in chs. NR 811 and 812, or as otherwise permitted by the department of natural resources.
Note: See Appendix A−382.30 (11) (d) for material reprinted from s. NR 812.08.
4. ‘Size’. Except as recommended by the pump manufacturer, the size of each sump shall be no smaller than 16 inches in diameter at the top, 14 inches in diameter at the bottom, and 22 inches in depth.
(b) Pumps. 1. ‘Size.’ The pump shall be of a capacity appropriate for the anticipated
use.
2. ‘Discharge piping.’ a. Where a pump discharges into a storm drain system, a check valve shall be installed.
b. The minimum diameter discharge piping shall be based on the design flow rate of the pump and a minimum velocity of one foot/second.

A brief review shows that in many respects the submission of a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application and the plan review documentation for a site-built, modular, or manufactured dwelling are essentially the same. While there may differences in the approval process for a new one- and two-family dwelling, the required documentation that must be submitted generally consists of:
  • Appropriate Permits Fees (Per s. SPS 320.09 (3) (b) 1., UDC inspection agency fees shall be determined by contract between the municipality and the agency or between the department and the agency, where the agency has been authorized to conduct inspections on behalf of the department.);
  • Completed and Signed Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application (Pursuant to s. 101.65 (1m), Stats., a Wisconsin uniform building permit may not be issued to a person unless the person complies with subds. 3. and 4., except as provided under s. 101.654 (1) (b) and (c) 2., Stats. This does not apply to an owner of a dwelling who resides or will reside in the dwelling and who applies for a building permit to perform work on the dwelling from obtaining a dwelling contractor financial responsibility registration.);
  • Signed Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies (The permit applicant must sign and return this document with the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application);
  • Two (2) Complete Plan Sets (Plan-sets for UDC modular and US HUD manufactured homes can be obtained from the manufacturer. However, exterior views will need to show the modular home and all the site-built additions - finished or unfinished, along with the construction details showing compliance with the UDC);
  • Signed Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining UDC Building Permits (Under s. 101.65 (1r), Stats., an owner who obtains a building permit needs to sign a statement advising the owner of the potential consequences of hiring a contractor to perform work under the permit who is not bonded or insured under s. 101.654 (2) (a), Stats.);
  • Completed Soil Erosion Worksheet (Per s. SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 2., the areas of land−disturbing construction activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed in order to comply with s. SPS 321.125.);
  • REScheck Compliance Report (Per s. SPS 320.09 (6) (b), the data and information for determining compliance with the energy conservation standards shall be submitted in a format approved by the department in accordance with s. SPS 322.52 (2).) Does not have to be submitted for a US HUD Manufactured Home.);
  • 2 Sets of Electrical Plans/Electrical Calculation Worksheet (Per s. SPS 320.09 (6) (a), all plans submitted for approval shall be accompanied by sufficient data, calculations and information to determine if the dwelling will meet the requirements of this code. Does not have to be submitted for a US HUD Manufactured Home or a UDC Modular Home with Closed-Construction unless the modular home has not been state-approved.);
  • Water Calculation Worksheet (Per s. SPS 320.09 (6) (a), all plans submitted for approval shall be accompanied by sufficient data, calculations and information to determine if the dwelling will meet the requirements of this code. Does not have to be submitted for a US HUD Manufactured Home or a UDC Modular Home with Closed-Construction unless the modular home has not been state-approved.).
It is the intent of these articles to ensure anyone applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the state-contracted areas of WISPCECT LLC® is complying with the Uniform Dwelling Code. Our goal is to eliminate the disapproval of permit applications, for any reason, and ensure construction projects for one- and two-family dwellings in our state-contracted areas are permitted in a timely manner.

Next Article: Completing the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96

Future Article: Complying with Wisconsin’s Energy Conservation Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings

Posted by wispectllc at 9:21 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 12, 2013 1:01 PM EST
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Saturday, December 29, 2012
Submitting a One- and Two-Dwelling Permit to Start Construction Application.
Topic: Uniform Dwelling Code

This is the third installment in a series of articles that are being written to highlight the permit application process in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC®. The articles are based on Chapters SPS 320 - 325 of the Uniform Dwelling Code and its incorporated standards. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that this information is current, complete and accurate, however no claim is made that this information is beyond question. For further information on the building permit process and inspections contact the municipality you will be building in. For further information on the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® visit our website, www.wispect.com.

The One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction Application is fairly simple document to understand and complete. The information that is being requested should be known to permit applicant readily when it is being completed. The permit applicant is required to have been issued a sanitary permit if a Private On-Site Waste Treatment System (POWTS) or some other county approved system is being installed. See s. SPS 391 for Wisconsin’s Sanitation Code and the state’s approved methods of providing sanitation for new one- or two-family dwellings. All Wisconsin counties require one- and two-family dwellings to have some form of sanitation, even if plumbing is not installed in the structure. SPS 320.09 (9) (c) and s. 145.195, Stats., states  that if the proposed construction requires connection to a Private On-Site Waste Treatment System (POWTS), a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit may not be issued until conformance with s. SPS 383.25 (2) has first been determined. This also applies to a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction. Contact the county you will be building in for further information on Sanitary Permits and their requirements for one-and two-family dwellings. If the dwelling will be connected to a sanitary district, typically arrangements have been made for water and sewage services. The permit applicant by this time has also obtained a zoning or land use permit as well. WISPECT LLC® will not issue a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction until the Ashland or Bayfield County Zoning Departments have issued the zoning or land use permit(s).

  • A permit applicant for a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction should have the following documentation ready to submit to the AHJ. It should be noted, in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® there is a $50 administrative fee for processing the One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction Application and filing it with the Department of Safety and Professional Services. The fee for conducting the plan review and the on-site inspection(s) are included in the permit fee charged for the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit. This fee may vary from municipality to municipality, check with the municipality you will building in for more information on permit fees.
  • All submissions for a One- and Two-Dwelling Permit to Start Construction should comply with all the requirements of the 2009 Uniform Dwelling Code and its adopted standards as outlined in s. SPS 320.24. SPS 320.09 (9) (b) 1., 2., and 3. are the administrative code sections governing the permit to start construction. The code allows construction to begin on the footings and foundation prior to the issuance of a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit. All plans submitted for approval need to be accompanied by sufficient data, calculations and information so it can be determined if the dwelling will meet the requirements of the code. The code requires the following documentation to be submitted to the AHJ for the plan review process;
  1. Completed Application for One- and Two-Dwelling Permit to Start Construction
  2. Site Plan (SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 1. and SPS 320.09 (6) (a),
  3. Soil Erosion Control Plan (SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 2. and 3., SPS 320.09 (6) (a), and s. SPS 321.125),
  4. Exterior Elevations View (SPS 320.09 (5) (c) 2. and SPS 320.09 (6) (a),
  5. Footing and Foundation Plan (SPS 320.09 (5) (c) 2., SPS 320.09 (6) (a), SPS 321.15, and SPS 321.18),
  6. Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies,
  7. Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining Building Permit (Submission of this document is required when the owner will be acting as the permit applicant).
  • It is very important that anyone applying for a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction ensures the footings and foundation walls for masonry, poured concrete, wood, or a frost-protected shallow foundation meet all the requirements of SPS 321.02 (2), SPS 321.15 (1) (a), SPS 321.16 (1) (a), SPS 321.16 (2) (a), and SPS 321.18 (1) (a). There is no requirement that construction plans for a new one- and two-family dwelling are stamped by a registered architect or engineer. The exception to the rule is when a new dwelling will be built in a coastal floodplain or when a certified flood proof basement is being installed in accordance with s. SPS 321.33 (2) (b). It should be noted by anyone designing a new one- or two-family dwelling in accordance with the UDC, other adopted standards may be needed to assist in the design of the dwelling. Some of the adopted standards incorporated into the code will need to be purchased.

If an owner has decided to design their new home it should also be noted; the Uniform Dwelling Code requires a new one- and two-family dwelling to be designed by the method of structural analysis or the method of accepted practice specified in each part of the code. Simply put; if the owner does not have the skills to design the home by generally accepted engineering analysis or has failed to purchase a copy of UDC (the UDC is available on-line for free as well) to design the home by the “prescriptive method“ outlined in the code, submitting code-compliant plans is a very difficult proposition. The code requires all plans to be legible and drawn to scale or dimensioned and shall include all the requirements of SPS 320.09 (4), (5) (a), (b), (c) and 6 (a) and (b) in accordance with SPS 320.09 (5). There are also instances where a permit applicant will go to a hardware or lumber yard and have construction plans drawn up. This a buyer beware situation; ensure they understand and incorporate all the requirements of UDC into the construction plans before retaining their services. If you will be retaining the services of an out of state designer of one- and two-family dwellings, remind them they need to design the dwelling in accordance with Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code. When retaining anyone to design your new home ensure they understand and incorporate all the requirements of the UDC into the various plans that are required to be submitted to the AHJ. SPS 320.09 (8) (a) states that plans must “substantially comply” with the code before the approval of a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit may take place. This includes the plans submitted for a One- and Two-Dwelling Permit to Start Construction. WISPECT LLC® will find construction plans that fail to highlight what may be critical violations of the code and missing structural information as not substantially complying with code. Critical violations of the code will covered in a future article. A plan reviewer or UDC Building Inspector can not assist in the design of one- or two-family dwelling that they will be reviewing or inspecting. When a permit applicant requests a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction Application packet, WISPECT LLC® also forwards a very detailed Permit Application Checklist which highlights all the code requirements for new one- and two-family dwellings.

  • As when submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit, the UDC and the zoning department require a site-plan, this should be ready for submission to both agencies. SPS 320 09 (5) (a) requires a site plan to show the location of the dwelling, dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and any surface waters adjacent to the site. It should also show the areas of land-disturbing activities and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed to show compliance with s. SPS 321.125, the soil and sediment control requirements of the code. For this reason, a permit applicant may use the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites to complete the site plan for the project. In some instances a permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary for their project. The permit applicant should then ensure they are also completing the Erosion Control Plan Checklist and the Management Strategies sections of the worksheet to show why they feel soil erosion control measures are not necessary. On-site inspections for soil erosion control are conducted throughout the building process. If an Inspector determines soil erosion control measures are needed on your site, your project will be issued a Stop Work Order until proper erosion control measures have been installed. A very good document that can assist builders with ensuring proper soil erosion control measures are being installed is the Erosion Control for Home Builders brochure.
  • It is reasonable that you would know who you intend to hire for the construction of the dwellings foundation. Keep in mind, only individuals and companies credentialed by the Dept. of Safety and Professional Services may install HVAC and plumbing systems in Wisconsin. This only matters when a slab on grade foundation is being installed. The type of inspections and all inspection requirements of the code will be highlighted in a future article. You may utilize the Division of Industry Services website to search for credentialed individuals and companies at: http://apps2.commerce.wi.gov/SB_Credential/SB_CredentialApp/SearchByMultipleCriteria.

Let’s take a moment to review the various foundations allowed by the Uniform Dwelling Code, the code sections for footings and foundations, and/or the adopted standards.

  • Wood Foundation (SPS 321.18 (4), SPS Table 320.24-2, the Permanent Wood Foundations Design and Construction Guide, or by structural analysis );
  • Un-reinforced Poured Concrete Foundation (SPS 321.18 (2) (a) and (b), ACI 318.05 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, or by structural analysis);
  • Reinforced Poured Concrete Foundation (SPS Table 320.24-1, ACI 318.05 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, or by structural analysis);
  • Un-reinforced Masonry Foundation (SPS 321.18 (3), SPS Table 321.18-C, SPS Table 320.24-1, ACI 530-05 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-05 Specification for Masonry Structures, ASTM C 476.01 Standard Specification for Grout for Masonry, or by structural analysis);
  • Reinforced Masonry Foundation (SPS 321.18 (3), SPS Tables 321.18-D, E, or F, ACI 530-05 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-05 Specification for Masonry Structures, ASTM C 476.01 Standard Specification for Grout for Masonry, or by structural analysis);
  • Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation (SPS 321.15 2 (e) Floating Slab by structural analysis, SPS Table 320.24-5, SPS 321.16 (2) (a) All types of frost protected shallow foundations designed in accordance with ASCE-32-01 Design and Construction of Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations and the Builder's Guide to Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations .)
  • Pier Foundation (SPS 321.15 (2) (b) Pier Foundation Footing - Footing may also be sized in accordance with an engineering analysis. Piers of aluminum, concrete, masonry, steel, wood, or any other material allowed by the State of Wisconsin should be sized and installed in accordance with generally accepted engineering principles and the adopted standards for each material in s. SPS 320.24 (2).).
  • Any foundation designed in accordance with the accepted method of structural analysis. Supporting documentation must be submitted that shows the structural calculations used to design the foundation or, if applicable, the adopted standard for the material outlined in SPS Table 320.24.
If you the homeowner will be building your new home you will need to read, sign, and submit the Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining Building Permits. In the areas that are served by the state-contracted inspection agencies you will also need to read, sign, and submit the Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies. Both of these documents must be signed and returned with the permit application before a One- and Two-Dwelling Permit to Start Construction will be issued. On the permit application it should be entered that the owner is the dwelling contractor. The Dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification is not required when an owner is building their own home. If you have retained the services of a contractor but they will not be acting as the permit applicant you may enter their name and certification number. Since the dwelling contractor will not be submitting the permit application it is not necessary to enter their Dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification information. But, if the dwelling contractor or anyone other person or entity is applying for the One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction, they must possess both certifications and they must be current. There is no requirement that a dwelling contractor have either certification, however, if your are retaining the services of an un-credentialed contractor you need to read the Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining Building Permits very carefully. A permit applicant should review the Right to Cure Law brochure as well. Wisconsin Act 201, the “Right to Cure Law,” says that consumers at the time of contracting for construction or remodeling work for dwellings must be provided with this brochure describing requirements for making any future claims of construction defects.
  • One additional requirement the Authority Having Jurisdiction may have is the installation of a complete drain tile or pipe system designed and installed in accordance with s. SPS 321.17. SPS 321.17 (2) (a) states that a Registered UDC Inspection Agency may determine if a complete drain tile or pipe system is required based on certain factors. You will need to contact the municipality you will be building in for their policy on drain tile or pipe systems. It has been the policy of WISPECT LLC® since January 1st, 2005 that a complete drain tile or pipe system will be installed in all new one- and two-family dwellings with the exception of slab on grade foundations. However, if a permit applicant submit’s the proper documentation showing that a drain tile or pipe system is not necessary, the Inspection Agency will take the information under consideration. The final determination whether a complete drain tile or pipe system is required will be made during the foundation inspection(s).
It is the intent of these articles to ensure anyone applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® is complying with the Uniform Dwelling Code. Our goal is to eliminate the disapproval of permit applications, for any reason, and ensure construction projects for one- and two-family dwellings in our state-contracted areas are permitted in a timely manner.

Next Article: Submitting a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application Part 2 - Submitting Code Compliant Construction Plans

Future Article: Completing the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96

Posted by wispectllc at 4:48 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:11 AM EST
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Monday, December 24, 2012
Submitting a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application Part 1
Topic: Uniform Dwelling Code
This is the second installment in a series of articles that are being written to highlight the permit application process in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC. The articles are  based on Chapters SPS 320 - 325 of the Uniform Dwelling Code and it’s incorporated standards. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that this information is current, complete and accurate, however no claim is made that this information is beyond question. For further information on the building permit process and inspections contact the municipality you will be building in. For further information on the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC visit our website, www.wispect.com.

    First a brief review; Chapter SPS 320 is the administrative and enforcement chapter of Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code. When a municipality or the county opts to adopt the UDC and enforce it locally as outlined in s. SPS 320.06 (1) (b) and s. SPS 320.06 (2). They have to adopt the code in its entirety. They can’t add to it or take from it unless they have approval from the Department of Safety and Professional Services as outlined in s. SPS 320.06 (1) (a) 2. and 3. As mentioned in the previous article, the goal of the state is uniformity, however, the one area you will find a disparity is in the enforcement of the Uniform Dwelling Code. While the State-Contracted UDC Inspection Agencies may administer and conduct on-site inspections, beyond writing Non-Compliance Orders for code violations, the State of Wisconsin enforces the code on behalf of the Inspection Agencies. It is the responsibility of the assigned Inspector to make recommendations on behalf of the Inspection Agency, however the State makes the final determination as to whether fines will be levied or legal action taken for code violations. SPS 320.22 (1) makes it a violation to construct or alter any dwelling in violation of any provision of the code. One penalty that the State has the option to levy is outlined in s. SPS 320.22 (2) (a),  ss. 101.66, and 101.77, WI Stats., which states the forfeiture to the state for a violation of this code shall be not less than $25 nor more than $500 for each violation. SPS 320.22 (2) (b)  states that any person violating any rule of this code applying to manufactured homes is subject to the penalties prescribed in s. 101.94 (8), Stats. The State can also pursue legal action or attach a record of all code violations to the deed for the dwelling. It should be noted; a filing with the Register of Deeds for code violations stay with the deed until all non-compliances have been corrected. Any municipality which administers and enforces this code may provide, in accordance with SPS 320.22 (3), by ordinance, remedies and penalties for violation of that jurisdiction exercised under s. SPS 320.22 (3) and s. 101.65, Stats. These remedies and penalties shall be in addition to those which the state may impose under subs. (1) and (2). Here’s why it really pays to comply with the code and correct non-compliances as quickly as possible; each day a violation continues is an additional fine.

    The State of Wisconsin defines a dwelling in s. SPS 320.07 (25) as any building which contains one or two dwelling units. A dwelling unit as defined in s. SPS 320.07 (27) is any structure, or a portion of a structure, which is used or intended to be used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons maintaining a common household, to the exclusion of all others. In other words, despite what a structure may be called, if it or a portion of it is going to be used for living and/or sleeping purposes it is a dwelling unit. Then the structure or the portion of the structure that is a dwelling unit needs to comply with all the requirements of the UDC and be permitted by the AHJ. Check with the municipality you will be building in for all of their requirements regarding when a permit is required. The instances when you are required to apply for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC will be covered in a future article.

    The Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application is fairly simple document to understand and complete. The Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application is used to apply for a permit for a site-built dwelling (with or without electricity, HVAC, or plumbing), a UDC compliant modular home, or a federally regulated manufactured (mobile) home. It may also be used in other instances in a municipality or county that has adopted the code and enforces it locally. A breakdown of the plan review submission requirements for each type of dwelling will be covered in a future article. The information that is being requested should be known to permit applicant readily when it is being completed. The procedure for obtaining a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit is outlined in s. SPS 320.09 (1) which states that an application for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit shall be on forms obtained from the department, the municipality or the authorized UDC Inspection Agency administering and enforcing this code. No application shall be accepted that does not contain all the information requested on the form. Ensure you are entering all the required information as to not delay the issuance of the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit. The AHJ will assign and enter the application number at the top of the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application when the permit application is received.

    In most instances a permit applicant has received a sanitary permit when a Private On-Site Waste Treatment System (POWTS) or some other county approved system is being installed. Ensure you entering the sanitary permit number on the application. If you are re-connecting to a POWTS enter that it is a re-connect and the original sanitary permit number. See s. SPS 391 for Wisconsin’s Sanitation Code and the state’s approved methods of providing sanitation for new one- or two-family dwellings. All Wisconsin counties require one- and two-family dwellings to have some form of sanitation. Even if plumbing is not installed in the house. Contact the county you will be building in for further information on Sanitary Permits and their requirements for one-and two-family dwellings. If the dwelling will be connected to a sanitary district, typically arrangements have been made for water and sewage services. Ensure you identify the source of the sanitary and water (if applicable) for the dwelling.

    The permit applicant by this time has also obtained a zoning or land use permit as well. Since the UDC and the zoning office will require a site-plan, this should be ready for submission to both agencies. SPS 320 09 (5) (a) requires a site plan to show the location of the dwelling, dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and any surface waters adjacent to the site. It should also show the areas of land-disturbing activities and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed to show compliance with s. SPS 321.125, the soil and sediment control requirements of the code. For this reason, a permit applicant may use the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites to complete the site plan for the project. In some instances a permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary for their project. The permit applicant should then ensure they are also completing pages 2 and 3 of the worksheet to show why they feel soil erosion control measures are not necessary. On-site inspections for soil erosion control are conducted throughout the building process. If an Inspector determines soil erosion control are needed on your site, your project will be issued a Stop Work Order until proper erosion control measures have been installed. You should also check that you are requesting a soil erosion permit even if you feel soil erosion measures are not necessary. If an acre or more of land is being disturbed there are special rules regarding soil erosion control measures in this instance. According to s. SPS 321.126, storm water management practices shall be employed in accordance with s. NR 151.12 and maintained when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more acres. Per s. SPS 320.09 (5) (d)  1. and  2., a storm water management plan shall be prepared for a site where one acre or more of land will be disturbed. The storm water management plan should describe the post construction storm water management practices to be employed to comply with s. SPS 321.126. There are instances that measures are needed as a project proceeds and the permit applicant would need to update the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96 to show the appropriate measures being taken. Completing the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96 will be covered in a future article.

    Now to the documentation a permit applicant for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit should have ready when starting to submit for the various permits required to build a new one- or two-family dwelling in Wisconsin. It is highly recommended, that when applying for zoning, land use, and/or sanitary permits that you also have the following documentation ready for submission to the authority having jurisdiction for the plan review process when submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit. Ensure you are checking each type of permit(s) you are requesting. Keep in mind, obtaining a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit is a much more detailed process than it is for any of the other permits you will seek. The earlier you begin the process of submitting the plan review materials, the faster the plan reviewer can identify potential problems and work with you get them corrected while the other permits are being processed. Since you won’t be able to start construction until you have secured all the required permits, it is reasonable that you submit for them all at the same time. Keep in mind; the UDC states in s. SPS 320.08 that a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit shall be obtained from the AHJ prior to commencing any on-site work on a new one- and two-family dwelling. This includes excavating for a structure.

    When submitting the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application to the authority having jurisdiction you should have all the documentation required by s. SPS 320.09 (4), (5), and (6), and any other plan review requirements the AHJ may have, ready for review and conditional approval. All plan submissions for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit should comply with all the requirements of the 2009 Uniform Dwelling Code and it’s adopted standards as outlined in s. SPS 320.24. In accordance with s. SPS 320.09 (8), if a municipality or authorized UDC Inspection Agency administering and enforcing the code determines that the plans submitted for a one− or 2−family dwelling substantially conform to the provisions of this code and other legal requirements, an approval shall be issued. The authority having jurisdiction is required to approve or deny a uniform building permit application within 10 business days of receipt of all forms, fees, plans and documents required to process the application, and completion of other local prerequisite permitting requirements. The 10 business day requirement officially begins when all the forms, fees, plans and documents required to process the application have been received.

Note: the State of Wisconsin does allow a permit applicant to apply for a One- and Two Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction. Making an application for this permit will be covered in the next article. The requirements for plan review submissions in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC, a breakdown of the code requirements for new one- and two-family dwellings, and the code updates for 2011 will be covered in future articles in the series.

    The owners name, address, and phone number should be entered where requested. Be sure that this information is correct and current. All correspondence for the owner will be forwarded to the address given on the permit application. It is reasonable that you would know who you intend to hire for the construction of your new home. Keep in mind, only individuals and companies credentialed by the Dept. of Safety and Professional Services may install HVAC and plumbing systems in Wisconsin. Pursuant to s. 101.63 (7), Stats., the name and license number of the Wisconsin master plumber responsible for the installation of plumbing shall be entered on the permit by the issuing entity at the time of issuance.  Also, on April 1st, 2013 only individuals credentialed by DSPS will be allowed to install electrical systems in Wisconsin. Homeowners, unless credentialed by DSPS, will no longer be allowed to install electrical systems in Wisconsin. It is reasonable to assume that the permit applicant will need to enter the information on the Master Electrician that will supervise the installation. However, we consider this situation fluid and one that may evolve over time. We will do our best to keep the individuals and contractors who build or will be building in our state-contracted areas up to date on this situation. In any event, you may utilize the Division of Industry Services website to search for credentialed individuals and companies at: http://apps2.commerce.wi.gov/SB_Credential/SB_CredentialApp/SearchByMultipleCriteria.
  
    If you the homeowner will be building your new home you will need to read, sign, and submit the Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining Building Permits. You need to also check-off on the statement on the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application vouching that you will be the owner-occupant and are applying for an erosion control or construction permit and do not possess a dwelling Contractor certification. In the areas that are served by the state-contracted inspection agencies you will also need to read, sign, and submit the Uniform Notice to Permit Applicants Served by State-Contracted Inspection Agencies. Both of these documents must be signed and returned with the building permit application before a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit will be issued. On the permit application it should be entered that the owner is the dwelling contractor. The dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification is not required when an owner is building their own home. If you have retained the services of a contractor but they will not be acting as the permit applicant you may enter their name and certification number.
Since the dwelling contractor will not be submitting the permit application it is not necessary to enter their Dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification information. But, if the dwelling contractor or anyone other person or entity is applying for the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit, they must possess both certifications and they must be current. There is no requirement that a dwelling contractor have either certification, however, if your are retaining the services of an un-credentialed contractor you need to read the Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining Building Permits carefully.

    The zoning district should be entered as the municipality and county you are building in. Enter the address for the new dwelling, if you building in the county and haven’t been issued an Emergency Services (Fire) number as of applying for the permit ensure you are including a map to the construction site for the Inspector that will be assigned to your project. If you are building in a subdivision or the city ensure you are completing the sections asking for this information. The parcel number, legal description, and the setbacks can be obtained from the land use/zoning permit issued by your local zoning office. The size of the lot area that needs to be entered will be discussed further in a future article.

   The remainder of the permit application is seeking information on your new home. Ensure you are entering the square footage for an unfinished basement (if applicable), living areas, garages, and decks. The plan reviewer will calculate these areas as well as your permit fee will be based on the square footage of the finished and unfinished areas. UDC Inspection Agency fees are determined by contract between the municipality and the agency or between the department and the agency, where the agency has been authorized to conduct inspections on behalf of
the department in accordance with s. SOS 320.09 (3) (b) 1. When entering the estimated building cost, enter only the cost of the dwelling itself. By signing the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application you are agreeing to follow all applicable codes, regulations, and statutes. You are also agreeing to allow the Inspector or an authorized agent of WISPECT LLC access to the dwelling for the purposes of inspection. Do not complete any of the permit application below the signature line, the AHJ will complete this when the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit is conditionally approved and issued.

    If you will installing heating or air-conditioning enter the type and the fuel source for heating and water heating. Ensure you are checking that you’re seeking a permanent occupancy of the dwelling as well. The heat-loss calculation will be covered in a future article on submitting the REScheck Compliance Certificate to show compliance with s. SPS 322, Wisconsin’s Energy Conservation code for new one- and two-family dwellings. If you will not be installing heating then you will need to check that you are seeking a seasonal use occupancy. Seasonal use occupancies will be covered in a future article. Also enter whether the dwelling is a one- or two-family dwelling, the construction type, and wheter the dwelling is a one or two story structure. If you are installing a full basement check this as well. This is not necessary for a crawl space foundation. Enter the size of the electrical service and whether the service entrance cables will be overhead or underground. Also enter the type of exterior walls that will be constructed.
 
    It is the intent of these articles to ensure anyone applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the state-contracted areas of WISPCECT LLC is complying with the Uniform Dwelling Code. Our goal is to eliminate the disapproval of permit applications, for any reason, and ensure construction projects for one- and two-family dwellings in our state-contracted areas are permitted in a timely manner.

Next Article: Submitting a One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction Application

Future Article: Submitting a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application Part 2 - Submitting Code Compliant Construction Plans

Posted by wispectllc at 4:48 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 4:32 PM EST
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Sunday, December 23, 2012
The UDC Building Permit Process in Wisconsin.
Topic: Uniform Dwelling Code

The Permit Process

This is the first in a series of articles that will be written to highlight the permit application process in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC®. The articles will based on Chapters SPS 320 - 325 of the Uniform Dwelling Code and it’s incorporated standards. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that this information is current, complete and accurate, however no claim is made that this information is beyond question. For further information on the building permit process and inspections contact the municipality you will be building in. For further information on the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® visit our website, www.wispect.com.

It is the goal of the State of Wisconsin to have its residential building code, the Uniform Dwelling Code, administered and enforced in a uniform manner throughout the state. The UDC states in s. SPS 320.01 (1) and (2) that purpose of this code is to establish uniform statewide construction standards and inspection procedures for site-built one- and two-family dwellings, modular homes, and federally regulated manufactured homes. In other words, the process of obtaining a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit is essentially the same in each jurisdiction. And, more importantly, the code is being enforced in a uniform manner throughout the state.

Oftentimes a plan reviewer will have a permit applicant tell them that they are expecting more than another jurisdiction does. Although there may some additional requirements by the authority having jurisdiction, our guide on the documentation required by the code can be found in s. SPS 320.09.

SPS 320.09 is an all encompassing section of the administrative code that is a plan reviewer’s guide. Keep in mind; these are the minimum requirements of the code for plan review submissions. The AHJ may also require documentation on the electrical and the plumbing systems as well. In any event the code does require a site plan, construction plans, a soil erosion plan, and a heating distribution layout. The UDC also requires a permit applicant to show they are meeting the state’s energy conservation standards by submitting a compliance certificate from an approved software program, typically RemRate or REScheck.

In the State of Wisconsin an individual or company applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit will find the AHJ to be:

  • A municipality that has adopted the UDC as outlined in s. SPS 320.06 and has a municipal building inspection department. Sometimes the building inspection and the zoning departments are combined;
  • The municipality has adopted the UDC but lets the county administer and enforce the code;
  • The municipality has adopted the UDC and has contracted with a self-employed Inspector (it is not required that the municipalities contract with Registered UDC Inspection Agencies);
  • The municipality has adopted the UDC and contracted with a Registered UDC Inspection Agency;
  • The municipality doesn’t adopt the UDC and instead allows the State of Wisconsin to administer and enforce the code. In these situations the state contracts with a Registered UDC Inspection Agency and they administer and enforce the code on behalf of the state.

The State of Wisconsin has minimum requirements in order to be awarded a contract. The most restrictive requirement is that the Inspection Agency has on staff an Inspector(s) that have administered and enforced, as well as conducted on-site inspections, for a minimum of 3 years. The municipalities that have adopted the code may also have specific requirements for Inspectors and Inspection Agencies. For further information contact the municipality you live or will be building in.

This is an excerpt from an article on the former Dept. Of Commerce Website.

Governor Doyle signed the Home Safety Act into law on December 18, 2003. Municipalities of less than 2,500 in population that passed a resolution of non-enforcement had the opportunity to delay until January 1, 2005; this subsequently gave municipalities’ additional time to prepare.
At the present time all regulating municipalities as well as agents delegated by the  Department of Commerce Safety and Buildings
Division (now the Department of Safety and Professional Services Division of Industry Services) are in place. Information specific to the regulating authority, as well as permit fees associated with Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) inspection work are available on the Commerce website.
With all municipal enforcement programs in place and ready to provide inspection services, permits will be required for new home construction, not additions or alterations. This includes municipalities that have a local ordinance adopting the UDC and a fully certified inspector - either hired or under contract - which are recognized by the Department of Commerce. It also pertains to municipalities that have not submitted an adopting ordinance and have not hired or contracted with fully certified inspectors which are now considered to be under the state enforcement program.
Those individuals and agencies contracted with the state are to perform inspections in a manner consistent with the provisions of Chapters Comm 20 through 25 (Now numbered Chapters SPS 320 - 325) of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code for all new site-built dwellings and installed manufactured dwellings. Their responsibilities do not include alterations or additions to existing dwellings or the installation of manufactured (mobile) homes regulated by the federal government (the state now requires permitting of manufactured home regulated by the federal government and built after April 1st, 2007).
Wisconsin (UDC) Administrative Building Permits issued prior to January 1, 2005, as well as dwellings where footing and foundations are completed within two years of permit issuance as well, are not included. The determination of what constitutes a dwelling will normally be made by the applicable local zoning agencies. In the absence of such a determination, structures of less than 100 square feet or fabric construction will not be considered dwellings for the purpose of this contract.

There are instances when individuals and companies applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit are under the impression that because the Inspection Agencies are public or private companies, the duties and responsibilities of the Inspectors employed by the agencies are different from a municipal building department. It is the intent of these articles to dispel that myth and ensure anyone applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC® is complying with the Uniform Dwelling Code. Our goal is to eliminate the disapproval of permit applications, for any reason, and ensure construction projects for one- and two-family dwellings in our state-contracted areas are permitted in a timely manner.

Next Article: Submitting a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application Part 1


Posted by wispectllc at 11:56 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:43 PM EST
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