Staying Informed

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of Building Safety?

    The purpose of Building Safety is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare by accurately and consistently administering building regulations as identified by the code.

  2. When is a permit needed?

    Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

  3. What does a permit cost?

    On buildings, structures, electrical, gas, mechanical, and plumbing systems or alterations requiring a permit, a fee for each permit shall be paid as required, in accordance with the schedule as established by the applicable governing body.

  4. Why do I need a permit to work on my own house?

    The record of change to a house is documented by the permit and recorded with the City of Fayetteville and Washington County.  Work completed without a permit may depreciate the value of the house.

  5. Are consultations available at the job site?

    A consultation inspection is available for a minimal fee providing onsite assessment of a building situation.  This inspection may prevent unforeseen construction cost and the feasibility of a proposed building project

  6. Who can apply for a permit?

    Any property owner or authorized agent of the owner may apply for the permit.

  7. What are the different types of permits?

    The basic permit types are: building, plumbing, electric, HVAC and demolition.

  8. What do I do if it is an emergency repair?

    Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.

  9. Are all inspectors certified and licensed by the state and nationally?

    Inspectors for the City of Fayetteville are certified and licensed by the State of Arkansas and the International Code Council.

  10. When are plans needed?

    Plans are needed for any and all changes to the original structure that may affect the structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanical aspect of the building.

  11. When do I NOT need a permit?

    There are items that are exempt from permits such as painting, playground equipment and flooring.  For clarification please call Building Safety at 575-8233 and ask an inspector.

  12. Do I need a permit to build a deck?

    This depends on the size and location of the structure.  Please call Building Safety at 575-8233 and ask an inspector.

  13. Do I need a permit for an engineered or pre-fabricated structure?

    This depends on the size and location of the structure.  Please call Building Safety at 575-8233 and ask an inspector.

  14. If I use a licensed contractor, electrician, plumber, HVAC technician or tradesman do I still need a permit?

    Yes, if the scope of work requires a permit one must be obtained regardless of who is doing the actual work.

  15. What if a remodel reveals work that requires a permit after the project has started?

    If additional items are revealed after work is started, the permit should be amended and the plans for the work should be modified accordingly to create an accurate record of the work performed.

  16. Can a homeowner be the general contractor on his/her own home?

    Yes, a homeowner can be the general contractor with the understanding that all rules and regulations set forth by the City of Fayetteville and the State of Arkansas according to the Building Codes are to be followed and that the homeowner is ultimately responsible for the work that is done.

  17. As a homeowner can I do the work of the electrician, plumber or HVAC technician on my property?

    With the proper permits a homeowner can do his/her own work in these areas if the home is his/her primary residence.

  18. Can I, as the homeowner, apply for the permits and hire my own subcontractors?

    This practice is strongly discouraged as the signature on the application and permit indicates the person or company responsible for the work and its meeting the intent of the code.

  19. What is the dollar amount on a remodel that requires a contractor to be licensed?

    There is no regulation on being licensed to be in charge of a remodel.  However, the subcontractors for the electrical, plumbing and HVAC work must be licensed and obtain the proper and necessary permits.

  20. I am building a new home, must my contractor be licensed?

    Yes, any new construction with a value of more than $20,000 must be done by a licensed contractor.

  21. How long is a permit valid?

    Permits are valid for 180 days (six months) as long as work is receiving inspections.  A permit shall become invalid if the proposed work is not commenced within 180 days after its issuance.  A permit will also become invalid if the authorized work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the work commences.  Extensions to the initial 180 days shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.  The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions for periods of not more than 180 days each.

  22. How many homes can a homeowner build?

    A homeowner can build one home a year for his/her primary use without a license.

  23. What do I do if my permit expires?

    Please contact Building Safety at 575-8233 for an extension.

  24. I have received a letter from the prosecutor about a permit, what do I do?

    Please contact the City of Fayetteville Prosecutor's Office at 575-8377.

  25. Where do I find the current codes for the City of Fayetteville?

    The current codes can be found here.  Current codes include:

    2008 National Electrical Code
    2007 Arkansas Fire Prevention Code
    2006 Arkansas Plumbing Code
    2006 Arkansas Fuel Gas Code
    2004 Arkansas Energy Code
    2003 Arkansas Mechanical Code

  26. Since the cost of the plumbing, electrical and HVAC is inculded in the valuation of my building permit, do I still need separate permits for these?

     Yes, separate permits are required for these by ordinance. By filling out the application for these permits we will have a better grasp of  what is happening on these permits on these projects and know what needs to be inspected.

  27.  I will be replacing my bedroom windows, will the new ones have to meet code?

     They must meet the current engery code.

  28. I need a new roof, will I need a permit?

    Based on the manufactured specs you are limited to 3 sets of shingles.  If you are replacing any or part of the decking you will need a permit.

  29. Where do I find the call be for you dig number?

    You can find this number in the telephone book under "How to Reach Us". Before you dig or drill on your property, call to avoid damage to your telephone and other underground lines. That number is 1-800-482-8998. 48 hour notice is required by state law.

  30. Do I need a permit to repair a leak in my water yard line?

    Yes, a permit is required when any type work is done that effects the City water supply.

  31. Do I need a permit to repair a sewer yard line?

    Yes, we want to insure that the flow of sewer waste is such that there is no problems in the future.

  32. I'm going to be adding an irrigation line to my existing water line, do I need a permit?

    Yes, we want to ensure that there is a duel check or an RPZ connected to the irrigation line with a cut off value to ensure that nothing can be siphoned into the city water system.

  33. A siding company will be putting siding on my home, do I need a permit?

    Where structure elements are uncovered and found to be unsound or otherwise structurally deficient, then a permit is needed and such elements shall be made to conform to the requirements for new structures.

  34. I"m adding an island in my kitchen, when do I need a permit?

    If tearing down or adding any structural walls a building permit will be needed. If electric or plumbing will be added to a new area these permits will be needed also.

  35. I will be painting, adding hardwood floors and tile to some areas of my house, do I need a permit?

    No