CT Building Officials Association (CBOA) Guidelines

Why Building Codes?
Building and fire safety codes are state law, intended to protect everyone from risks associated with improper construction.  They are minimum safety and health requirements developed nationally by learning from common problems and disasters in construction. Some of the hazards are:

  • Structural collapse or cracking
  • Damages from fire
  • Electrical shocks
  • Toxic substance (carbon dioxide)
  • Disease from pathogens (water/sewage

And also national policy on:

  • Energy conservation
  • Access for persons with disabilities

When does the law apply?
Our State laws apply to all construction, including decks, sheds and swimming pools; all
buildings and structures that support, shelter or facilitate an activity, except for:

  •  Vehicles
  •  Recreational equipment      

You need to check with the Building Department about your plans to determine your obligations.

What's required for a permit?
An application identifying the property owner, the contractor, any required trade licenses and insurance must be submitted to the Building Department along with an application, plans, details and specifications that describe the work to be done, when you intend to construct, alter, renovate, add, demolish or change the intended use of your building.  A site plan where additions are planned must also be filed to determine compliance with local zoning regulations.

Plans and details should show dimensions, location of equipment/electrical fixtures, types of materials and sizes, energy conservation information.

A description of the work and the quantities on your application are usually all that is required for roofing, siding, replacement windows/water heaters/other equipment.

The building official checks this information to be sure it complies with the state codes, and then can issue a building permit (or electrical/mechanical/plumbing permit) for the work.  Fees cover the costs of the Building Department's services.

And after I get my permit
After the work is started, the building official visits your property to determine if the work is being done in accordance with the codes and the plans you have submitted. These inspections are made when you or your contractor calls to let the local official know the work is ready to be inspected. If the work is not in accordance with the approved application and plans, appropriate corrections are required.

Finally, when the work is correct and complete, the building official will perform a final inspection before signing off that the work is complete. This signoff will be a Certificate of Occupancy [CO] for additions and new construction. The contractor may be required to furnish test results and other data before the building official can sign off on completion.

Other important information

  • Are there any problems with local zoning?
  • Am I near or in a wetlands area?
  • Are there easements or other restrictions?
  • Am I too near my septic tank or utility lines?