The Building Code
Building codes have evolved over many years as a way to insure that construction projects yield safe and reliable structures. The Connecticut State Building Code recognizes the International Code Council as the source of standards for construction projects in CT.
Building Department Permits
Building Permits are required for all construction in Madison except for replacement of small sections of non-critical, existing structures by homeowners. (For example, replacing a window sash would not require a permit while replacement of the entire window would. Similarly, replacing a few sections of damaged siding would not require a permit while residing a sizable portion of a house would). Licensed contractors are required to pull permits for any work they perform. Building code standards are the same for contractors and homeowners alike.
Building Permit Approval
All permit applications circulate through various town offices for review and approval, depending on the scope of the work and approvals required. For example a new house application would require review by the following departments:
Wetlands Official (also reviewing erosion and stormwater controls)
Health Department (If septic system installation or repair is part of any building project a separate septic system permit is required. Septic system installations and repairs are by licensed installers)
Fire Marshal (commercial only)
Engineering (if in or near a flood zone)
After each department has approved the application and the appropriate fee is paid a building permit number is assigned, a permit placard is issued to post at the building site and construction can begin.
Depending on the level of complexity the approval process can take several weeks.
Once construction begins inspections are required at specific points in the construction process.(See Typical Building Inspections, Required Building Inspections) These inspections are often necessarily sequential, and continuing work may have to wait for approval of a completed part of the project, so arranging inspections can be critical to the timing of the entire project. The responsibility to call for inspections falls to the individual who signed the permit application. For inspections inside an existing home, someone has to be present on site to admit the building official. Inspections can be scheduled by phoning the department number above during business hours. Licensed sub-contractors may arrange inspection for their work, but each applicant should be clear on who will schedule the inspections and at what point in the process.
Completed building projects result in a Certificate of Occupancy for habitable space and a Certificate of Completion for other projects. The applicant must request a final inspection. Zoning compliance is required in order for the Building Official to sign the certificate. Certificates must be signed in person by the applicant / owner at the Building Department office.
All relevant documentation on file at the town offices will be sent out for microfilming (this will change to a digitized format sometime after mid-2007) and will be available for review in the Land Use Office and eventually online.
Building permit fees are set by the Board of Selectmen and are presently $12 per $1,000.00 of construction value. In large projects the town uses the RS Means Tables to determine construction costs. Fees are payable by check to the Town of Madison at the time of the permit application.