Building Regulation

The Union County Building Department was established in 1973 at the request of local home builders who wanted uniform standards for residential construction throughout the county. In 1997, we became a certified commercial department broadening our authority to regulate all commercial, industrial and institutional occupancies. All commercial buildings in Ohio shall comply with the Ohio Building Code. In 2006, the State of Ohio adopted the first statewide residential code. If any jurisdiction wishes to regulate residential construction, they must become a certified department and follow the rules in the Residential Code of Ohio.

The Union County Building Department has agreements with all municipalities to provide commercial and residential building code enforcement except Unionville Center and Dublin. The Dublin Building Department is the regulatory authority within the incorporated area of Dublin. Marysville, Richwood, Milford Center, Magnetic Springs and Plain City have all contracted with Union County for building code services.

In Unionville Center, plumbing is the only local code in effect because this is under the Union County Health Department and applied countywide. The State of Ohio Department of Industrial Compliance is the permitting authority for any commercial work in Unionville Center. Plumbing permits in the Madison County portion of Plain City are issued by the Madison County Health Department. All other permits in the Madison County portion of Plain City are issued by the Union County Building Department.

All areas of Union County, both incorporated and unincorporated, where a manufactured home is installed is under the Ohio Manufactured Home Commission regulations. Manufactured homes are homes built in accordance to HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) standards. The placement of the manufactured home can be inspected either by the Union County Building Department or by a certified third party agency. This applies to installations on private property or in manufactured home parks.

Permit Application Forms

Residential permit application form
OBC permit application form
Change of Occupancy
Plumbing permit application form
Re-submittal/revisions for plan review
Phased approval form

Contractor Registration

Union County registers only plumbers and sewer tappers.

Plumber registration information
Sewer tapper registration information

Permit Fees

Residential permit fees
Commercial permit fees
Commercial fee calculation worksheet (MS Excel)

Building in Union County

Ready, Set, Build
Current Ohio Code references
Ohio Building Codes
Does my project require a permit?
Village/City matrix of permitting authority
Zoning Inspector contact information and lot criteria/minimums
Guide to change of occupancy in Marysville
Guide to opening a new business in Marysville

Checklists, Code Information and Sample Drawings

Radon - sample drawings
Radon standards adopted by Union County – effective January 1, 2015, new single family homes
Residential submittal checklist
Commercial submittal checklist
Residential plan review checklist
Manufactured Home plan review checklist on private property
Manufactured Home plan review and installation guide inside trailer parks
Sample site plan
Finished basement submittal requirements
Pole building plan requirements
Residential pool plan submittal requirements
Deck plan submittal requirements
Residential sample house plans
Energy Code information
Special Inspection Form - Commercial
Commercial HVAC Replacement Permit Checklist

Building Department Policies

Cold weather concrete guidelines
Times for inspections

Frequently Asked Questions

  What are the current building codes for Union County?
  What is a permit?
  How do I get a permit?
  How long does it take to get a permit?
  When will I know if my plans are ready or not?
  How and when do I pay for a permit?
  When can I start work?
  How do I schedule an inspection?
  What time will the inspector be at my job?
  Can demolition or construction begin without a permit?
  What are the minimum requirements for phased approvals?
  Do I need a permit for a deck, fence, shed or patio?
  Do I need a permit for an agricultural building?
  Do approved plans always need to be on site and do I need to have the address posted?
  How long is the permit valid and when is it closed?

What are the current building codes for Union County?

  • 2011 Ohio Building Code – based upon the 2009 International Building Code
  • 2011 Ohio Mechanical Code – based upon the 2009 International Mechanical Code
  • 2011 Ohio Plumbing Code – based upon the 2009 International Plumbing Code
  • 2009 Ohio Fuel Gas Code – based upon the 2009 International Fuel Gas Code
  • 2013 Residential Code of Ohio – based upon the 2009 International Residential Code
  • Energy Compliance Code – based upon the 2009 International Energy Compliance Code or for residential permits RCO chapter 11
  • 2014 NFPA 70 Residential; National Electric Code
  • 2014 NFPA 70 Commercial; National Electric Code
  • 2010 NFPA 13; Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • 2010 NFPA 72; National Fire Alarm Code
  • ICC A117.1 – 2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities

What is a permit?

A permit is a license that allows work to be performed on your house or building. The Union County Building Department’s role in issuing the permit is to review construction documents to make sure the proposed work conforms to the building codes adopted by the State of Ohio. Union County issues a “plan approval” after these requirements have been met. A permit is issued to the owner or the owner’s agent, such as the architect, contractor, subcontractor or other person responsible for the work being completed. The permit is permission to start construction.

How do I get a permit?

Complete the appropriate application form and submit it to the Union County Building Department along with any required construction drawings and specifications (applications may be obtained online in the Forms section). Simple permits for items such as furnace replacements do not require any drawings. Applications and drawings are reviewed for completeness and conformance with the codes. Applicants will be notified when the review is complete.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Permits that do not require drawings are typically issued immediately. Permits which require construction drawings to be submitted are required by state law to be reviewed within 30 days. We attempt to review residential plans within 5-7 days and commercial plans within 21 days.

When will I know if my plans are ready or not?

You will be contacted by phone or email as soon as your plan review has been completed. For any other permitting questions, please call 937-645-3018 during the regular office hours which are from 7:30am-4:30pm M-F.

How and when do I pay for a permit?

Residential: Application fees are due when permit applications and plans are submitted to our office. The balance of the permit fees as outlined in the fee schedule are due when the permit is issued.

Commercial: Plan review fees are due when permit applications and plans are submitted to our office. Sprinkler and fire alarm plan review fees are collected when the shop drawings are submitted. The balance of the permit fees as outlined in the fee schedule are due when the permit is issued. Building permits are based on square footage (as are electrical and HVAC) so the costs fluctuate depending upon the size of the project. Plumbing fees are calculated by fixture. Commercial plumbing permit fees are separate and in addition to building permit fees. Please look at the Fees section for further information.

You may pay by cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). An additional 3% bank fee is assessed if a credit card is used.

When can I start work?

Construction work may start after the permit is issued and all fees are paid. Work started or performed without a permit is subject to a Stop Work Order and penalty fees of double the permit cost.

How do I schedule an inspection?

Inspections are scheduled by calling our inspection line, 937-645-3019. You will need to know the permit number, address and type of inspection needed. Inspections need to be called in by 4pm the day before the inspection is needed. Inspection time requests are explained in the above policy on time requests for inspections.

What time will the inspector be at my job?

After inspections are assigned to an inspector each morning, he will organize them into his daily route. Footings and commercial life/safety inspections are given preference while inserting the remaining inspections as time permits.

We are able to give a “window in time” of 2 hours for inspections that involve pouring concrete or if a home is occupied. We will try to accommodate a.m. and p.m. requests for other inspection types if our schedule allows. Please be ready for your inspection prior to calling the Inspection Line.

Can demolition or construction begin without a permit?

No! Only work that does not require a permit or emergency repairs may proceed. If construction begins prior to a permit being issued, all permit fees associated with the project will be doubled. A Stop Work Order, Notice of Violation and Adjudication Order requiring removal of the work may also be issued.

Demolition permits are needed when residential and commercial structures will be torn down. We will need to verify that all utilities have been disconnected and verification from the Union County Health Department that the well and septic tank have been properly abandoned for properties that are not connected to a public water supply or sanitary sewer.

What are the minimum requirements for phased approvals?

We do issue “Phased Approvals” for residential and commercial construction. The information submitted needs to be sufficient for the phase of construction. For example, in order to obtain a foundation start we need: site plan, foundation plan, all footing and wall reinforcing, design criteria such as soil bearing, wall/footing cross section, building envelope insulation compliance report, basic framing information to determine point loads and bearing pad dimensions and concrete encased electrode detail if applicable. Additional sets of plans will need to be resubmitted for the subsequent phases of construction.

Do I need a permit for a deck, fence, shed or patio?

Deck: Yes, unless exempt from approval as outlined in RCO 102.1: less than 30” above grade, not connected to house structure, less than 200 sq. ft. and not located at the required egress door.

Fence: Only where needed for a swimming pool barrier or if over 6 ft. in height. A Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be required for other types of fence permits.

Shed: Residential sheds are exempt if 200 sq. ft. or less and commercial sheds are exempt if 120 sq. ft. or less. A Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be required.

Patio: No, however a Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be required.

Do I need a permit for an agricultural building?

If the township zoning inspector determines that the building’s use is agricultural rather than a residential accessory building or commercial storage building, then the building is exempt from building code regulations per ORC 3781.061. Changing an agricultural building to a residential or commercial use requires a change of occupancy permit and all code requirements for the new use shall be met.

Do approved plans always need to be on site and do I need to have the address posted?

Yes. Failure to have the approved plans on site will result in a reinspection, and may include reinspection fees. The building address needs to be posted throughout the building process.

How long is the permit valid and when is it closed?

An approved permit is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. It may be extended upon approval of the Chief Building Official for an additional 6 months. Once construction starts, the permit is valid unless work is suspended for six months or more. The permit is closed when the final inspection is completed and the work is approved for compliance with the applicable codes. A certificate of occupancy is issued and provided to the owner. A certificate of occupancy, either full or temporary, is required prior to occupying a structure.