Frequently asked questions:
1. Who does electrical inspections?
The state of Colorado electrical inspector – 1-877-320-9150.
2. How much does a permit cost?
Permit cost is based on the total valuation of the building with fees assessed in accordance with the code. The valuation is calculated by multiplying the square footage of unfinished and finished living space, a garage, decks/ porches, crawl spaces, etc. by different factors ($/ sq.ft.) established by the county and the building standards magazine. These separate areas of the house are added up to provide for a total valuation. The code then applies a fee based on the total valuation. Different factors apply to different occupancies such as banks, hospitals, offices or warehouses. Once again, the code applies fees based on the total valuation of the building. Use this work sheet to help determine the Building Permit fees (PDF worksheet / Excel worksheet) that will be due for your project.
3. What information do I need to submit for a permit?
Please see building permits and Applications information page.
4. What work do I need a permit for?
Basically, any new construction or alteration of an existing building or structure in the county requires a permit. Exempt from permit requirements are buildings used for the sole purpose of agricultural uses. recreational cabins are exempted from the permitting requirements. Also exempt are 1) One story detached buildings used as storage, playhouses or similar buildings not over 200 sq. ft for residential, and 120 sq. ft for commercial; 2) fences not over 7-ft tall; 3) Oil derricks; 4) retaining walls not over 4 ft; 6) water tanks on grade not over 5,000 Gal; 7) platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade; 8) painting, papering, and similar finish work; 9) Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R occupancy when projecting not more than 54 in.; and 10) prefab above-ground pools that are not more than 5000 gallons.
5. Why do I need a building permit?
Building permits and the permitting process with inspections protects the public from unsafe conditions with structures. In addition, structures built without a permit cannot be insured and insurance companies investigate claims. If a building was built without a permit, insurance would not pay a claim related to the building.
6. What contractor’s licensing is required in the county?
Garfield County does not require general contractors to be licensed. State law does require electricians and plumbers to be licensed. Different jurisdictions require different licensing.
7. What codes does the county use?
The county has adopted the 2015 IRC and IBC codes effective July 1, 2016, including the IFC. The county currently still operates off of the 2009 IECC code. Check with your local fire district for any approved amendments.
8. Can I get a temporary certificate of occupancy?
The county does not issue temporary COs. The following items are required for the final inspection and subsequent certificate of occupancy. The county has provided a list of the requirements for a final inspection for your use.
9. What must I do to to split off a 35-acre tract of land?
There is no review or approval by the county if the division of a 35-acre or larger tract does not result in a tract or parcel of land less than 35-acres in size. A deed for the property division can be filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office for the new tract.
10. Can I get a well permit for my new parcel?
The Colorado Division of Water Resources is responsible for the issuance of well permits in the State of Colorado. The county has no jurisdiction over the issuance of a well permit. For further questions visit the Colorado Division of Water Resources website or call the Division of Water Resources in Glenwood Springs at (970) 945-5665.
11. What is an agricultural building?
A structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock or other horticultural products is an agricultural building. This structure shall not be a place of employment where agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged, nor shall it be a place used by the public. The sole purpose of the building must be agricultural. Excluded from the definition of agricultural building are structures enclosing an indoor riding arena with an occupancy load of 10 or more.
12. What is a recreational cabin?
A recreational cabin is a structure with no more than 1,200 square feet of gross floor area including unfinished basements, for living, sleeping, eating or cooking; shall be occupied as a dwelling for no more than 6 months within any calendar year for personal use; not to be used for commercial purposes; One cabin is allowed per legally created lot so long as no other dwelling unit is on the lot. All cabins should comply with adopted Building Code requirements excluding ANSI 119.5 rated park trailers. Appropriate septic and electrical permits are required. Recreational Vehicles are not permitted to be recreational cabins.
13. Does the county allow tiny homes?
A dwelling unit is allowed in all zone districts within the county. However, not all “tiny homes” are considered a dwelling unit. In order to be considered a dwelling unit, the structure must meet and be permitted to the 2015 International Residential Building Code (“IRC”). The IRC stipulates that dwelling units are constructed using certain standards. For a list of these standards please see tiny homes FAQs.