Building Officials Roundtable Recap
The HBA of F-M’s annual roundtable provides members an opportunity to ask questions, receive clarification and discuss potential issue areas. Building officials from Fargo, Horace, Moorhead, West Fargo, and rural areas (Midwest Inspections Services) were in attendance this year in early April.
The overall message from building officials in 2023? Builders are doing a good job!
Though many topics were discussed, here are a few areas to note:
- For duct cleaning, the department is inspecting every now and then. Proof of professional cleaning is not required in every instance, but if the ducts don’t look clean, they have asked for it.
- Wait times for permits and inspections are the same as they have been. For permits: one to two weeks, inspections: attempt to do day-of. For a concrete pour, they need a two-hour window.
- Main reminders are to keep the right-of-way clean, park on one side of the road, and remain respectful of current homeowners in neighborhoods.
- The city is in the process of re-writing their land use ordinance.
- Let them know if you are having issues; they will work with you to resolve the problem.
- Plan reviews will take around a week or so. Concrete is a two-hour window, anything else remains the same.
Above: Keith Asheim (Horace) and Shawn Ouradnik (Fargo)
- Doors and window replacements require a building permit.
- Inspections are going well for the most part; issues they sometimes see are absence of smoke detectors, deck restrictions and vapor barrier problems. Plumbing and mechanical are going well.
- As of right now, Moorhead does not require duct cleaning.
- Residential permit times are generally two to three days. Commercial permits usually take two to three weeks. They ask for a two-hour window for inspections and would like a two-hour notice.
- Mud issues always seem to be a bit of a problem but aren’t a major concern right now.
- The city declared an emergency for the river and diversion channel as they are close to full. They have sandbags and would like people to request them if they anticipate flooding in their area.
- For residential plan reviews, they usually take two to three days. For inspections, they will try to do concrete as quickly as possible. They ask that you call to set up a time.
Above: Mike Blevins (rural areas) and Mark Housh (West Fargo)
- Something to keep in mind is that especially in new developments, protective measures for stormwater and mud need to be in place. Be proactive and get them in before snow and/or flooding occurs.
- They’re seeing a bit of a drop in residential permits this spring compared to previous years.
- They try to send pictures of code sections to back up the decisions they’re making to help prevent inconsistencies.
- For residential permits, the turnaround is usually within three to five days. For commercial, it’s more around two to three weeks. Because of the areas they inspect, they require 24-hour notice unless it’s an emergency.
The Building Officials Roundtable recording and meeting materials are available to purchase for $20. Contact Elizabeth Kosel at (701) 232-5846.