Building Permit Applications

City of Rock Valley’s Building Codes & Permit FAQ’s

Keep reading to learn about our Building Codes & Permit FAQs. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, or demolish a building, structure, or fence shall first fill out an application to the City and obtain the required permit. Permits will be found after the FAQs.

You need a building permit when building a new house, or for an addition to a house or garage. A permit is needed for building an unattached garage, storage shed, fence, or deck. A building permit is needed when any structure/s are built or altered by way of square footage and/or elevation.

The city owns the right of way; however, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the right of way. You cannot plant a tree or build a fence on the right of way. If sprinklers are installed on the right of way, the city is not responsible for damage either by snow removal or utility repairs.

All sprinkler systems must have a vacuum breaker. You may locate a sprinkler in the right of way, but the city is not responsible for damage either by snow removal or utility repairs. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to follow watering guidelines set forth by the City Council in drought conditions. Failure will result in fines.

Footings shall be a minimum of 42 inches below the final grade for all slab construction. #4 or 1/2 inch rebar is the minimum to be used in all footings. Basement exterior walls shall be supported on continuous solid or fully grouted masonry, concrete footings, or other approved structural systems. Basement footings must be 8 inches thick and 16 inches wide with two #4 or 1/2 inch thick rebar continuously connected.

Basements with a habitable space and every sleeping room need at least one emergency escape and rescue opening. Basements with more than one sleeping room are required to have an opening/rescue window in each sleeping room. An egress window is not required for adjoining rooms. The sill height (bottom) of each window shall be no more than 44 inches above the floor and have minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet.

Find out how to obtain a building permit on our Building Permit Applications page.

No, but if you are removing part of a curb or street gutter, see below.

Yes. Fences cannot be higher than 6 feet. Fences shall not be closer than 6 inches to any property line. Fences less than 4 feet in height many be located on the front/rear/sides of the the property. Fences greater than 4 feet, but no more than 6 feet, may only be located on the sides and/or rear of the property. Fences can be constructed of chain link, non-decomposing wood products, molded plastic, or wrought iron. Fences are not permitted in the right of way.

If you are not altering square footage or elevation, you will not need a permit.

No. The curb must be cut, broken, and removed. All cuts must be made with a saw and may not be made less than 4 feet from an existing joint. Concrete must be broken up by pneumatic jackhammer or sledgehammer. Use of a hydraulic device to lift whole slabs is prohibited. This can cause cracks and/or spalling to the street, which the homeowner will be responsible for the damage and cost of replacement. Use of rebar in the new curb section is required.

A minimum of two 1/2 inch rebar dowels in the traverse joints and replaced in 4-foot intervals on longitude joints with a 1/2 inch expansion joint filled with bitumen sealant. Inspection by the city is required before installation of concrete in the new curb/gutter. Cost of a replacement for grinding or not following code will be at the homeowner’s expense.

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