Town of Suffield

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Edward Flanders

Building Official

Lionel Mailoux

Asst. Building Official

Debra Lefcheck

Technical Assistant

Address:

230C Mountain Rd.
Suffield, CT 06078

Phone:

(860) 668 3878

Fax:

(860) 668 3879

Town Offices Directory

Town Offices

    Building Department - Frequently Asked Questions


    Building Numbers

    Sec. 5-50. Owners' Duty

    It shall be the duty of the owners of all buildings to affix numerals indicating the street number which has been previously assigned to such buildings by the town.

    Sec. 5-51. Size and Location of Building Numbers

    In affixing building numbers, the property owner shall conform with the following specifications:

    1. Building numbers shall be plain block numerals. Script or written numbers shall not count toward satisfaction of this article.
    2. All numerals shall be at least four (4) inches in height.
    3. Numerals shall be of a color contrasting with the color of the background pro9ided by the material to which they are affixed. Owners are encouraged, but not required, to use numbers made of reflective material and to illuminate building numbers so as to be easily visible at night.
    4. If a building is less than one hundred (100) feet from the center line of the street on which it fronts, building numbers shall be located on the front of the building which they identify or on a sign, post, mailbox or other device located between the building and street such that numbers shall be visible and readable from both left and right approaches.
    5. If a building is set back more than one hundred (100) feet from the center line of the street on which it fronts, or if the numerals cannot be read from such center line because of obstruction, the aforesaid numerals shall be affixed to a post, sign, mailbox or other device which shall be located within ten (10) feet of the driveway or walkway entrance to the premises and which shall otherwise conform to the specifications herein.
    6. In general, when affixed, all building numerals shall be positioned not less than three (3) feet nor more than twelve (12) feet from the surface of the ground directly below them. Exception to this provision of this article may be granted by the building official in cases where he determines visibility is adequate.
    7. On a corner lot, the building number shall face the street named in the address.

    Sec. 5-52. Failure to comply

    In the event the owner fails to affix the number referred to above within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this article, the owner shall be subject to a fine of one dollar ($1.00) for each day of neglect or refusal.

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    Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    R313.3 Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Carbon monoxide detectors shall be installed outside of each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. When more than one carbon monoxide detector is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one carbon monoxide detector will activate all of the carbon monoxide detectors in the individual unit. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed. All carbon monoxide detectors shall be listed and shall be installed in accordance with their listing and the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

    Exception: Carbon monoxide detectors shall not be required in dwelling units not containing a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

    R313.3.1 Power Source

    In new construction, the required carbon monoxide detectors shall be permanently installed and shall receive their primary power from the building wiring when such wiring is served from a commercial source. When primary power from the building wiring is interrupted, they shall receive power from a battery. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than those required for overcurrent protection. Carbon monoxide detectors shall be permitted to be battery operated when installed in buildings without commercial power or in buildings that undergo alterations or additions regulated by Section R313.3.2.

    R313.3.2 Alterations and Additions

    When alterations or additions requiring a permit occur, or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the entire dwelling shall be provided with carbon monoxide detectors located as required for new dwellings. The carbon monoxide detectors shall have a power source in accordance with Section R313.3.1.

    Exeptions

    1. The carbon monoxide detectors may be battery operated or plug-in and are not required to be interconnected when other remodeling considerations do not require the removal of the appropriate wall and ceiling coverings to facilitate concealed interconnected wiring.
    2. Alterations to the exterior surfaces of dwellings including, but not limited to, re-roofing, re-siding, window replacement and the construction of decks without roofs, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.
    3. Carbon monoxide detectors shall not be required in dwelling units not containing a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

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    Ceiling Height

    R305.1 Minimum Height

    Habitable rooms, hallways, corridors, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and basements shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet. The required height shall be measured from the finished floor to the lowest projection from the ceiling.

    Exceptions:

    1. Beams, girders, pipes, ducts or other obstructions spaced not less than 4 feet on center shall be permitted to project not more than 6 inches below the required ceiling height.
    2. Basements without habitable spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet, 8 inches. Beams, girders, pipes, ducts or other obstructions shall be permitted to project not more than 4 inches below the required ceiling height.
    3. Not more than 50 per cent of the required area of a habitable room or space is permitted to have a sloped or furred ceiling less than 7 feet in height. No portion of the required floor area shall be less than 5 feet in height.
    4. Bathrooms are permitted to have sloped or furred ceilings, but shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet, 8 inches over the fixtures and at the front clearance area for the fixtures as shown in Figure R307.2. A shower or tub equipped with a showerhead shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet, 8 inches above a minimum area 30 inches by 30 inches at the showerhead.
    5. Ceiling height in existing basements being converted to habitable space shall be not less than 6 feet, 10 inches clear except under beams, girders, pipes, ducts or other obstructions where the clear height shall be a minimum of 6 feet, 6 inches.

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    Certificate of Approval

    R110.9 Certificate of Approval

    A certificate of approval shall be issued indicating substantial compliance with the requirements of this code for all completed work that requires a building permit but does not require a certificate of occupancy. Such work shall include, but not be limited to: re-roofing; re-siding; fences over 6 feet in height; retaining walls over 3 feet in height; and electrical, plumbing and mechanical repairs or alterations performed in the absence of additional work that requires a certificate of occupancy.

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    Certificate of Use and Occupancy

    R110.1 Use and Occupancy

    Pursuant to subsection (a) of section 29-265 of the Connecticut General Statutes, no building or structure erected or altered in any municipality after October 1, 1970, shall be occupied or used, in whole or in part, until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the building official, certifying that such building, structure or work performed pursuant to the building permit substantially conforms to the provisions of the State Building Code. Nothing in the code shall require the removal, alteration or abandonment of, or prevent the continuance of the use and occupancy of, any single-family dwelling but within six years of the date of occupancy of such dwelling after substantial completion of construction of, alteration to or addition to such dwelling, or of a building lawfully existing on October 1, 1945, except as may be necessary for the safety of life or property. The use of a building or premises shall not be deemed to have changed because of a temporary vacancy or change of ownership or tenancy.

    Exceptions:

    1. Work for which a certificate of approval is issued in accordance with Section R110.9.
    2. Certificates of occupancy are not required for work exempt from permit requirements under Section R105.2.

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    Clothes Dryer Exhaust

    Clothes Dryer Exhausts

    Clothes dryers shall be exhausted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Dryer exhaust systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall convey the moisture and any products of combustion to the outside of the building:

    • Dryer exhaust ducts for clothes dryers shall terminate on the outside of the building and shall be equipped with a backdraft dampener.
    • Screens shall not be installed at the duct termination.
    • Ducts should not be connected or installed with sheet metal screws or other fasteners that will obstruct the duct flow.
    • Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not be connected to a vent connector, vent or chimney.
    • Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not extend into or through ducts or plenums.

    Clothes Dryer Ducts

    Exhaust ducts for domestic closed dryers shall be constructed of metal and shall have a smooth interior finish. The exhaust duct shall be a minimum nominal size of 4-inches in diameter. The entire exhaust system shall be supported and secured in place. The male end of the duct at overlapped duct joints shall extend in the direction of airflow. Clothes dryer transition ducts used to connect the appliance to the exhaust duct system shall be metal and limited to a single length not to exceed 8-feet in length and shall be listed and labeled for the application. Transition ducts shall not be concealed within construction.

    The maximum length of a clothes dryer exhaust duct shall not exceed 25-feet from the dryer location to the outlet terminal. The maximum length of the duct shall be reduced 2 and 1/2 feet for each 45-degree bend and 5-feet for each 90-degree bend.

    Exception: Where the make and model of the clothes dryer to be installed is known and the manufacturer's installation instructions for such dryer are provided to the Code Official, the maximum length of the exhaust duct, including any transition duct, shall be permitted to be in accordance with the dryer manufacturer's installation instructions.

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    Emergency Escapes & Rescue Openings

    R310.1 Emergency Escape and Rescue Oopenings Required

    Habitable spaces located within basements and every sleeping room within the dwelling shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining habitable areas of the basement. Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided, they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor. Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and rescue opening and is provided with a bulkhead enclosure, the bulkhead enclosure shall comply with Section R310.3. Emergency escape and rescue openings with a finished sill height below the adjacent ground elevation shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Section R310.2.

    Exceptions:

    1. Habitable basements without sleeping rooms are not required to have emergency escape and rescue openings when they are provided with two remote, code-compliant stairways.
    2. In existing buildings, basements being converted to habitable space without sleeping rooms are not required to have emergency escape and rescue openings.

    R310.1.4 Operational Constraints

    Exception: Existing buildings undergoing alterations or installation of replacement windows shall be permitted to utilize removable sash to achieve the required minimum net clear openings. Such removable sash shall be capable of being removed without the use of a key or tool.

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    Exit Door Type & Size

    R311.4.2 Door Type and Size

    The required exit door shall be a side-hinged door not less than 3 feet in width and 6 feet, 8 inches in height. Other doors shall be permitted to be side-hinged, swinging, sliding, bi-fold or revolving doors, shall not be required to comply with the minimum door width and shall be permitted to be not less than 6 feet, 6 inches in height.

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    Expiration of a Permit

    R105.5 Expiration of Permit

    Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work authorized by such permit is commenced within 180 days after its issuance, or if the work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the time the work is commenced. The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time, for periods of not more than 180 days each. The extensions shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause shall be demonstrated.

    Exception: The building official shall be permitted to specify an expiration date of not less than 30 days, nor more than 180 days, for commencement of work under permits issued to abate unsafe conditions pursuant to Section R115 of this code. Work performed under such permits shall be completed as expeditiously as possible.

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    Fastening Roof Shingles

    R905.2.6 Attachment

    Asphalt shingles shall have the minimum number of fasteners required by the manufacturer, or as required by Chapter 9. For normal application, asphalt shingles shall be secured to the roof with not less than four fasteners per strip shingle or two fasteners per individual shingle. Where the roof slope exceeds 20 units vertical in 12 units horizontal or where the basic wind speed per Appendix M is 110 mph or greater, asphalt shingles shall be secured to the roof in accordance with the manufacturer’s special installation instructions or, in the absence of such instructions, with not less than six fasteners per strip shingle or three fasteners per individual shingle.

    Shingles classified using ASTM D 3161 are acceptable for use in wind zones less than 110 mph. Shingles classified using ASTM D 3161 Class F are acceptable for use where the basic wind speed per Appendix M is 110 mph or greater and in all cases where special fastening is required.

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    Fireblocking

    R602.8.1 Materials

    Except as provided in Section R602.8, Item 4, fireblocking shall consist of 2-inch nominal lumber, or two thicknesses of 1-inch nominal lumber with broken lap joints, or one thickness of 23/32-inch wood structural panels with joints backed by 23/32-inch wood structural panels or one thickness of ¾-inch particleboard with joints backed by ¾-inch particleboard, or ½-inch gypsum board or ¼-inch cement-based millboard. Minimum 16-inch vertical batts or blankets of mineral wool installed in such a manner as to be securely retained in place shall also be permitted as an acceptable fire block. Batts or blankets of mineral wool shall be permitted for compliance with the 10-foot horizontal fireblocking in walls constructed using parallel rows of studs or staggered studs.

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    Garage Floor Surface

    R309.3 Floor Surface

    Garage floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material. The area of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to an approved drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.

    Exception: Detached garages that are separated from the dwelling by a minimum distance of 10 feet.

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    Garage Separation

    R309.2 Separation required

    arages attached side by side to residences shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by means of a minimum 5/8-inch type X gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms, closets, bathrooms, toilet rooms, halls or utility spaces in residences shall be separated from adjacent interior spaces by a minimum 5/8-inch type X gypsum board applied to the garage side of all walls, ceilings and combustible structural supports. Gypsum board joints shall be finished in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements.

    Exception: Wood structural members of the minimum dimensions specified in Section 602.4 of the 2003 International Building Code for Type IV construction shall be acceptable without further protection.

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    Guards

    R312.1 Guards Required

    Porches, balconies or raised floor surfaces located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade shall have guards not less than 36 inches in height. Open sides of stairs with a total rise or more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below shall have guards not less than 34 inches in height measured vertically from the nosing of the treads.

    Porches and decks which are enclosed with insect screening shall be provided with guards where the walking surface is located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below.

    R312.2 Guard Opening Limitations

    Required guards on open sides of stairways, raised floor areas, balconies and porches shall have intermediate rails or ornamental closures which do not allow passage of a sphere 4 inches or more in diameter.

    Exceptions:

    1. The triangular openings formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of a guard at the open side of a stairway are permitted to be of such size that a sphere of 6 inches cannot pass through.
    2. Openings for required guards on the sides of stair treads shall not allow a sphere 4-3/8 inches to pass through.

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    Handrails

    R311.5.6 Handrails

    Handrails shall be provided on at least one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four or more risers.

    R311.5.6.1 Height

    Handrail height, measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be not less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches.

    R311.5.6.2 Continuity

    Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of each flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned to a wall or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminations. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 1 ½ inch between the wall and the handrails.

    Exceptions:

    1. Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at a level landing.
    2. The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newell shall be permitted over the lowest tread.

    R311.5.6.3 Handrail Grip Size

    All required handrails shall be of one of the following types or provide equivalent graspability.

    Type I. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of at least 1-3/4 inches and not greater than 2 inches. If the hand rail is NOT circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches, and not greater than 6-1/4 inches, with a maximum cross section of dimension of 2-1/4 inches.

    Type II. Handrails with a perimeter greater than 6-1/4 inches shall provide a graspable finger recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger recess shall begin within a distance of 3/4 inch measured vertically from the tallest portion of the profile and achieve a depth of at least 5/16 inch within 7/8 inch below the widest portion of the profile. This required depth shall continue for at least 3/8 inch to a level that is not less than 1-3/4 inches below the tallest portion of the profile. the minimum width of the handrail above the recess shall be 1-1/4 inches to a maximum of 2-3/4 inches. Edges shall have a minimum radius of 1/100 inches.

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    Housing Code

    Article III. Housing Code 1

    Sec. 9-31. Adopted

    This article shall be known as a housing code of the town. No person shall, within the town, occupy as owner-occupant and no person shall rent, lease or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit which does not comply with the requirements of this article, except that the owner of any existing dwelling or dwelling unit which does not conform to the requirements of this article shall have a reasonable time within which to remedy such nonconformance.

    Sec. 9-32

    Maintenance of buildings, dwellings and dwelling units. (a) Foundations, floors, walls, ceilings, and roofs of dwellings or dwelling units within the town, shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight, and rodentproof, shall provide reasonable privacy for the occupants thereof, and shall be maintained in reasonable repair. Rainwater shall drain from roofs so as not to cause dampness in walls, ceilings, or floors of any habitable room, bathroom or water closet compartment. (b) Windows, exterior doors, ventilators, skylights, and hatchways shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight, and rodentproof, and shall be maintained in reasonable repair. (c) Inside and outside stairs, porches, and all appurtenances thereto shall be maintained in sound condition, and each dwelling unit shall have safe unobstructed means of egress leading to open space at ground level. (d) All required utilities, facilities and equipment, including plumbing fixtures, chimneys and flues, and piping, and heating and lighting systems and equipment, shall be so installed and maintained as to function in a safe, sanitary, and effective manner, and they shall not be removed or shut off or discontinued except temporarily or for repairs or after approval by the director of health. (2) The minimum aggregate glass area of windows as required is located entirely above the grade of the ground adjoining such window area.

    Sec. 9-35

    Heating and lighting of rented or leased buildings. When any building or part thereof is rented or leased and occupied as a home or place of residence (or as an office or place of business, either mercantile or otherwise) a temperature of less than seventy (70) degrees Fahrenheit in such building or part thereof occupied shall, for the purpose of this section, he deemed injurious to the health of the occupants thereof.

    Sec. 9-36

    Sanitation of rented or leased buildings. (a) As used in this section, "rented or leased buildings" shall mean any structure or part thereof, which is rented, leased, let out or to be occupied as a home or place of residence (or as an office or place of business, either mercantile or otherwise). (b) When any defect in the plumbing, sewerage, water supply, drainage, lighting, ventilation, or sanitary condition of a rented or leased building, or of the premises on which it is situated, in the opinion of the director of health, constitutes a danger to life or health, the director of health or his designated assistant shall order the responsible party to correct the same in such manner as he specifies. (c) When the director of health certifies that such rented or leased dwelling or premises are unfit for human habitation, by reason of defects which may cause sickness or endanger the health of the occupants, he shall issue an order requiring the rented dwelling, premises, or any portion thereof to be vacated within not less than twenty-four (24) hours or more than ten (10) days.

    Sec. 9-37

    Abatement of nuisances or hazardous health conditions. The director of health shall examine and investigate into all nuisances and hazardous health conditions injurious to the pub- window area available for unobstructed ventilation, unless other approved means of ventilation are provided. Bathrooms and water closet compartments shall conform to the above unless other means of lighting are approved. Ventilating portions of windows, and exterior doors, shall have insect screens and screen doors installed during the warm months of the year; (7) Each habitable room in a dwelling unit, and all public areas, common hallways and stairways in buildings with more than one dwelling unit, shall be adequately lighted with electric service and fixtures to provide one lumen at floor or stair tread level. Every habitable room shall have service and outlets to provide at least three (3) watts per square foot of floor area, with at least one (1) wall type convenience outlet for each sixty (60) feet or fraction thereof of floor area, and in no case less than two (2) outlets per room. Each water closet compartment, bathroom, laundry room, furnace room, and public hall shall have one supplied wall or ceiling type electric light fixture.

    Sec. 9-34

    Minimum standards for occupancy. (a) Every dwelling unit shall contain at least one hundred fifty (150) square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof and at least one hundred (100) additional square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the basis of the total habitable room area. b) Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain not less than seventy (70) square feet of usable floor area and each room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain not less than fifty (50) additional square feet of usable floor area for each permanent additional occupant thereof. (c) No portion of a building, the floor level of which is below grade, shall be used as a dwelling or dwelling unit unless, in addition to the other provisions of this article: (d) The floor and walls are impervious to leakage of underground and surface runoff water and insulated against dampness; and provisions of this article. If violations of this article are found to exist, the director of health or his agent or assistant who conducted the inspection shall give notice of such alleged violations to the person or persons responsible therefore. Such notice shall be in writing; include a statement of the reason why it is being issued; and allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.

    Sec. 9-39

    Housing code enforcement committee; created, powers. (a) There is hereby created a housing code enforcement committee which shall consist of the first selectman who shall serve as chairman, and two (2) other electors of the town who shall he appointed by the board of selectmen and who shall serve for terms of two (2) years from the date of their appointment and until their successors have been appointed and have qualified. (b) Any person aggrieved by any act, order or notice of the director of health in enforcing compliance with the provisions of this article may appeal to the code enforcement committee. The housing code enforcement committee, by a majority vote, shall sustain, modify or withdraw the order or notice, or may grant an extension or variance in accordance with the following conditions: (1) The time for performance of any act required by the order or notice may be extended for not more than eighteen (18) months subject to appropriate conditions and based on evidence relating to the particular case: a. That there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any provisions of this article; b. That such extension is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this article in securing the public health, safety and general welfare. (2) A variance may be granted in a specific case and from a specific provision of this article subject to appropriate conditions and where the housing code enforcement committee makes specific findings of fact based on evidence related to the particular case: including the public health, cause such nuisances and hazardous health conditions to be abated and cause to be removed all such nuisances and hazardous health conditions which, in his judgment, may endanger the health of the inhabitants of the town, and all expenses for the abatement or removal of such nuisance or hazardous health condition shall be paid by the person who caused or permitted such nuisance or condition. When any such nuisance or hazardous health condition is found on private property, the director of health shall notify the owner or occupant of such property to remove or abate the same at his expense, within such time as the director of health directs. The director of health may enter all places within his jurisdiction where there is just cause to suspect any nuisance or hazardous health condition to exist.

    Sec. 9-38

    Administration and enforcement. The director of health shall administer the housing code and shall be empowered to designate such number of agents or assistants as he may reasonably require to assist him in the enforcement of this article. In order that he may effectively safeguard the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public, the director of health, or his designated agent or assistant, is hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, and premises located within the town. For the purpose of making inspections, the director of health, or his designated agent or assistant, may enter, examine and survey, at all reasonable times, any dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises within the town. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof shall give the director of public health, or his designated agent or assistant, free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and its premises, at all reasonable times, for the purpose of such inspection, examination, and survey. Each occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof, or his agent or employee, access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit or its premises, at all reasonable times, for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article, or any lawful order issued pursuant to the article may be fined in accordance with section 1-11. Each day's neglect or refusal to comply with an order of the director of health or of the code enforcement committee shall constitute a separate offense.

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    Landings at Exterior Doors

    R311.4.3 Landings at Exterior Doors

    There shall be a floor or landing a minimum of 3 feet in the direction of travel and 3 feet in width, or a width equal to the width of any adjacent stair, whichever is greater, on each side of each exterior door. The landing on the exterior side of doors shall not be more than 8 ¼ inches below the top of the threshold provided that the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door, does not swing over the landing. In the event that the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door, swings over the landing, the landing shall not be more than 1.5 inches below the top of the threshold.

    Exception: At other than the required exit door, a landing is not required for the exterior side of the door where a stairway of three or fewer risers, including the top riser from the dwelling to the top tread, is located on the exterior side of a door.

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    Notification of Inspection Results

    R109.5 Notification of Inspection Results.

    Notification as to passage or failure, in whole or in part, of any required inspection shall be made in writing by the building official or his duly authorized representative and shall be left at the job site or delivered to the permit holder. It shall be the duty of the permit holder to ascertain the results of required inspections.

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    Partial Occupancy

    R110.6 Partial Occupancy

    A partial certificate of occupancy shall be permitted to be issued by the building official for a portion of the building or structure when in the building official’s opinion, the portion of the building to be occupied is in substantial compliance with the requirements of this code and no unsafe conditions exist in portions of the building not covered by the partial certificate of occupancy that are accessible from the occupied portion.

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    Pool Alarm

    AG105.7 Pool alarm

    No building permit shall be issued for the construction or substantial alteration of a swimming pool at a residence occupied by, or being built for, one or more families unless a pool alarm is installed with the swimming pool. As used in this section, “pool alarm” means a device that emits a sound of at least 50 decibels when a person or an object weighing 15 pounds or more enters the water in a swimming pool.

    Exception: Hot tubs and portable spas shall be exempt from this requirement.

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    Pool Installation

    To begin the process of installing a pool, download the following documents in the 'Permit Applications' section of the Building Department page:

    1. Swimming Pool Guide
    2. Swimming Pool Application
    3. Electrical Permit
    4. Zoning Compliance Certification Application

    Please read through the Swimming Pool Guide thoroughly. It will provide instruction on how to fill out the above forms. Any questions can be directed to the Building Department at (860) 668 3878.

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    Request a Modification to the Building Code

    R104.10 Modifications

    The State Building Inspector may grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternative compliance with, the State Building Code where strict compliance with the State Building Code would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, or is otherwise adjudged unwarranted, provided that the intent of the law shall be observed and public welfare and safety be assured. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the State Building Inspector may appeal to the Codes and Standards Committee [using the form below] within 14 days after mailing of the decision in accordance with subsection (b) of section 29-254 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

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    Riser Height

    R311.5.3.1 Riser Height

    The maximum riser height shall be 8 ¼ inches. The minimum riser height shall be 4 inches. Riser height shall be measured vertically between leading edges of adjacent treads.

    Exception: The maximum riser height of existing or replacement stairs serving existing unfinished attics or existing unfinished basements being converted to habitable space shall be 9 inches, measured as above. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch.

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    Safety Glazing

    R308.4 Hazardous Locations

    The following shall be considered specific hazardous locations with the requirement of Safety Glazing.

    1. Glazing in swinging doors except jalousies.
    2. Glazing in fixed and sliding door assemblies and panels in sliding and bifold closet door assemblies.
    3. Glazing in storm doors.
    4. Glazing in all unframed swinging doors.
    5. Glazing in doors and closures for hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs and showers. Glazing in any part of a building wall enclosing these compartments where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches measured vertically above any standing or walking surface.
    6. Glazing, in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge is within a 24-inch arc of the door in a closed position and whose bottom edge is less than 60 inches above the floor or walking surface.
    7. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel, other than those locations described in Items 5 and 6 above, that meets all of the following conditions:
      • Exposed area of an individual pane greater than 9 square feet.
      • Bottom edge less than 18 inches above the floor.
      • Top edge greater than 36 inches above the floor.
      • One or more walking surfaces within 36 inches horizontally of the glazing.
    8. All glazing in railings regardless of an area or height above a walking surface. Included are structural baluster panels and nonstructural in-fill panels.
    9. Glazing in walls and fences enclosing indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs and spas where the bottom edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches above a walking surface and within 60 inches horizontally of the water’s edge. This shall apply to single glazing and all panes in multiple glazing.
    10. Glazing adjacent to stairways, landings and ramps within 36 inches horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches above the plane of the adjacent walking surface.
    11. Glazing adjacent to stairways within 60 inches horizontally of the bottom tread of stairway in any direction when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches above the nose of the tread.

    Exceptions: The following products, materials and uses are exempt from the abov hazardous locations:

    1. Openings in doors through which a 3-inch sphere is unable to pass.
    2. Decorative glass in Items 1, 6 or 7.
    3. Glazing in Section R308.4, Item 6, when there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and the glazing.
    4. Glazing in Section R308.4, Item 6, in walls perpendicular to the plane of the door in a closed position or where access through the door is to a closet or storage area3 feet or less in depth. Glazing in these applications shall comply with Section R308.4, Item 7.
    5. Glazing in Section R308.4, Items 7 and 10, when a protective bar is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 36 inches ± 2 inches above the floor. The bar shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1-1/2 inches in height.
    6. Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels in Section R308.4, Item 7, when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet or more above grade, a roof, walking surface or other horizontal [within 45 degrees of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.
    7. Louvered windows and jalousies complying with the requirements of Section R308.2.
    8. Mirrors and other glass panels mounted or hung on a surface that provides a continuous backing support.
    9. Safety glazing in Section R308.4, Items 10 and 11, is not required where:
      • The side of a stairway, landing or ramp has a guardrail or handrail, including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with the provision of Sections 1003.3.12 and 1607.7 of the International Building Code
      • The plane of the glass is greater than 18 inches from the railing.

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    Smoke Detectors (Additions & Alterations)

    PA 05-161

    On October 1, 2005, the State of Connecticut will require Smoke Alarms to be installed in all new construction of one and two-family dwellings:

    • In each sleeping room.
    • Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
    • On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements, but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics.

    In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

    When more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit, the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the other alarms in the individual unit. The alarms shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed. All smoke alarms shall be listed and installed in accordance with the provision of the Building Code and the Household Fire Warning Equipment Provisions of NFPA 72.

    Other Occupancies

    In addition to new construction of one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses, smoke alarms will be required in:

    • One and two-family dwellings and townhouses undergoing alterations or additions.
    • Group R-4 small residential care/assisted living facilities (3-16 residents, excluding staff).
    • R-1 Bed and Breakfast establishments.

    Smoke Alarm Options

    Combination CO and smoke alarms may be used to satisfy the requirements for smoke and CO alarms.

    Combination units may be interconnected with the smoke detectors within each dwelling unit.

    Interconnected combination and CO detectors must be compatible with the smoke alarms used and installed per manufacturer's installation instructions.

    R313.1.1 Additions and Alterations

    When alterations or additions requiring a permit occur, or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the entire dwelling shall be provided with smoke detectors located as required for new dwellings. The smoke detectors shall have a power source in accordance with Section R313.2.

    Exceptions:

    1. The smoke detectors may be battery operated and are not required to be interconnected when other remodeling considerations do not require the removal of the appropriate wall and ceiling coverings to facilitate concealed interconnected wiring.
    2. Alterations to the exterior surfaces of dwellings including, but not limited to, re-roofing, re-siding, window replacement and the construction of decks without roofs, are exempt from the requirements of this section.

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    Stairway Headroom

    R311.5.2 Headroom

    The minimum headroom in all parts of the stairway shall not be less than 6 feet, 8 inches measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing or from the floor surface of the landing or platform.

    Exception: The minimum headroom in all parts of existing or replacement stairways serving existing unfinished attics or existing unfinished basements being converted to habitable space shall be 6 feet, 6 inches, measured as above.

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    Stairway Width

    R311.5.1 Width

    Stairways shall not be less than 36 inches in clear width at all points above the permitted handrail height and below the required headroom height. Handrails shall not project more than 4.5 inches on either side of the stairway and the minimum clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall not be less than 31.5 inches where a handrail is installed on one side and 27 inches where handrails are provided on both sides.

    Exceptions:

    1. The width of spiral stairways shall be in accordance with Section R311.5.8.
    2. The width of existing or replacement stairways serving existing unfinished attics or existing unfinished basements being converted to habitable space shall not be less than 32 inches in clear width at all points above the permitted handrail height and below the required headroom height. Handrails shall not project more than 4 inches on either side of the stairway and the minimum clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall not be less than 28 inches where a handrail is installed on one side and 24 inches where handrails are provided on both sides.

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    Temporary Occupancy

    R110.4 Temporary occupancy

    The building official is authorized to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy before the completion of the entire work covered by the permit, provided that such portion or portions shall be occupied safely prior to full completion of the building or structure without endangering life or public welfare. Any occupancy permitted to continue during completion of the work shall be discontinued within 30 days after completion of the work unless a certificate of occupancy is issued by the building official.

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    Temporary Structures

    R107.1 General

    The building official is authorized to issue a permit for temporary structures and temporary uses. Such permits shall be limited as to time of service, but shall not be permitted for more than 180 days. The building official is authorized to grant a single 180-day extension for demonstrated cause.

    Exceptions: The following shall be exempt from permit requirements:

    1. Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes.
    2. Tents less than 350 square feet total area.
    3. Tents 900 square feet and smaller in total area when occupied by fewer than 50 persons, which have no heating appliances, no installed electrical service, and are erected for fewer than 72 hours.

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    Certificate of Approval

    R110.9 Certificate of approval

    A certificate of approval shall be issued indicating substantial compliance with the requirements of this code for all completed work that requires a building permit but does not require a certificate of occupancy. Such work shall include, but not be limited to: re-roofing; re-siding; fences over 6 feet in height; retaining walls over 3 feet in height; and electrical, plumbing and mechanical repairs or alterations performed in the absence of additional work that requires a certificate of occupancy.

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    Tread Depth

    R311.5.3.2 Tread Depth

    The minimum tread depth shall be 9 inches. The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread’s leading edge.

    Exception: The minimum tread depth of existing or replacement stairs serving existing unfinished attics or existing unfinished basements being converted to habitable space shall be 8 inches, measured as above.

    The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch. Winder and circular stairway treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 9 inches measured as above at a point 12 inches from the sides where the treads are narrower. Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 6 inches at any point. The greatest winder tread depth at the 12-inch walk line within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch. The greatest circular tread depth at any walking line within any circular flight of stairs, measured at a consistent distance from a side of the stairway, shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch.

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    Urea-formaldehyde Insulation

    N1101.3.1.1 Urea-formaldehyde Insulation

    Pursuant to section 29-277 of the Connecticut General Statutes, urea-formaldehyde foamed-in-place insulation shall not be installed in any building or structure on or after June 1, 1981.

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    Who Can Apply for a Permit

    R105.1.1 By Whom Application is Made

    Application for a permit shall be made by the owner in fee or by an authorized agent. If the application is made by a person other than the owner in fee, it shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the owner or a signed statement of the applicant witnessed by the building official or such official’s designee to the effect that the proposed work is authorized by the owner in fee and that the applicant is authorized to make such application. If the authorized agent is a contractor, the provisions of section 20-338b of the Connecticut General Statutes shall be followed. The full names and addresses of the owner, agent and the responsible officers, if the owner or agent is a corporate body, shall be stated in the application.

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    Work Exempt From a Permit

    R105.2 Work Exempt From Permit

    Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws, statutes, regulations or ordinances of the town, city or borough, or the State of Connecticut. Permits shall not be required for the following work:

    Building:

    1. Fences not over 6 feet high.
    2. Retaining walls that are not over 3 feet in height measured from finished grade at the bottom of the wall to finished grade at the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
    3. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
    4. Sidewalks, driveways and on-grade concrete or masonry patios not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade and not over any basement or story below.
    5. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work not involving structural changes or alterations.
    6. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
    7. Swings, non-habitable tree houses and other playground equipment.
    8. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and which do not require additional support.

    Electrical:

    Repairs and maintenance: A permit shall not be required for minor repair work, including replacement of lamps and fuses or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.

    Gas:

    1. Portable heating or cooking appliances with a self-contained fuel supply.
    2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
    3. Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.

    Mechanical:

    1. Portable heating appliances with a self-contained fuel supply.
    2. Portable ventilation appliances.
    3. Portable cooling units.
    4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping contained within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by Chapters 18 through 24 of this code.
    5. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
    6. Portable evaporative coolers.
    7. Self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10 pounds or less of refrigerant or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower or less.
    8. Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.

    Plumbing:

    1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in Sections R105 and R109 of this code.
    2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

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    Zoning Approval

    R110.1.1 Zoning Approval

    Pursuant to subsection (f) of section 8-3 of the Connecticut General Statutes, no certificate of occupancy shall be issued for a building, use or structure subject to the zoning regulations of a municipality without certification in writing by the official charged with the enforcement of such regulations that such building, use or structure is in conformity with such regulations or is a valid nonconforming use under such regulations.

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