Building Permits & Information

Building Code Officer: Shawn McGlynn, SFM Consulting LLC www.sfmconsultingllc.org | zoning@mstownship.com
L&I Certification #: 003479

 

The Middle Smithfield Township Supervisors adopted the International Building Codes effective January 1, 2004 as required by Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code – Act 45.

 

CURRENT CODES

One and Two Family Dwellings & Townhouses – 2015 IRC
Commercial – 2015 IBC (Not chapters 1, 11, and 30)
Commercial Electric – NFPA 70-2014, National Electric Code
All other sub codes – 2015 ICC Codes

Note: For a complete list of current codes enforceable in Pennsylvania, visit the PA Uniform Construction Code website.  A complete set of these codes is available at the township building department for review during normal business hours.

Do I need a building permit?

 

Applications & Information:

 

Roofing

  •  Fill out a building permit application. Fill out Parts I, II, and IV.
  •  Under Part I, Section A, check box 4, Repair, replacement.
  • Provide a written description of the project. A written proposal from the contractor often will suffice. For example, the written description should include, but not be limited to; tear-off of existing roofing, installation of ice and water shield, installation of felt paper and flashing, and installation of the specific type of finish material to be used. Also pitch of the roof should be identified.

Wood Stoves & Pellet Stoves

  • Fill out a building permit application. Fill out Parts I, II, and IV.
  • Under Part I, Section A, check box 3, Alteration.
  • Provide the manufacturer’s installation specifications for the model of stove and flue type.
  • Provide a floor plan showing where the stove will be placed relative to walls.

Decks

  • Fill out a building permit application. Fill out Parts I, II, III, and IV.
  • Under Part I, Section A, check box 2, Addition.
  •  Under Part III, Section E check box 31, wood frame, and fill in square footage of deck at line 49.
  • Provide a floor plan of the deck with stairs, and a cross-section of the proposed deck with pier footing details, beams, joist and connectors, along with railing.

New Homes and Additions

  • Fill out a building permit application in its entirety.
  • Provide floor plans for each floor level including basement.
  • Provide a detailed building cross-section.
  • Provide elevation drawings for each elevation.
  •  Provide a plumbing DWV diagram.
  • Provide a potable water supply diagram.
  • Provide plans and specifications for HVAC
  • Provide plans and specifications demonstrating energy code compliance.
  • Provide electrical plan showing lighting, switching, receptacles, etc…

The Permit Process

The permit process is well organized and less complicated than it appears.  We will work diligently with you throughout this process.  Our goal is to issue your building permit in a timely manner.

  • Pick up or download permit applications, handouts and other information concerning the Construction Codes, local requirements and fees prior to beginning any construction or home improvement project.
  • Permit applications can be submitted by either the homeowner or the contractor.
  • Two sets of construction plans, if required, must be submitted with your application.
  • At initial submission the building department will determine the required fees. Initial fees are due at the time of submission and/or prior to review of plans. Once your plans are reviewed by the Building Code Officer, additional fees may be assessed. All payments are due prior to issuance of permits.
  • Once your application is deemed complete and your plans have been approved, your permit will be issued.
  • Construction may not begin until both a Zoning (if required) and Building Permit have been issued. New construction may also require a driveway permit issued by the Township or a Highway Occupancy Permit issued by PennDOT.
  • One copy of your approved project plan will be retained by the construction code office and the second copy must be on the job site at all times for inspector field reference.
  • Permits expire if the construction project is not complete within five years from date of issuance. You must have inspections showing substantial progress of the project at intervals of no more than 180 days.
  • If no building has progressed on your project for 180 days, you may request an extension in writing.
  • If your permit expires, additional fees will be assessed

FIELD INSPECTIONS: SPECIFIC INSPECTIONS NECESSARY FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Inspections are requested through SFM Consulting here: http://sfmconsultingllc.org/schedule-inspection

  • SFM Consulting needs at least 48 hours notice to schedule an inspection.
  • If circumstances change and the inspection must be canceled, 24 hours notice is required.
  • If you have questions or concerns call 484-330-9088.

Sections 403.45 and 403.64 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, (Pa UCC) requires the Construction Code Official to perform inspections during the construction process. Below is a list of typical inspections required during a construction project. Not all inspections will apply to your project. If you’re unsure, you can submit an inspection request, check the box “other” and inquire if an inspection is necessary. An inspector will call you. (For example: return to the SFM home page, click Request an Inspection, complete request form, then under Type of Inspection click Other, and provide your question in the Comments section. Click the Submit button).

Typical Residential Inspections (Projects Regulated Under the IRC)

  1. Footing – done prior to the placement of concrete. This inspection is performed to verify the bottom of the footing is below frost line (42”) and that the soil-bearing conditions are adequate for the loads to be imposed by the new building. Note: If you are building a deck, you can have sauna tubes in place with backfill around them.
  2. Foundation Wall – done after concrete forms and rebar are in place in poured concrete walls, and during placement of CMU walls to verify vertical and lateral reinforcement.
  3. Backfill – done after concrete walls have been stripped and waterproofed, and/or after CMU walls have been parged and waterproofed. Exterior perimeter drains must also be in place at this time.
  4. Under-slab Plumbing – done to inspect piping that is to be covered by a concrete slab. DWV must have 6 psi, and water supply piping must hold 80 psi.
  5. Slab – done prior to pouring a concrete slab. Gravel substrate must be prepped at time of inspection and 6 mil polyethylene plastic (or equivalent) vapor retarder must be in place.
  6. Rough – done after rough framing is complete and all rough electrical, mechanical, and plumbing is in place. Plumbing must be pressurized as indicated in item 4 above. Roof covering can be installed prior to rough inspection.
  7. Insulation – typically performed after the rough inspection and is often used as a follow-up to the rough inspection to verify that non-compliant items have been remediated. Insulation is inspected to verify compliance with the energy code and approved plans. Note: insulation cannot be installed until the building is weather-tight.
  8. Drywall – done after drywall installation to verify proper installation of drywall, including, but not limited to, fire-rated and moisture resistant materials.
  9. Final – After project is complete. Performed to verify building is in compliance with all applicable codes and is safe to occupy.

Commercial Inspections (projects regulated under the IBC)

 Based on the varied nature of commercial construction projects, in addition to the inspections identified above, your project may require other types of inspections, or multiple inspections of the same construction phase. If you’re unsure whether or not an inspection is required, use the “schedule an inspection” tab and schedule an inspection. You will receive a call from an inspector. (See instructions in first paragraph).

Special Inspections

  1. Fire suppression systems, including but not limited to; ANSUL systems, sprinkler systems, stand-pipe, etc…
  2. Fire alarm systems
  3. Fire retardant materials applications.
  4. Concrete reinforcement
  5. Steel connections prior to application of fire protective coatings.
  6. Firewalls, fire partitions, smoke barriers, etc…
  7. Accessibility
  8. Elevators and lifting devices are regulated by the Department of Labor & Industry in accordance with Chapter 405 of the UCC. If your project includes installation of an elevator or lift, required inspections must be coordinated with L&I.

 

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (“HICPA”) was adopted by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly in October, 2008, and signed by the Governor as Act 132 of 2008. The law establishes a mandatory registration program for contractors who offer or perform home improvements in Pennsylvania. The statute also establishes minimum insurance requirements for contractors; requires contractors to provide their registration number in their ads and contracts; establishes required contract terms for home improvement contracts; prohibits unfair business practices; and creates a criminal penalty for home improvement fraud.
All contractors listed on a building permit application submitted to Middle Smithfield Township must have a valid Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number. You can find additional information here.