Miscellaneous Questions and Concerns

I am adding pavers (with a sand base) over my existing concrete patio slab that allows me just enough room to tuck the border pavers under the projected facing of my exterior stucco wall. I was told that I would be in violation of the building code if I added the pavers. Is that true?

Yes. Section R703.6.2.1, I.R.C., requires a minimum clearance of 2 inches between the projected exterior stucco facing (stucco weep screed) and the paved area below. Among other things, this minimum 2 inch clearance is required for visual termite control.

Our landscaper wants to re-grade around the perimeter of our home and create an interesting look in the front yard with the use of rolling earth berms (mounds). Is there any building code regulation that addresses perimeter grading?

Yes. To provide proper surface water (yard) drainage, Section R401.3, I.R.C., requires lots to be graded so as to drain storm surface water away from all foundation walls. The grade away from the foundation walls shall fall a minimum 6 inches within the first 10 feet. If this is not possible a minimum 5% grade slope to a designed drain or swale is required, reference “exception”, Section R401.3, I.R.C.

In addition, always provide a minimum 4 inch clearance between the finish grade and the “weep screed” used in conjunction with (and located at the bottom of) the exterior stucco wall finish, reference Section R703.6.2.1, I.R.C.

With the native soils we have do I need a base course below my concrete floor slab?

Yes. Section R506.2.2, I.R.C., requires a 4-inch-thick base course of clean graded sand, gravel and crushed stone.

When do I need a soils geotechnical report?

All new commercial sites, formal residential plats and residential short plats need engineered soils (geotechnical) reports. In addition, individual lots where non-conventional foundation designs are proposed, or where the foundation design is based on soil bearing in excess of 1,500 psf, or where basements are dug out and the setback to adjacent property line is less than the depth of the proposed basement, would require a soils (geotechnical) report. The soils report shall properly identify site soil characteristics and foundation design recommendations and options. The report shall be prepared by an approved agency using an approved soil testing method, sampling soils at strategic locations around the project site. Residential accessory buildings and residential addition projects (other than as noted above) are not required to have a soils report, however the “presumptive load-bearing value” of the soil bearing capacity for the site shall not be greater than 1,500 psf, reference Table R401.4.1, I.R.C.

In preparing for my foundation "stem wall inspection" do I need to string my property lines?

Yes. Property lines must be accurately located and identified prior to this inspection, allowing the City’s building inspector to check the required building setbacks as approved on the submitted site plan. It is the responsibility of the property's owner and the building contractor to accurately determine all original property line locations.

***Please note: Building structures, including below grade pools and spas may not encroach into any recorded access and/or utility easement. It shall be the responsibility of the permit applicant to investigate the latest site documents to ensure compliance and provide a copy to the City.

What information must be provided as part of the posting of my construction site?

The issued “City Permit Card”, along with the permit number and street address/lot number, clearly legible and visible from the street, meets minimum posted information required by the City on any residential construction site.

***Please note: For additions and remodels street address numbering must be clearly visible from the street.