Union County, Ohio
Officials   /   Engineer   /   Building Regulation

Building Regulation

The Union County Building Department was established in 1973 at the request of local home builders who wanted uniform standards for residential construction throughout the county. In 1997, we became a certified commercial department broadening our authority to regulate all commercial, industrial and institutional occupancies. All commercial buildings in Ohio shall comply with the Ohio Building Code. In 2006, the State of Ohio adopted the first statewide residential code. If any jurisdiction wishes to regulate residential construction, they must become a certified department and follow the rules in the Residential Code of Ohio.

The Union County Building Department has agreements with all municipalities to provide commercial and residential building code enforcement  except  Unionville Center, Plain City and Dublin. The Dublin Building Department is the regulatory authority within the incorporated area of Dublin. Marysville, Richwood, Milford Center and Magnetic Springs have all contracted with Union County for building code services.

In Unionville Center and Plain City, the Union County Health Department is the permitting authority for all plumbing work. The State of Ohio Department of Industrial Compliance is the permitting authority for any commercial work in Unionville Center. West Jefferson Building Department is the permitting authority for work inside Plain City.

On January 21, 2018, as a result of House Bill 49, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission (OMHC) was abolished, and the Manufactured Homes Program officially became part of the Ohio Department of Commerce. In overseeing the Manufactured Homes Program, the Ohio Department of Commerce has jurisdiction over the installation of manufactured homes; the licensing and regulation of manufactured home park operators, installers, dealers, brokers, and salespersons; and the certification and regulation of inspectors and inspection agencies.

Please visit the Manufactured Homes Program (MHP) website for information regarding permitting, installation, and inspections. Please verify separately any plumbing or zoning requirements.

Online Services

Apply for your building permit here. You can then use this service to track the progress of your application, make payments, schedule inspections and more. More information about online services.

Need additional assistance? Contact us at the Union County Engineer's Office.

Permit Forms

Re-submittal/Revisions - For Plan Review Corrections

Inspections

There are currently three ways to schedule an inspection:

  1. Directly through OpenGov. This allows for a midnight (12AM) cutoff time for next business day inspections.
  2. Submitting an Inspection Request Form (or "Google Form"). The cutoff time is 3 PM for next business day inspections.
  3. Call our inspection line at 937-645-3019. You will need to know the permit number, address and type of inspection needed. The cutoff time is 3 PM for next business day inspections.

Please review our policy for Time Requests prior to requesting specific appointment times.

Permit Fees

Permit fees

Building in Union County

Ready, Set, Build 
Current Ohio Code references 
Ohio Building Codes 
Village:City matrix of permitting authority 
Fire Districts Map
Inspection Zones - Building & Mechanical
Bulding Department Process Flow Chart

Checklists, Code Information and Sample Drawings

Radon standards adopted by Union County – effective January 1, 2015, new single family homes 
Residential submittal checklist 
Commercial submittal checklist 
Residential plan review checklist 
Sample site plan 
Finished basement submittal requirements 
Pole building plan requirements 
Residential pool plan submittal requirements 
Deck plan submittal requirements 
Residential sample house plans 
Special Inspection Form - Commercial 
Commercial HVAC Replacement Permit Checklist

Building Department Policies

Cold Weather Concrete Policy
Time Requests for Inspections
Electrical Permit Requirements for Septic Systems - Clarification
Electrical Work Exempt from Approval - Clarification
Demolition Permits
Demolition Permit Application - Affidavit

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the current building codes for Union County? 
What is a permit? 
How do I get a permit? 
How long does it take to get a permit? 
When will I know if my plans are ready or not? 
How and when do I pay for a permit? 
When can I start work? 
What time will the inspector be at my job? 
Can demolition or construction begin without a permit? 
What are the minimum requirements for phased approvals? 
Do I need a permit for a deck, fence, shed or patio? 
Do I need a permit for an agricultural building? 
Do approved plans always need to be on site and do I need to have the address posted? 
How long is the permit valid and when is it closed?

What are the current building codes for Union County?

  • 2017 Ohio Building Code – based upon the 2015 International Building Code
  • 2017 Ohio Mechanical Code – based upon the 2015 International Mechanical Code
  • 2017 Ohio Plumbing Code – based upon the 2015 International Plumbing Code
  • 2015 International Fuel Gas Code
  • 2019 Residential Code of Ohio – based upon the 2018 International Residential Code
  • 2012 IECC or 2010 ASHRAE 90.1 for commercial and 2012 IECC or 2019 RCO chapter 11 for residential
  • 2017 NFPA 70 Residential; National Electric Code
  • 2017 NFPA 70 Commercial; National Electric Code
  • 2016 NFPA 13; Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • 2016 NFPA 72; National Fire Alarm Code
  • ICC A117.1 – 2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities
  • 2017 Ohio Fire Code

What is a permit?

A permit is a license that allows work to be performed on your house or building. The Union County Building Department’s role in issuing the permit is to review construction documents to make sure the proposed work conforms to the building codes adopted by the State of Ohio. Union County issues a “plan approval” after these requirements have been met. A permit is issued to the owner or the owner’s agent, such as the architect, contractor, subcontractor or other person responsible for the work being completed. The permit is permission to start construction.

How do I get a permit?

Complete the appropriate application form through the Online Services portal and submit to the Union County Building Department along with any required construction drawings and specifications. At this time, we require hard copies of construction drawings and specifications, including any revisions or responses, to be submitted to our office. Simple permits for items such as furnace replacements do not require any drawings. Applications and drawings are reviewed for completeness and conformance with the codes.

Applicants will be notified when the review is complete.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Permits which require construction drawings to be submitted are required by state law to be reviewed within 30 days. Permits that do not require drawings are issued typically within one week.

When will I know if my plans are ready or not?

You will be contacted by email when your plan review has been completed.

How and when do I pay for a permit?

Residential:  Application and plan review fees are due upon submittal to our office. The balance of the permit fees (as outlined in the fee schedule) are due when the permit is issued.

Commercial:  Plan review fees are due when permit applications and plans are submitted to our office. Sprinkler and fire alarm plan review fees are collected when the shop drawings are submitted. The balance of the permit fees as outlined in the fee schedule are due when the permit is issued. Building permits are based on square footage (as are electrical and HVAC) so the costs fluctuate depending upon the size of the project. Plumbing fees are calculated by fixture. Commercial plumbing permit fees are separate and in addition to building permit fees. Please look at the Fees section for further information.

You may pay by cash, check, e-check, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, or Discover). An additional bank processing fee is assessed if a credit card or e-check is used.

When can I start work?

Construction work may start after the permit is issued and all fees are paid. Work started or performed without a permit is subject to a Stop Work Order and penalty fees of double the permit cost.

What time will the inspector be at my job?

Please review our policy for Time Requests to see if your project qualifies for specific appointment times.

If your project does not qualify but you still desire an approximate timeframe, please contact the inspector between 7:30AM – 8:00AM at 937-645-3018. Please note that we may not be able to provide an approximate time due to current workloads or scheduling demands.

Can demolition or construction begin without a permit?

No! Only work not requiring a permit or emergency repairs may proceed. If construction begins prior to a permit being issued, additional permit fees may be assessed along with a stop work order and Adjudication Order requiring removal of all work.

Demolition permits are needed when residential and commercial structures will be removed in its entirety. If the structure will not be completely removed the work is considered an alteration and will require a permit & plan submittal.

Please review our policy for Demolition Permits for the requirements to obtain a demolition permit.

What are the minimum requirements for phased approvals?

We do issue “Phased Approvals” for residential and commercial construction. The information submitted needs to be sufficient for the phase of construction. For example, in order to obtain a foundation start we need: site plan, foundation plan, all footing and wall reinforcing, design criteria such as soil bearing, wall/footing cross section, building envelope insulation compliance report, basic framing information to determine point loads and bearing pad dimensions and concrete encased electrode detail if applicable. Additional sets of plans will need to be resubmitted for the subsequent phases of construction.

Do I need a permit for a deck, fence, shed or patio?

Deck:  Yes, unless exempt from approval as outlined in RCO 102.1: less than 30” above grade, not connected to house structure, less than 200 sq. ft. and not located at the required egress door.

Fence:  Only where needed for a swimming pool barrier or if over 6 ft. in height. A Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be required for other types of fence permits.

Shed:  Residential sheds are exempt if 200 sq. ft. or less and commercial sheds are exempt if 120 sq. ft. or less. A Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be required.

Patio:  No, however a Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be required.

Do I need a permit for an agricultural building?

If the township zoning inspector determines that the building’s use is agricultural rather than a residential accessory building or commercial storage building, then the building is exempt from building code regulations per ORC 3781.061. Changing an agricultural building to a residential or commercial use requires a change of occupancy permit and all code requirements for the new use shall be met.

Do approved plans always need to be on site and do I need to have the address posted?

Yes. Failure to have the approved plans on site will result in a reinspection, and may include reinspection fees. The building address needs to be posted throughout the building process.

How long is the permit valid and when is it closed?

In accordance with Section 105 of the Ohio Building Code/Residential Code of Ohio, a permit/plan approval is invalid if construction, erection, alteration or other work upon the building has not commenced within 12 months of the approval of the permit/plan approval OR if during the course of construction, work is delayed or suspended for a period of more than 6 months. Any request for an extension must be submitted at least 10 days in advance of the expiration of the permit/plan approval.