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, plumbing is the only local code in effect because this is under the Union County Health Department and applied countywide. The State of Ohio Department of Industrial Compliance is the permitting authority for any commercial work in Unionville Center.

All areas of Union County, both incorporated and unincorporated, where a manufactured home is installed is under the  Ohio Manufactured Home Commission  regulations. Manufactured homes are homes built in accordance to HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) standards. The placement of the manufactured home can be inspected either by the Union County Building Department or by a certified third party agency. This applies to installations on private property or in manufactured home parks.

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.

Permit Forms

Re-submittal/Revisions - For Plan Review Corrections

Inspections

Inspections may be scheduled by submitting an inspection request form below or by calling 937-645-3019.

Schedule an Inspection

Permit Fees

Permit fees

Building in Union County

Ready, Set, Build 
Current Ohio Code references 
Ohio Building Codes 
2017 Commercial Building Code Update 
Does my project require a permit? 
Village:City matrix of permitting authority 
Guide to change of occupancy in Marysville 
Guide to opening a new business in Marysville

Checklists, Code Information and Sample Drawings

Code Update
Radon - 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 
Manufactured Home plan review checklist on private property 
Manufactured Home plan review and installation guide inside trailer parks 
Sample site plan 
Finished basement submittal requirements 
Pole building plan requirements 
Residential pool plan submittal requirements 
Deck plan submittal requirements 
Residential sample house plans 
Typical electrical diagram for household sewage treatment system
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? 
How do I schedule an inspection? 
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 and submit it to the Union County Building Department along with any required construction drawings and specifications (applications may be obtained online in the Forms section). 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 that do not require drawings are typically issued immediately. Permits which require construction drawings to be submitted are required by state law to be reviewed within 30 days. We attempt to review residential plans within 5-7 days and commercial plans within 21 days.

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

You will be contacted by phone or email as soon as your plan review has been completed. For any other permitting questions, please call 937-645-3018 during the regular office hours which are from 7:30am-4:30pm M-F.

How and when do I pay for a permit?

Residential:  Application fees are due when permit applications and plans are submitted 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 or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). An additional 3% bank fee is assessed if a credit card 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.

How do I schedule an inspection?

Inspections are scheduled by submitting an inspection request form or by calling our inspection line at 937-645-3019. You will need to know the permit number, address and type of inspection needed. Inspections need to be called in by 3pm the day before the inspection is needed. Inspection time requests are explained in the above policy on time requests for inspections.

What time will the inspector be at my job?

After inspections are assigned to an inspector each morning, he will organize them into his daily route. Footings and commercial life/safety inspections are given preference while inserting the remaining inspections as time permits.

We are able to give a “window in time” of 2 hours for inspections that involve pouring concrete or if a home is occupied. We will try to accommodate a.m. and p.m. requests for other inspection types if our schedule allows. Please be ready for your inspection prior to calling the Inspection Line.

Can demolition or construction begin without a permit?

No! Only work that does not require a permit or emergency repairs may proceed. If construction begins prior to a permit being issued, all permit fees associated with the project will be doubled. A Stop Work Order, Notice of Violation and Adjudication Order requiring removal of the work may also be issued.

Demolition permits are needed when residential and commercial structures will be torn down. We will need to verify that all utilities have been disconnected and verification from the Union County Health Department that the well and septic tank have been properly abandoned for properties that are not connected to a public water supply or sanitary sewer.

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?

An approved permit is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. It may be extended upon approval of the Chief Building Official for an additional 6 months. Once construction starts, the permit is valid unless work is suspended for six months or more. The permit is closed when the final inspection is completed and the work is approved for compliance with the applicable codes. A certificate of occupancy is issued and provided to the owner. A certificate of occupancy, either full or temporary, is required prior to occupying a structure.