Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need a permit?
  2. Why do I need a permit?
  3. How do I apply for a permit?
  4. Commericial, New Contruction or Substantial Improvement
  5. All other Renovations or Change of Use
  6. Procedures
  7. Permit Review Process
  8. Following Issuance of Permit
  9. How do I schedule an Inspection?
  1. Do I need a permit? You need a permit for all new construction, renovations, except minor repairs and including but not limited to the installation of shed, pools, fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys.. Reference the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) 23-27.3- 113.1, entitled "When a permit is required" - It shall be unlawful to construct, enlarge, alter, remove, or demolish a building, or change the occupancy of a building from one use group as defined in this code to another; or to install or alter any equipment for which provision is made or the installation of which is regulated by this code, without first filing an application with the building official in writing and obtaining the required permit thereof;except that ordinary repairs as defined in BOCA 23-27.3-102 which do not involve any violation of this code shall be exempt from this provision. BOCA 23-27.3-102, entitled "Ordinary repairs" - Ordinary repairs to a building and structures may be made without application notice to the building official, but the repairs shall not include the installation of any siding, the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exitway requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standard pipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electrical wiring, or mechanical or other work affecting public health, safety, and welfare, and shall comply with the rules and regulations or ordinances of the municipality as to the procurement of a permit for the aforementioned repairs.
  2. Why do I need a permit? The purpose of a permit is to safeguard life, or limb, health, and public welfare and to protect property.
  3. How do I apply for a permit?
    1. Submit a completed permit application form, signed by the property owner or authorized agent.
    2. all permit forms are available at the building officials office. Applications for a permit made by party other than the owner must be accompanied with a letter, contract, etc. signed by the owner authorizing applicant as their agent.
    3. When applicable, permit application forms for plumbing, mechanical and electrical work, signed by a properly licensed craftsman or owner occupant of property.
    4. Submit a site plan showing the location of the building on the lot with setbacks to all property boundaries septic system, water line and other structures located on the property.
    5. Submit 3 copies of construction plans drawn to scale, including elevations, floor plans, cross section with typical frame details, foundation, plumbing, electrical and smoke detector locations.
    6. When applicable, submit originals of all approvals from federal, state or local government agencies such as Army Corp of Engineers, DOT, ISDS, CRMC, Wetlands, HDC (Historic District Commission) etc.
    7. When applicable, submit a stamped flood elevation certificate.
  4. Commericial, New Contruction or Substantial Improvement Requirements are same as stated above with the following exceptions: All plans and supporting data shall be stamped by a Rhode Island registered Architect and or Engineer.
  5. All other Renovations or Change of Use Pertinent permit applications shall be completed and submitted with supporting plans and data as maybe required by the Building Official. Change of use and occupancy may require obtaining pertinent permits, the submission of additional supporting data and approval by appropriate local, state and federal boards and agencies prior to the change of use and occupancy.
  6. Procedures Work shall not commence without first obtaining an approved permit. A late filing fee will be assessed for work that begins prior to the issuance of permits. When in doubt if a permit is required please call (401) 294-3331 ext. 301 or 302.
  7. Permit Review Process Completed building permit applications and supporting data for new construction and substantial improvements are circulated to the appropriate municipal departments for review and comment to determine if the proposed project is in compliance with federal, state and local ordinances and laws. There shall be no amendments or revisions to the approved plans or scope of work specified on the permit application until proposed amendments or revisions have been filed with the approval of the Building Official.
  8. Following Issuance of Permit Post Permit Card: The permit card shall be posted on site and be visible from the street throughout the project. The permit card is the only field record of inspections, and is required to be returned to the Building Official prior to issuance of a Certificate of Use and Occupancy. 

    Approved Plans: One set of approved plans, including site plan, shall remain at the work site throughout the project.

    Site Identification: All sites require proper street numbering or appropriate signage that identify the project location.

    Property Boundaries: All property boundaries shall be clearly marked prior to beginning work involving additions or expansion of a structure. Note: failure to comply with the aforementioned reference requirements may result in the denial of inspections services and the assessment of additional re-inspections fees.

    Permit Expiration: A permit shall become invalid except for reasonable cause, unless work authorized shall have been started with six (6) months after its issuance unless an extension, not to exceed ninety (90) days, has been applied for and granted in writing by the Building Official.

    Inspections: The following inspections are required and must be scheduled with the Building Official's Office, (401) 294-3331 ext. 301/303, at least 24 hours in advance: Note: structural inspections are conducted Monday through Friday. Plumbing, Mechanical and Electoral inspections are conducted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, only.

    Foundations and Footings: All excavation and form work is to be complete prior to inspections. No concrete shall be placed without approval of the Building Official.

    Foundation drains, Damp-proofing, Insulation: The Building Officials Office shall inspect the foundation, following the removal of forms, to check required foundation openings, damp-proofing and or insulation, anchor bolts and drainage system, when required. No back-filling shall completed without approval of the Building Official. Framing: Rough - Prior to installation of insulation.

    Fireplace, Chimney: A separate building permit for the construction/installation of all zero-clearance fireplaces, masonry chimneys and fireplace is required. The purpose of this procedure is to assure that each masonry chimney and solid fuel burning appliance/fireplace is constructed/installed in compliance with all applicable codes.

    Interior fireplace, chimney rough inspection: reguired prior to installation of insulation or interior wall cover and following the completion of construction/installation through all floors and ceilings, prior to roof penetration.

    Exterior fireplace, chimney rough inspection: Required following the completion of smoke chamber construction, prior to chimney construction/installation or cover.

    Final Fireplace, chimney inspection: required upon completion.

    Insulation: Prior to installation of dry wall.

    Electrical: Rough, prior to installation of insulation.

    Plumbing: Rough, prior to installation of insulation. Mechanical: Rough, prior to installation of insulation.

    Final or Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.): Following the completion of all work indicated on the building permit and approved plans and following the completion of all required inspections, prior to occupancy. Note: house numbers shall be permanently affixed on the property prior to the C.O. inspection. All plumbing, mechanical and electrical equipment/systems shall be in operational condition with all utility services and connections completed prior to scheduling final inspections.

    Fire Department: The applicant is responsible for scheduling all Fire Marshall inspections, 24 hours in advance at (401) 294-3346. The Fire Marshall shall inspect the installation of all fire protection equipment prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

    1. What is the cost of a permit? See fee schedule at the Building Officials Office or call for copy at (401) 294-3331 ext. 301/302.
    2. How long does it take to get a permit? It depends on the complexities of the proposed project. Permits for sheds, pools, minor renovations, etc. are usually issued within 2 to 3 days following the submission of the application and in many cases the permit is issued upon receipt of the application. A permit for a new home, commercial and more complex projects may require 10 to 14 days to process.
    3. Do I need to be a registered or licensed contractor to do work on my own dwelling? No, not if you intend to reside therein for a period of one year or more. Reference BOCA 23-27.3-113.3.1; Contractor's Registration Law, Title 5, Chapter 65.
    4. What code do I follow in North Kingstown? All thirty-nine communities in the State of Rhode Island are governed by and administer the same Building Codes. The 1995 edition of the CABO (Council of American Building Officials) One and Two Family Dwelling Code governs, as the name implies, the construction and renovation of one and two family dwellings. The 1996 edition of the BOCA (Building Officials & Code Administrators International) governs the administration of both codes and the construction and renovation of all other structures not covered by CABO.
    5. What do I do if I feel that I can not comply with building code requirements? Consult with the Building Official to determine the extent of the relief necessary. Following that determination you may file an appeal with the North Kingstown Building Code Board of Appeal. The Board will meet the first Wednesday of each month to hear appeals of the State Building Code and the Rhode Island Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code. Applications are available in the Building Official's Office.
  9. How do I schedule an Inspection? Contact the Building Official's Office at 55 Brown Street, telephone (401) 294-3331, ext. 301 & 303 at least twenty-four hours before the requested inspection. Structural inspections/building inspections may be scheduled Monday through Friday. Electrical, Plumbing & Mechanical inspections are ONLY scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Where can I find ... ?

Information about my septic system? The Building Official's Office and RI, DEM, ISDS Division, telephone (401) 222-2306

The permit history for property? The Building Official's Office

Information about permitted uses, zoning, set-backs, etc? The Planning Department, telephone (401) 294-3331, ext. 311.

Information about the change of use and or tenancy of an existing building? The Building Official's Office, telephone (401)294-3331, ext. 301 & 302, the Fire Marshall's Office, telephone (401) 294-3346, ext. 208, and the Planning Department, (401) 294-3331, ext. 311.

Information about locating a new business in town? The Planning Department, telephone (401) 294-3331, ext. 311, the Building Official's Office, telephone (401) 294-3331, ext. 301 & 303, the Fire Marshall's Office, telephone (401) 294-3346, ext. 208, the Town Clerk's Office, telephone (401) 294-3331, ext. 120.


Who is ... ?

The Building Official? Gary Tedeschi

The Assistant Building Official? Rhett Bishop

When is the Code Enforcement/Building Official's Office open? 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM weekdays.