Frequently Asked Questions
are a few of the frequently asked questions that we encounter on a daily
basis. Please feel free to contact the our office with a question you do
not see listed below and we will be happy to provide you with an answer.
- Q. Do I need a permit to build a deck
off of my house?
Yes, if the deck height is greater then 30 inches. As measured from the highest portion of the deck's walking surface to your finished grade. The main reason behind this code section is that a walking surfaces over 30 inches is required to comply with the building code's guardrail requirements, as a safety measure. Because to an active adult, a deck barely over 30 inches is unlikely to cause injury; however, to small children and the elderly a fall from this height could cause a sever injury. (See 1997 UBC 106.2 #7)
- Q. Can I attach an awning to my manufactured house?
Only awnings "constructed of light-weight metallic material which does not exceed 1 pound per square foot dead load" may be attached to a manufactured home. For further information, contact the State of Nevada's Manufactured Housing Division. (See NAC 480.475)
- Q. Do I need a permit to apply stucco to my house?
Yes, a permit is required for stucco finishes on any structure. This is due to the fact that stucco-type finishes add extra weight to the exterior of a structure and historically, improperly installed stucco-type finishes allow structural damage due to water infiltration. (See 2003 IRC section R703.6)
- Q. What size out building can I build without a permit?
Humboldt County allows the construction of a building up to 130 square feet without a permit. However, a permit may be required for the addition of electrical, plumbing or mechanical installed within the building.
- Q. What are the requirements for temporary electrical
Temporary Electrical connections are granted for two specific reasons: (1) Electrical service for well pumps (2) Electrical service for construction purposes. These connections are granted for a period not to exceed thirty days (30 days), with a review for extension at the end of that time. Listed below are the conditions and requirements for Temporary Electrical connection:
- Structures or dwellings shall not be occupied until this office performs a final inspection.
- The service equipment (meter with main service disconnect) shall be installed and ready for utility connection at time of inspection. Also, any feeder/subpanels needed for Temporary Electrical shall be installed and ready to be energized upon completion of inspection.
- Electrical equipment installed for Temporary Electrical use shall meet the grounding requirements of the National Electrical Code Article 250
- At the time of the inspection, the electrical trench with the conduit or direct burial conductors (wires) shall remain open for inspection. This would be the underground electrical between the service equipment and any feeder/subpanels.
- Temporary Electrical for construction shall include, in addition
to the above general requirements, the following completed at time
- A weather tight box shall be provided at the service panel or electrical subpanel with a weather tight self-closing faceplate.
- Metal weather tight boxes used with receptacles shall be properly grounded and bonded as per National Electrical Code Article 250.
- The required overcurrent protection (circuit breaker) and receptacle wiring shall be installed as per the 1999 National Electrical Code and ready for utility connection upon Building Department approval.
- Temporary Electrical for well service shall include, in addition to the above general requirements, the following completed at time of inspection:
Overcurrent protection (circuit breaker) and wiring shall be installed as per the 1999 National Electrical Code. With the connection to the well pump completed and left open for inspection. The installation shall remain open and ready for immediate connection to the utility upon Building Department approval.
- Q. Do I need a permit to install a wood or pellet
Yes, a permit is required to install a wood or pellet burning stove. Currently, we charge $25.00 for fireplaces, wood or pellet stoves. (See 1997 UMC 112.1)
- Q. Do I need a permit to replace my electric or gas
Yes, since the replacement of a furnace is not one of the items exempted under the Uniform Mechanical Code from the permit process. A permit would be required prior to the replacement of the existing unit.
- Q.My local natural gas (or propane) company turned
off my gas after detecting a leak. Can you authorize reconnection without
No. Once a gas service has been disconnected we are required to witness a gas test prior to authorizing reconnection. It is unlawful for anyone (including the utility) to reconnect the gas service without first receiving authorization from the Humboldt County Building & Safety Department. (See 1997 UMC Chapter 13 and/or 1997 UPC Chapter 12)
- Q.Can I install propane fueled appliances in my basement?
No, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), or propane is a heavier then air gas which tends to settle in low places. In a situation where a leak would occur at a propane gas appliance in a basement, the concentration of gas would build to a point that any source of ignition would generate an explosion. (See 1997 UMC 304.5)
- Q. What type of wood or pellet burning stove can be
install in my manufactured home?
Factory built fireplaces or stoves capable of burning wood or wood pellets may be installed in manufactured homes provided they comply with the following State of Nevada requirements:
- "The fireplace or stove is approved or listed for use in a manufactured home or mobile home"
- "A fireplace or stove does not take the place of the normal heating unit or furnace of the manufactured home or mobile home."
- "The fireplace or stove is equipped with an integral door or shutter designed to close the fireplace or stove fire chamber opening."
- "There is a complete means for venting through the roof with an approved, listed, factory-built chimney designed to attach directly to the fireplace or stove. The chimney must be equipped with and contain as part of its listing a termination device and a spark arrestor."
- "The chimney must extend at least 3 feet above the part of the roof through which it passes and at least 2 feet above any part of the roof within 10 feet of the chimney. Portions of the chimney terminating more than 13 1/2 feet above the ground level may be designed to be removed for transporting the manufactured home or mobile home. Chimneys must be installed in conformance with manufacturers' or approved, listed, instructions."
- "The fireplace or stove must contain a combustion air inlet which conducts the combustion air directly to the area beneath the manufactured home or mobile home. The combustion air inlet must be installed in conformance with manufacturers' or approved, listed, instructions."
- "Hearth extensions must be made of noncombustible material not less than 3/8 inch thick and must extend at least 16 inches in front and 8 inches beyond each side of the fireplace or stove. The hearth must also cover the entire surface beneath the fireplace or stove and beneath an elevated or over-hanging fireplace."
- "The fireplace or stove may not be installed in a sleeping area."
- "The fireplace or stove must be labeled For Installation
in Manufactured Homes or "For Installation in Mobile Homes" and "For
Use With Solid Fuel Only" or similar language."
- Q. How do I perform a gas test on my "site built" house
or manufactured home?
For a "site built" home, the code requires a gauge which measures in "Pounds per Square Inch" (PSI). The test consists of the gas line pressurized to a minimum of 20 PSI for 20 minutes. The test will then be conducted in the presence of a Building Inspector, and upon successful completion of the test, the Building Inspector will authorize service with your local natural gas or propane utility. (See 1997 UMC Chapter 13 and/or 1997 UPC chapter 12)
Rules regulating manufactured housing are specified by the's Manufactured Housing Division. Under Nevada law manufactured homes shall have their gas systems tested with a manometer gauge. (This is an instrument capable of measuring in water column inches (WC)). The test shall be conducted with the entire system pressurized between 10 inches of water column (10" WC) and 14 inches of water column (14" WC) for a minimum time period of 10 minutes. When this test is successfully completed, the Building Inspector will authorize utility connection. (See NAC 489.440)
- Q. Do I need a permit to change my hot water heater?
Yes, a permit is required, because as hot water is heated it rapidly expands. Hot water heaters are designed to withstand this pressure, through the addition of safety devices. When a hot water is installed improperly, they have been known to explode. In some cases they were literally propelled through the roof of a single family residence. Prior to installing a new hot water heater, we require a permit to cover the inspection of the replacement. This inspection is scheduled after the new hot water heater is in place and prior to the heating of water. (See Chapter 5 of the 1997 UPC)
- Q. Why do I need a permit for my lawn sprinkler system?
Lawn sprinkler, or irrigation systems connected to potable water are required to be protected by one of the following options:
- Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB)
- Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
- Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventor (RPB)
These devices are designed to be installed at the point of connection to the potable water system, to keep containments from being pulled back into your drinking water through the sprinkler heads. Some possible sources of contamination would be lawn fertilizers and chemical pesticides that are found in the water that has a tendency to pool around low sprinkler heads on your system. (See 1997 UPC 603.4.6)
- Q. Do you issue septic tank permits?
The Nevada State Health Division's Bureau of Health Protective Services is responsible for issuing permits and performing inspections on residential septic tanks.Please note, for new construction your septic tank must be permitted, inspected and passed by the State Health Inspector prior to your final inspection by our office.
They are located in Humboldt County at:475 West Haskell St, Rm 38
Winnemucca, Nevada 89445
- Q.Can I do work on my own commercial or rental income