Building & Inspections Department

“Ensuring a safe living and working environment through uniform and fair enforcement of all building and related codes.”

The Building Department works with property owners to facilitate a safe living and working environment for all. This department is responsible for enforcement of the adopted building codes from permit application through plan review, inspection and final approval of all projects within the city limits. In addition to code enforcement, the department also provides public education and customer assistance.

No building or structure shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished without first acquiring the applicable permits. Electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits are required for the installation, repair or alteration of any plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation or air conditioning system, including the replacement of furnaces and water heaters.  Click here for permit applications and fees.

Adopted Codes

  • 2015 Editions – International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Fire Code, International Existing Building Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Property Maintenance Code, and International Pool & Spa Code
  • 2020 EditionNational Electrical Code
  • State of Iowa Plumbing Code (2021 Uniform Plumbing Code) and Mechanical Code (2021 International Mechanical Code)

Permit Guidelines

To obtain a permit, the applicant must submit a completed permit application form. You may also need the following:

  • Construction plans (2 sets) for new construction, additions, renovations, etc.
  • Engineered site plan for new commercial or residential development
  • Plot sketch for residential additions, decks, swimming pools, fences, etc.
  • Other information as required based on scope of the project.

Zoning Approval: All new construction, additions, accessory structures, fences, pools, etc., must obtain zoning approval before a building permit will be issued. Zoning approval may be obtained at the same time as the application for a construction permit is submitted except in cases of new commercial development. New development requires an engineered site plan to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate boards and city engineer prior to making permit applications.

Required inspections are identified on the permit placard for each project. It is the responsibility of the permit applicant to request the required inspections and no work shall be performed beyond the inspection stage or to cover any work without approval of the building official.

Permits are valid for one hundred and eighty (180) days. The Building Official may extend a permit for an additional one hundred and eighty (180) days, pending a written request from the permit holder and progress on the work permitted. Buildings requiring a Certificate of Occupancy may not be occupied until the Building Official has issued a certificate.

New Commercial Businesses – All new commercial businesses must be approved for property zoning and inspected for compliance with building, fire, life safety, and property maintenance code requirements prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. Many properties are restricted as to the type of businesses that may be opened by both zoning regulations and building codes. Zoning information and occupancy inspections are available free of charge to help you determine if the property you are interested in will work for your particular business venture. Re-zoning a property may be possible but requires an application fee and several weeks for the review process. It is recommended that required inspections and approvals be requested prior to signing any lease or purchase agreements for a property in order to better address any zoning or construction issues or corrections required before the business can open.

All commercial properties are inspected annually or prior to opening a new business for compliance with the International Fire Code. Inspections are free of charge. As part of the inspection process, all businesses are required to maintain fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, kitchen hoods/Annual systems and backflow prevention devices by having annual inspections and certifications. Inspection reports must be submitted to the Building Inspections Department. Property owners are required to make any necessary repairs to meet fire and life safety code requirements.

Residential Rental Property Inspections – All non-owner occupied, leased or rented residential property must be licensed by the City of Walcott and inspected for compliance with the City of Walcott Rental Housing Program. A rental licensing fee is charged to cover the cost of inspection and owners are required to make any repairs necessary to meet minimum rental housing standards.

Fees are invoiced and inspections are performed on a biennial basis or as needed upon conversion to rental property.

Click here for a copy of the Rental Housing Guide