The Building Department is responsible for professional building services including permits, plan review, inspections, and code enforcement for all the unincorporated areas of Larimer County. We are committed to ensuring compliance with the adopted codes and protecting the health and safety of Larimer County residents.
Mission Statement: Administer adopted building codes to assure that both new and existing building construction is safe.
Building Code Training Week of March 6-10, 2017
March 6-10, 2017 is our annual Building Code Training Week in Denver. Much of our staff will be attending classes while others will be temporarily reassigned to cover job duties. Services delays are likely. If possible, please schedule your inspection, permit application, permit pickup or code consultation for another week. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Eric Fried, Building Official
On-line Customer Web Portal
You can view the status of your permit, schedule/cancel inspections, pay fees by credit card, search for existing permits, view land use applications, and apply for miscellaneous building and certain engineering permits.
To access the online portal, please go to: https://onlineportal.larimer.org. Instructions for using the new portal can be found here.
To use all features of the customer portal, a registration and login are required. To register, please click on register on the portal main page (click here to view instructions on how to register). Registrations must be reviewed and approved by staff. Please check your email for registration approval before trying to use these additional features.
We can no longer process same-day inspection requests. All requests must be completed by 11:59 p.m. the day before the requested inspection date.
Tool Box Tips
Ever wonder how you can obtain property dimensions to draw a plot plan? Owners/applicants can now access parcel maps to obtain property line dimensions from the Assessor's parcel information. Utilize our plot plan submittal requirements to draw a complete scaled plot plan for your permit submittal.
See sample diagram of plot plan
2015 Codes Now in Effect
The 2015 International Residential, Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, Fuel Gas, Energy Conservation and Existing Building Codes as amended by Larimer County are in effect for all permits initiated on or after May 1, 2016. Permits already issued or initiated before May 1 will stay under their current code requirements.
2015 non-residential code amendments
Some of the most important code changes include:
- Snow load design: after in-depth review of the best available data, including a 2015 statewide study by the Structural Engineers Association of Colorado, Larimer County has designated 35 pounds per square foot as the minimum design ground snow load up to 5,000 feet elevation, 45 psf for elevations from 5,001 to 6,000 feet, 50 psf from 6,001 to 6,500 feet, 60 psf from 6,501 to 7,000 feet, 70 psf from 7,001 to 8,000, with engineering design required above 8,000. Roof load reductions are still allowed in line with standard engineering practice, but the minimum design roof load shall be 30 psf.
- Wind Load design: The terminology used to designate wind loads, and the method of calculating wind loads, has changed over the last few code cycles, causing some confusion, but the end result of wind load design has not increased. County maps, tables and certifications will designate Ultimate Wind Loads wherever possible. Larimer County's prescriptive High Wind Design table ("Building Geometry Limitations") has been deleted. The Wood Frame Construction Manual, including its prescriptive design limitations from whence this table was derived, remains an accepted method for high-wind design. In general, where Ultimate Wind Speeds exceed 140 mph, engineered design will be required.
- Note: Pole Barns and Loafing Sheds can still be built per Larimer County Prescriptive Design Limitations
- Noncombustible siding and landscaping required 3' up and 3' out in the Wildfire Hazard Area: In an effort to reduce fire spread from burning embers settling on grass or shrubs next to combustible siding, the ground cover and siding for new construction will need to be non-combustible for a minimum of three (3) feet out and three (3) feet up from where walls meet exterior grade, in the Wildfire Hazard Area.
- Garages, shops, barns and similar utility structures must either be separated by 6' from a dwelling at their closest point, or have standard fire-resistance requirements (minimum 1/2" gypsum on walls, 5/8" Type X on ceiling, with self-closing firedoors). If such structures exceed 5,000 sq. ft. in floor area and are within the 6' minimum fire separation, they will need a minimum one-hour rated Fire Containment Assembly to protect the dwelling.
- Building permits will no longer be required for replacing non-structural siding, shade cloth and maximum 6-mil poly-roofed private greenhouses, bridges and culverts being constructed under other county engineering permits, and solar systems installed on structures that themselves would not need a permit (like sheds under 120 sq. ft.)
- Prescriptive insulation requirements remain at 2009 levels, and a Res-Check submittal showing compliance with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code will be deemed to meet code. Air leakage tests are still required for new residences.
- Sprinklers continue to not be required for new residences, nor is gypsum protection for the underside of I-joists if not required by other code sections.
Note: Payment for permits are by cash or check only.
- Residential Plan Submittal Checklist
- Building Inspections
- A Guide to Residential Construction
- Basement finish
- Building guides information on basement, garage, deck, roof, additions, patio cover or enclosure
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Crawlspace Requirements
- Energy conservation
- Engineered foundation requirements
- Fireplace/wood stove
- Obtaining a permit after construction is completed
- Plot plan requirements
- Plot plan sample
- Pre-fabricated housing requirements
- Roofing requirements
- Tiny Houses - In Larimer County and around the US, more and more people are asking about the rules for building and occupying "tiny houses." To help answer the growing demand, multiple Larimer County departments got together to summarize current tiny house regulations, including Planning, Building, Environmental Health and Vehicle Licensing. Click here to see our handout on Tiny Houses.
- Window Replacements