Grand County
Building Inspectors Office

125 E Center St, Moab, UT 84532

(435) 259-4134

Building Design Criteria

These are general criteria for the Grand County region. Specific locations or a change in elevation can cause variations in these criteria.

  • 2012 International Building Code
  • 2012 International Residential Code
  • 2014 National Electric Code
  • 2012 International Fire Code
  • 2012 International Mechanical Code
  • 2012 International Plumbing Code
  • 2012 Energy Conservation Code
  • 2009 American National Standards for Accessibility and Useable Buildings and Facilities A117.1
  • Snow Load: 25 lbs below 5,000 ft
  • Frost Depth: 20 inches below 5,000 ft
  • Wind Load: 115 mph exposure “C”
  • Seismic Zone “B”
  • 1997 Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings


If you feel that we have made a decision in error you may file an appeal to the appropriate board.

Appeals concerning building matters are made through the Building Board of Appeals. This board is made up of three members of the construction community who have had experience with the various codes.

Zoning appeals are filed with the Board of Adjustments.

Applications can be picked up in the Grand County Courthouse in the Building Office.

Sanitary Dumping Stations

Sanitary Dumping StationsPlans for proposed sanitary dumping stations must be submitted to the Grand County Building Department and the Southeastern Utah District Health Department for review and approval prior to the construction.
Read more . . .

Utah IECC Residential Energy Code;
Are you ready for July 1, 2014?

The 2013 Utah Legislative Session Utah lawmakers passed House Bill 202, updating Utah's energy conservation code. The bill adopted the complete 2012 IECC for commercial buildings and created a residential hybrid version. On January 15, 2014, Utah's Uniform Building Code Commission approved the Utah version of U.S. DOE's REScheck software (which was modified to provide compliance calculations for Utah's hybrid residential IECC), and voted to make the changes to Utah's updated energy codes which took effect July 1, 2014.
Click here to view entire presentation . . .

Thank you to Utah Clean Energy and SWEEP for providing this information for our use.

Check back for possible IECC Training presented by Grand County!

Certificate of Occupancy for New Construction and Change of Occupancy

When the construction or work is completed and the structure is ready to be occupied a C.O. can be issued. The completed building cannot be used, until a written Certificate of Occupancy has been issued. The certificate will only be issued after the inspectors have verified that the work complies with the applicable codes. The Building Inspectors Office may require other inspections to assure compliance with the laws and ordinances of the jurisdiction.

Straw Bale Construction

Policy Requirements for Straw Bale Construction within Grand County

  • All straw structures, regardless of their use, shall be engineered post-and-beam construction. No straw bale portions of the project will be assigned values for shear or bearing capacity.
  • All straw bales shall be placed on sill plates that may be continuous or in two parallel rows with drainage matt or gravel between. Plates shall be flush with the inside and outside edges of the bale.
  • The bottom of the sill plate shall be a minimum of 8" above exterior grade.
  • All wood within straw walls or used as window and door bucks shall be wrapped with an approved moisture barrier where it comes in contact with plaster.
  • All windows, doors and breaks in the exterior finish shall be flashed to prevent the entrance of water into the wall.  (Supply flashing details.)
  • Bales shall be stacked in staggered (running) bond, to a maximum of 12' in height, and be thoroughly pinned or strapped 24" on center.  Bales should be attached to vertical and horizontal framing at each course.  (Please specify on construction documents the method of attachment.)
  • All straw walls shall be fire blocked in accordance with 2009 IRC R302.11 or2009 IBC 717.1. There shall be no exposed straw surface within concealed spaces.
  • There shall be a 30" minimum eave at the top of all straw wall sections.
  • There shall be no exposed horizontal straw surfaces such as parapets or buttress walls on the exterior of the building.
  • Electrical wiring in straw walls shall be UF cable or in conduit.
  • All electrical box penetrations into straw walls will have openings sealed after wiring is installed, with a suitable sealant, and shall be securely fastened to stakes, framing or sleepers.
  • There shall be no electrical panels or breaker boxes in straw walls.
  • There shall be no plumbing piping in straw walls.
  • Straw walls shall not be utilized as part of the enclosure for bath tubs and showers.
  • Detail interior and exterior building finish. Note: cement plasters are prohibited over clay plaster.

Frequently Asked Questions

What work requires a permit?

A permit is required before you erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish any building or structure in the City of Moab/Grand County. For Example:

  • You will need to get a permit if you are going to build a shed or storage structure that is over 200 sq. feet in area.
  • Add utilities to to any sized shed.
  • Setting up a mobile or modular home.
  • A deck that has a roof or is 30 inches or more above ground, or attached to the house.
  • If you are going to add to or remove part of your building.
  • If you are going to remodel and move walls.
  • When you are changing the layout of your plumbing or electrical system.
  • If you are replacing a furnace or a water heater you will need a permit.
  • Upgrading or changing your electrical meter will require a permit.
  • In some situations reroofing a building will require a permit.
  • Installing a sprinkler system that is connected to the building water supply needs a permit.
  • Retaining walls over 4' or that support a structure.
  • Permanent and storable pools, spas & hot tubs.

What can I do without a permit?

  • Any type of finish work, such as painting or carpeting.
  • General maintenance of your house or business.
  • Erect a shed or storage building less than 200 sq ft in area.
  • General landscaping.

How do I get a permit?

You can file an application in the Grand County Building Office, located in the Grand County Courthouse.

What will I need to file an application?

  • A site plan showing size and location of existing and proposed structures, which will include location of all hard surfaces, including driveways and parking area. The site plan should also show the distances to the property lines. A map showing existing and proposed grades may be required as well.
  • Two sets of construction plans that include the following: floor plans, footing and foundation details, elevation of the buildings, electrical, mechanical and plumbing details.
  • Any commercial project will require that the plans be designed and stamped by a Utah licensed architect and engineer (depending on the nature of the project).
  • Sometimes we will require a structural review by an engineer. In those situations a third set of plans will be necessary.

I’ve got plans, now what?

  • Drop off your plans at the Building Inspectors Office and pick up the necessary forms.
  • The Building Inspectors Office will need the names and state license numbers of the contractors that are going to work on your project.
  • If you are building in the City of Moab you will need the signatures of the City’s Zoning Administrator and the Public Works Director.
  • If you are building in the County then you will need a sign off by the Water Conservation District & County Zoning.
  • If you are going to use a septic system then the Health Department will have to approve those plans.
  • The Health Department must approve commercial pools and businesses handling food or private sewage disposal systems..
  • All commercial buildings will require that the Fire Department give its approval as well.

How long will it take?

  • We would like a couple of days to check your plans. Other than that the rest is up to you and how long it takes to get approval by the various agencies involved.

How much is a permit going to cost?

You will be charged a fee for all permits you obtain. Cost of permit is based on valuation adjusted quarterly and calculated using Table 1-A of the 1997 Uniform Building Code. For example, a 1500 sq. ft. home would cost in the neighborhood of $1,300.00. Fees will vary as the size and construction changes across projects. Electrical, plumbing and mechanical work will require a separate permit. The cost for these permits varies depending on the amount and type of work performed.

Impact fees may also be assessed. You should make sure and ask about this, as impact fees can be substantial.

What inspections are required?

Basically the thing to remember is that before something is covered up or hidden from view, it probably will need to be inspected. Here is a sample list of inspections. Other inspections may be required.

  • Footing and Foundation - When excavation is complete, the forms and reinforcing steel are in place, but before concrete is poured.
  • Reinforced Masonry Inspection - For masonry block or Rastra type walls. Call when reinforcing steel is in place and ready for concrete.
  • Framing - When all roof, walls, floor framing, fire stopping and bracing are complete.
  • Electrical - Before any part of the electrical system is concealed.
  • Plumbing - Sub-rough inspection and test will include anything that will be below ground or under a slab. The rough inspection will include all plumbing that is in the building itself.
  • Mechanical - Rough inspection of the ductwork and layout.
  • Weather Barrier - When weather barrier and all required flashings are in place, before exterior finish is installed.
  • Insulation Inspection - To determine compliance with current energy codes.
  • Structural Steel - When structural steel members are in place but before concealing anything.
  • Utility Meters - Before the utilities can connect to your building a specific inspection is required. For the electric, this is an inspection of the main and/or any sub-panels. For the Gas an inspection of all vented appliances will need to be made.
  • Final Inspection - All permits must receive a final inspection. We will check the final grading around the building, test the electrical circuits, and check for plumbing leaks and test the smoke alarm system.


Building Official
Jeff Whitney
(435) 259-1345

Building Inspector
Bill Hulse
(435) 259-1344

Permit Technician
(435) 259-4134

City of Moab Planning Department
115 West 200 South, Moab UT, 84532

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