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Q: I’m building a house using ICF’s the basement will be unfinished do I need to cover the ICF’s with anything or can I leave them exposed?

A: The UDC requires the ICF’s to be covered with a thermal barrier.

SPS 321.11 (1) (b) Thermal barrier. Except as provided in par. (c), foam plastic insulation shall be separated from the interior of the dwelling by one of the following thermal barriers:

  1. 1/2″ -inch gypsum wall board.
  2. ½−inch nominal wood structural panel.
  3. ¾−inch sawn lumber with tongue−and−groove or lap joints.
  4. 1−inch of masonry or concrete.
  5. A product or material shown by an independent laboratory to limit the temperature rise on the unexposed surface to 250°F for 15 minutes when tested in accordance with ASTM E−119.

Q: Does a ramp need to have the frost protected footings that are required by SPS 316.16 (1) (a)?

A: Maybe, where the ramp abuts a frost-protected stoop or landing the abutting end of the ramp needs to be frost protected. The remainder of the ramp does not.

SPS 321.16 (2) Exceptions (d) Subsection (1) (a) does not apply to the footing for a ramp and its handrail posts unless the ramp abuts a frost−protected stoop or landing, in which case only the footing for that abutting end of the ramp is required to have the frost protection under sub. (1) (a), such as by bearing onto the stoop or landing, so that a tripping hazard is not created.

Q: I want to buy a prebuilt “cabin” do I need a permit?

A: Yes, you need a permit and inspections as the cabin meets the definition of a dwelling unit.

SPS 320.07 (27) “Dwelling unit” has the meaning given in s. 101.61 (1), Stats.

Note: Section 101.61 (1), Stats., reads as follows: “Dwelling” means any building that contains one or 2 dwelling units. “Dwelling unit” means a structure or that part of a structure which is used or intended to be used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person or by 2 or more persons maintaining a common household, to the exclusion of all others. “Dwelling” and “dwelling unit” do not include a primitive rural hunting cabin.

In addition, if the “cabin” is completed and finished off site it needs to meet the requirements of SPS 320.13 as a modular home.

SPS 320.13 Manufacture, sale and installation of homes. (1) MANUFACTURE AND SALE. No modular home, manufactured building system or component of the building system subject to this part shall be manufactured for use, sold for initial use or installed in this state unless it is approved by the department and it bears the Wisconsin insignia issued or a state seal or an insignia reciprocally recognized by the department.

(2) INSTALLATION. A Wisconsin uniform building permit shall be obtained in accordance with s. SPS 320.09 (1) to (5) (a) before any on−site construction falling within the scope of this code is commenced for a modular home. The permit shall be issued in accordance with s. SPS 320.09 (9).

Q: What is a primitive rural hunting cabin?

A: Wis. Stat.§101.61(3) defines a primitive rural hunting cabin satisfying all of the following:

(a) The structure is not used as a home or residence.

(b) The structure is used principally for recreational hunting activity.

(c) The structure does not exceed 2 stories in height.

(d) The structure satisfies any of the following:

1. The structure was constructed before December 31, 1997.

2. The structure results from alterations made to a structure described in subd. 1.

3. The structure replaces a structure described in subd. 1.

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Q: I am finishing a basement ceiling I won’t be able to access the dampers in my heat runs after the ceiling is finished do I have to install the dampers?

A: Yes, the UDC requires volume duct dampers to be installed to permit balancing of the system.

SPS 323.09 Dampers, registers and grilles. (1) VOLUME AND BACKDRAFT DAMPERS. (a) Volume duct dampers shall be provided to permit balancing of the system.
(b) Volume dampers shall be provided with access.
Note: Acceptable means of access include a manufactured access panel, an air grille used as a cover, a plastic ceiling cap or a damper accessible through an air diffuser or grille.

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Q: I have a kitchen where all the windows are close to the top of the countertop. Can I install the required receptacles on the face of the cabinet?

A: No, the NEC requires them to be installed above the countertop unless requirements of the exceptions are met.

NEC 210.52 (C)(5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located on or above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, the countertop or work surface.

Exception to (5): To comply with the following conditions (1) and (2), receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm (12 in.) below the countertop or work surface. Receptacles mounted below a countertop or work surface in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop or work surface extends more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond its support base.

(1) Construction for the physically impaired

(2) On island and peninsular countertops or work surface where the surface is flat across its entire surface (no backsplashes, dividers, etc.) and there are no means to mount a receptacle within 500 mm (20 in.) above the countertop or work surface, such as an overhead cabinet.

Q: I have a family room in a basement with a wet bar area do the outlets in the wet bar area need arc-fault protection?

A: Yes, the wet bar area is in a family room which is similar to a living room or recreation room both which requires arc-fault protection.

NEC 210.12 (A) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by any of the means described in

210.12(A)(1) through (6):

Q: Do receptacles in the ceiling of an attached garage need to have GFCI protection?

A: Yes, ground fault protection is required in an attached and detached garage and the gfci must be installed in a readily accessible location.

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.

Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (E). The ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a readily

accessible location.

(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A)(1) through (10) shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.

(1) Bathrooms

(2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use

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Plumbing FAQs

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