Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
March 2004
New Uniform Dwelling Code Protects Homeowners at Reasonable Cost
Wisconsinís Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) regulates the construction and remodeling of one- and two-family dwellings built since June 1, 1980. A new Wisconsin law, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, requires the UDC to be enforced in all municipalities. This means that all new construction must be inspected for compliance with the UDC. Previous to the new legislation, municipalities with a population of 2,500 or less could choose by resolution to decline UDC enforcement. Municipalities of over 2,500 have always been required to enforce the UDC.

This change to the UDC is important because buying a home is the single largest investment most people make. At the Department of Commerce (Commerce), we want homeowners to have confidence that their new homes are property constructed, safe and saleable.

The change was effective December 18, 2003. Those municipalities previously choosing to not enforce the UDC now have three options:

  • Adopt an ordinance to begin local enforcement of the UDC. This may include contracting with another municipality or a private party to do the work;
  • Delegate enforcement to the county, if the county is willing to accept it. Currently three counties have UDC enforcement programs: Adams, Chippewa, and Eau Claire.
  • Take no action. In this case, Commerceís Safety and Buildings Division will enforce the UDC for new homes in the municipality. Commerce will delegate this responsibility to certified inspection agencies.

Commerceís Safety and Buildings Division is working directly with municipalities to as they consider their enforcement choices.

--Cory L. Nettles, Secretary

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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