Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2005
Wisconsin Leads With Home Safety Act

Governor Doyle signed the Home Safety Act into law on December 18, 2003. Municipalities of less than 2,500 population that passed a resolution of non-enforcement had the opportunity to delay until January 1, 2005; this subsequently gave municipalities additional time to prepare.

At the present time all regulating municipalities as well as agents delegated by the Department of Commerce Safety and Buildings Division are in place. Information specific to the regulating authority, as well as permit fees associated with Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) inspection work are available on the Commerce website.

With all municipal enforcement programs in place and ready to provide inspection services, permits will be required for new home construction, not additions or alterations. This includes municipalities that have a local ordinance adopting the UDC and a fully certified inspector - either hired or under contract - which are recognized by the Department of Commerce. It also pertains to municipalities that have not submitted an adopting ordinance and have not hired or contracted with a fully certified inspector which are now considered to be under the state enforcement program.

Those individuals and agencies contracted with the state are to perform inspections in a manner consistent with the provisions of Chapter Comm 20 through 25 of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code for all new site-built dwellings and installed manufactured dwellings. Their responsibilities do not include alterations or additions to existing dwellings or the installation of manufactured (mobile) homes regulated by the federal government.

Wisconsin (UDC) Administrative Building Permits issued prior to January 1, 2005, as well as dwellings where footing and foundations are completed within two years of permit issuance as well, are not included. The determination of what constitutes a dwelling will normally be made by the applicable local zoning agencies. In the absence of such a determination, structures of less than 100 square feet or fabric construction will not be considered dwellings for the purpose of this contract.

It is important to note that the inspector representing the state shall not enforce other municipal or county requirements in municipalities that they are responsible for UDC other than checking for sanitary permit requirements. Individuals and agencies performing inspections will maintain credentials as UDC-Construction, UDC-HVAC, UDC-Electrical and UDC-Plumbing inspectors.

  • If you have questions on the enforcement status of a specific municipality or need to find a registered UDC Inspection Agency, please check the Safety & Buildings website at: commerce.wi.gov/SB
  • For questions on inspector certification or UDC Inspection Agency registration, please check the website or call (608) 261-8500.
  • If you have other general questions, please e-mail your questions to udctech@commerce.state.wi.us, fax (608) 283-7409 or contact Jack Miller at (608) 785-9348 or Randy Mattison at (715) 634-8964.
  • For information on Wisconsin 2003 Act 90, the Home Safety Act, and how it affects section 101.651, Stats., see the Revisor of Statutes website www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb.

- Henry Kosarzycki, A.I.A.

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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