EL PASO COUNTY COLOADO BUILDING CODES

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 EL PASO COUNTY COLORADO BUILDING CODES

Foundations/Structural Concrete Contracting 

Concrete contractors are not licensed by the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County or the State of Colorado. Concrete contractors perform work under the owner’s building permit, or the licensed contractor’s building permit.

Structural concrete (foundation) is inspected by the PPRBD before concrete is poured. The inspector visually verifies that reinforcement and formwork meet the requirements of the engineer’s site-specific stamped design.

Foundation Building Codes

There isn’t a building code per se for foundations. Part of the requirement for most building permits is the process described in the next paragraph – soil testing and engineered design.

“Most” building permits require that a foundation be engineered, but there are some exceptions. Residential property owners building a detached garage, shed, outbuilding may not need an engineered foundation plan.

There are established building codes for most phases of construction. Foundations, or structural concrete, are different. A foundation is designed for the type (s) of soil where the structure is to be built. Soil samples are taken and tested to design a foundation that will support the new construction (building, addition or renovation). Using architectural designs along with soil test results, an engineer designs the foundation specifically for each structure. The foundation plan is a detailed plan for the type and amount of concrete and steel that will be needed.

To learn more about building in El Paso County, visit the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. Their website has many helpful tools for planning, checking on permits, verifying contractor licenses.

Flatwork, Architectural and Site Work Concrete Contracting 

Concrete flatwork often does not have to be performed by a licensed contractor or require a permit. Concrete flatwork contractors are not licensed by El Paso County or the State of Colorado.

An exception of concrete work performed in the City of Colorado Springs right-of-way (City sidewalk, curb, and gutter, street, highway, etc…). Our City of Colorado Springs Cement license no. is 705732.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Are foundation contractors licensed by the local building department?

No. Foundation contractors perform work under the property owner’s building permit or licensed contractor’s building permit.

Note: In Colorado, each county or municipality chooses whether foundation and/or concrete contractors must be licensed for work in that county. Check with the County where you live to verify their requirements.

Q: Does the City of Colorado Springs require a business license for concrete contractors?

Yes, in some cases. To perform concrete work in the City right-of-way, you must be licensed by the City Clerk’s office. This includes curb and gutter, driveway approach (apron) also referred to as a curb cut, City sidewalk and work in street areas. Our license is 705732.

Q: What government inspections are required for concrete work?

a. Foundation Concrete
In El Paso County, the building department inspects each phase of foundation work. An inspection is performed after reinforcement and forms are in place and before concrete is poured. The inspector verifies that reinforcement and formwork agree with the engineer’s foundation design.

b. Flatwork – slabs, driveway approach (apron), etc…
Concrete work performed in the City of Colorado Springs right-of-way (city sidewalk, curb, and gutter, street, highway, etc…) is inspected by the City Engineering Department.

Items on private property such as sidewalk, patio, driveway, landscape curbs usually don’t require a city permit and are not inspected by the city or the building department.

Q: What is the building code standard for a foundation?

There are none. Foundations are uniquely designed for each structure based on the type of soil the building will rest on.

An engineer will use soil test results and buildings plans (architectural drawings, manufacturer’s building designs) to calculate the requirements for the foundation concrete and reinforcement (rebar).

Q: What is a curb cut? And do you need City approval?

A new driveway entry from an existing street. As part of traffic control, any time an owner wants to create a new entry from the street on to their property, the City must approve creating a new driveway (it can mean cutting out a piece of curb) and pouring an approach or apron from the gutter through the sidewalk to the private area of the driveway. If approved, the new driveway approach must be installed according to City specifications.

Q: What do I need to have ready for the inspector to inspect my foundation?

A building inspector will require access to the building permit. For the foundation, an inspector will also want to see the “permitted” set of building plans, the “wet stamped” foundation engineering and the “open hole observation” from the engineer.

Learn more about Pikes Peak Regional Building Department inspections codes here.

Q: What is an “open hole” (open hole observation, report, letter, etc…)?

In El Paso County, after excavating for the foundation, the soil testing company must perform a second soil test at the bottom of the excavated area to determine whether the soil results agree with the samples taken at the surface level previously. Whoever is supervising construction will schedule an “open hole observation” with an engineer when the excavation is complete. Engineers are accustomed to this requirement and will usually provide a written report immediately or within 24 hours. An original of the report is left with the permit set of plans and foundation engineering for the building inspector’s records.

Q: What is a Colorado “frost” foundation?

In Colorado, foundations are typically required to extend 30″ below grade (top of soil, ground level). Where there is no need for crawl space access, no basement, no storage, no usable space needed or desired below the main level of a structure, the minimum foundation depth required (below grade) is for frost protection and structural support. The total foundation height (top to bottom) is usually 36″ or more because some of it will extend above soil level.

The simple monolithic design mentioned on our website is an exception to this.

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