One- & Two-Family (Uniform Dwelling Code)

The Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) is the statewide building code for one- and two-family dwellings built since June 1, 1980. The Industry Services Division provides consultation and education concerning UDC construction standards and inspection procedures. Building materials are evaluated for conformance with standards. UDC inspection and contractor credentials are administered. The UDC is enforced in all Wisconsin municipalities.

Questions regarding the Uniform Dwelling Code can be sent to DSPSSBUDCtech@wi.gov.

Camping Units

Announcements

Emergency Rule 1634 (ER1634) was recently enacted, introducing language to Chapter SPS 320.09(2) of the UDC pertaining to the department’s online submittal process as required by 2015 Act 211. The emergency rule has an effective start date of December 6, 2016, and an expiration date of May 4, 2017.


Please access the Electronic Building Permit System to pull permits or file a building permit. More information can be found by clicking on the "Act 211 Electronic Building Permit System" drop-down accordion below.


Act 211 Electronic Building Permit System

Act 211 PowerPoint
Act 211 Builder Flow Chart

Manfucatured Home FAQs
Act 211 Permit Puller FAQs

Act 211 requires the department to have a standard electronic building permit form (SBD-5823) available to municipalities by January 2, 2017. This permit will contain spaces for contractor license numbers and the expiration dates of their licenses. It also requires municipalities or their agents to provide their permit forms electronically to the DSPS through our approved electronic system by January 2, 2018. These permits must be submitted to DSPS by the 15th of the first month after it is issued. If a municipality fails to submit the permit by the required time after the permit was issued, a refund of the amount paid for the building permit minus the state seal shall be given to the permit applicant.

To ensure compliance with Act 211, municipalities must contact DSPS UDC staff to obtain an access code and choose the method by which they will submit information to the DSPS. All municipalities must begin supplying their new one- and two- family dwelling permit information to the DSPS by January 2, 2018.   

An official representative of the municipality should initiate and authorize the creation of the municipality's access code and selection of the filing method. A building inspector contracted with the municipality may establish a login access code with this system only upon completion and Act 211 Inspector-Muni Agreement between the inspector and the municipality. Maintain a copy of the agreement for your records. There is no need to submit the agreement to the department.


Municipalities

DSPS is offering three ways to electronically submit these permits:

  1. Applicants file permits electronically to the municipality through the DSPS system, and the municipality reviews the permits online through our system. Permit information is automatically provided to the DSPS.
    The Municipality Workspace provides the municipal representative access to permit information submitted by builders of for new one- and two- family dwellings. Municipality FAQ
  2. A municipality may use the Excel template, provided by DSPS, to enter all permit information. The Excel template must be manually uploaded to the system each month and is available in the electronic system once this option has been selected.
  3. Municipalities that incorporate their own computerized permit filing system may interface with the Department's Data connector software. DSPS Building Permit System Application Programming Interface (API) v2.0

Municipal building permits for new one- and two- family dwellings that differ from the one on the DSPS website may not be utilized until approved by the department.


Permit Pullers

Permit puller must submit all required plans and data directly to the municipality per municipality’s instructions. The plans, data and permit must be reviewed, and the approved permit fee must be paid before the permit is considered an issued permit.

To file a building permit for a new one- and two- family dwelling, contact the municipality directly to determine how building permit applications should be filed.

To access the Electronic Building Permit System, please click here.

If you have questions on how to use the Electronic Building Permit System, please utilize the Requesting Electronic Building Permit FAQ.


Act 211 2018 Q1 Permit Submittals

Soil Erosion Control Plan Audit Change

Deck Column Footing Size Worksheet

Heat Loss Calculator with Instructions

Highlights of the 2016 Uniform Dwelling Code Changes

Additional Code Updates (June 2016)


2017 Winter Updates Training Presentations

2017 Winter Updates

2017 Intro - UDC Administrative

Chapter 327 Camping Units

Deck 2017 Presentation

Energy Conservation 322 Plan Review and Inspection

HVAC 323 Plan Review and Inspection


Forms

FormDescription
SBD-5823
SBD-5823
Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application (R04/2017) (PDF) (DoA Document Sales)
Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application (R04/2017) (fill-in)
SBD-5824​Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Card (R12/2017) (DoA Document Sales)
SBD-6025​Inspection Report and Notice of Non-Compliance (R11/2011) (DoA Document Sales)
​SBD-6072​One- and Two-Family Dwelling Permit to Start Construction (R06/2014)
SBD-8028​Wisconsin Buildings Product Review Application (R11/2014)
​UDC Seals and Program-Related Documents (DoA Document Sales)
​Modular Home Program Insignia (DoA Document Sales)
​SBD-9890X​Application for Review, Petition for Variance
SBD-10837​Erosion and Sediment Control Field Guide - 2006 (R06/2015)
SBD-10891​Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Certificate (R07/2016)
​Worksheet​Optional Makeup and Combustion Air Worksheet
Inspection Checklist​Inspection Checklist for Typical One- or Two-Family Home, February 2013
1000IS​UDC Religious Waiver

FAQs

 

Deck Codes SPS 321.225

Can we still use the UDC deck codes that we have always been using or is Appendix B the new code we have to enforce? How does Appendix C affect decks? 

The department has determined that a deck can be built per the following methods effective January 1, 2016:

  • OPTION 1
    SPS 321.225 Decks. (1) Decks attached to dwellings and
    any detached decks that serve an exit shall comply with the applicable
    provisions of subchs. II to X of ch. SPS 321, including all
    of the following:
    (a) Excavation requirements under s. SPS 321.14;
    (b) Footing requirements under s. SPS 321.15 (2) (f);
    (c) Frost penetration requirements under s. SPS 321.16;
    (d) Load requirements under s. SPS 321.02;
    (e) Stair, handrail and guard requirements of s. SPS 321.04.
    (f) Decay protection requirements of s. SPS 321.10.
  • OPTION 2
    SPS 321.225 (2) A deck that complies with the standards in ch. SPS 320-325 Appendix B, and ch. SPS 320-325 Appendix C, if applicable, shall be considered as complying with sub. (1). Meaning, you would follow Appendix B and C exclusively.
  • OPTION 3
    Also, the department has determined that a deck designed and constructed to the DCA6 standard, (Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide-2012 IRC version by The American Would Council), would be considered code compliant. The decision was based on several factors which included the following:
    -Based on prior analysis by the department, the DCA6 standard met or exceeded Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code requirements.
    -The DCA6 standard is primarily based on NDS standards, which the Department also adopts in SPS 320.24
    -Finally, utilizing the DCA6 standard would in fact be considered a form of structural analysis which is accepted under the scope of SPS321.02(2).

NOTE: You may not “mix and match” the options, meaning take parts from Appendix B then use parts of SPS 321.225(1).



Garage Penetrations SPS 321.08

I am inquiring about holes in an attached garage. Is there any code that requires the sealing of holes in the garage? We do seal all holes and boxes on the common wall but we have been cited twice for not sealing in the garage.

Yes, holes created in fire separations dwellings and garages must be protected. This includes holes that were drilled for wiring and not used.

SPS 321.08(1)(a) requires fire separation of dwelling units from attached garages.
SPS 321.08(3)(b) specifically addresses penetrations by electrical and plumbing components.

SPS 321.08(3)(b) (b) Electrical and plumbing components. Penetrations of a required separation by electrical and plumbing components shall be firmly packed with noncombustible material or shall be protected with a listed through−penetration firestop system with a rating of at least one hour.


 

Habitable Rooms in Basements SPS 321.05(2) & 323.02(3)(c)

I have a question regarding habitable rooms in basements without openable windows. In a rec room or theater room in the basement with no openable windows, SPS323.02 (3) (c) states a balanced mechanical ventilation system producing one air change per hour of fresh outside air while room is occupied must be provided. Does a simple exhaust fan in the basement rec room qualify for this ventilation?

No, you cannot simply exhaust air from the habitable room. There are two codes that require fresh outside air be brought in while in use for habitable rooms without openable windows. Fenestration air through leakage does not apply towards this. The codes are listed below:

SPS 321.05 Natural ventilation.
(2) VENTILATION. (a) 1. Balanced mechanical ventilation may be provided in lieu of openable exterior doors, skylights or windows provided the system is capable of providing at least one air change per hour of fresh outside air while the room is occupied.

SPS 323.02 (3) VENTILATION. (c) Habitable rooms.
Habitable rooms without openable windows shall be provided with a balanced mechanical ventilation system producing one air change per hour of fresh outside air while the room is occupied.

Is the required mechanical ventilation required to be tied into a light switch so it's on when the room is occupied?

The fan has to be tied to a switch that’s readily accessible however the code is silent as to whether it must be directly tied to a light switch. We do encourage you to consider the use of an occupancy sensor tied to the ventilation exhaust/makeup air system.


 

Ramp Footings SPS 321.16

I am looking for clarification on whether or not a ramp requires frost protection for landings that are built into the ramp. When you read SPS 321.16 (1) it states landings shall be placed below the frost penetration level or least 48” below adjacent grade. Do all landings require frost protection?

The code section below exempts the landings contained within the ramp. If the top of the ramp were to abut a landing or stoop with frost protected footing, then only that end of the ramp would need to comply. The rest of the ramp does not.

SPS 321.16 Frost protection. (1) 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.

Note: See ch. SPS 325 Appendix A for further information.

Publications

DocumentDescription
SBD- 7611
Solar Energy System Pre-Sale Information (R04/2015)
​SBD-10879​Updated Solid Fuel-Fired Water Heating Appliances Brochure
​Right to Cure Law​"Right to Cure" Brochure
SBD-10715​Information on State Building Plan Review Requirements Before Municipalities Issue Permits, Can be Posted by Municipalities
Rules for Water Heaters​Rules for Water Heaters Used as Space Heaters
​SBD-7955-P​"Building a Home in Wisconsin?" (R06/2014)
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms​One- and Two-Family Dwellings Need Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
​Camping Unit Contracts Contacts​Camping Unit Permit and Inspections Contacts
UDC Contracts Contacts​Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) Permit and Inspections Contacts
​​Model Ordinance​Model Ordinance For Adoption Of Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code
​Soil Erosion Program Forms​Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites
​Erosion Control for Home Builders
Inspection Checklist POST 2007​Manufactured Home Installation Inspection Checklist POST 4/1/2007
Inspection Checklist PRE 2007Manufactured Home Installation Inspection Checklist PRE 4/1/2007


REScheck

REScheck is a software application that has been created by the Federal Department of Energy for demonstrating compliance with building envelope requirements of various State building codes.

Effective January 1, 2016, the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code updated its energy conservation code to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. As before, compliance with the UDC can be shown by use of the federal REScheck program. However the newest software version available on the federal DOE website no longer has the option to calculate heating plant sizing. In order to continue to offer that service, here is a link to the older version of REScheck, build version 4.6.2.0. (This may be confirmed by looking at “About” under “Help” on the menu bar of the software. Note that you may have problems if you have more than one version of REScheck on your computer). If you use this version, you must first calculate building envelope compliance by selecting the “2009 IECC” under “Code” on the menu bar, even though you may see a warning that your location requires use of the “Wisconsin 2009” code. After printing that out and without exiting REScheck, you may switch your code to “Wisconsin 2009”, enter your county location and calculate your heating plant size on the Loads tab, as before.

Alternatively to size your heating plant by hand calculation after you have calculated building envelope compliance per the 2009 IECC, you would perform the following calculations, ignoring the units of measure:

  1. Multiply the value in the “Your UA” field, from the Envelope tab of Rescheck, by the temperature difference for your dwelling location, which is 70 minus the value from the Outdoor Design Temperature of SPS 323.02(1) table and map in Appendix A of the UDC (link). (Note that subtracting a minus value is the same as adding.)
  2. Calculate your conditioned building volume by multiplying your total conditioned floor area including basements in square feet by its average ceiling height in feet.
  3. Select an air infiltration rate between 0.2 and 0.5 air changes per hour, based on your estimated dwelling envelope tightness.
  4. Multiply the building volume value from step 2 by your selected air infiltration rate from step 3 and by your temperature difference and by the constant 0.018.

Add together the values from steps 1 and 4 to obtain your minimum heating plant output capacity, in BTU/hour. (Note that the UDC no longer has an over-sizing limit.)