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Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I get a County Plat Book? The County Auditor's Office: 701-222-6718

How can I voice my opinion about an item on the County Planning Commission Agenda? You can either call the Planning Department at 221-3727 or send an e-mail and your opinion will be passed on through our staff to the Commissioners.

Where can I acquire aerial photos? Aerial photos in hard copy can be obtained by contacting Mike Bolling in the GIS Office (701-355-1647) or the aerial photography can be downloaded from the ND State Data Hub.

Where can I find out if my property has covenant restrictions? If the property has covenants, they are recorded with the Burleigh County Recorder: 701-222-6749.

Where can I get a County Ordinance book? This book is now on the internet.



After I have the drywall finished, do I have to have an inspection before I start the taping and texturing? No, there is no inspection required before you start to tape and texture the wall; however, a final inspection is needed when the entire project is completed.

Do I need a certain amount of headroom when installing stairs into the basement? Yes, the minimum headroom clearance is 6 feet 8 inches (80").

At what height are the handrails required to be at in a residential house? The handrail is to be continuous at a height of 34" (minimum) to 38" (maximum).

Do I have to sheetrock under my stairs with a finished basement? Yes, enclosed accessible space under stairs shall have wall, under stair surface and any soffits protected on the enclosed side with 1/2-inch gypsum board.

What is the riser height and tread depth requirements in residential properties? The riser height shall be 7 and 3/4 inches - with no more than 3/8" difference. The tread depth shall be 10" inches - with no more than 3/8" difference.

What is the required separation between an attached garage and the house? The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1/2-inch gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8-inch Type X gypsum board or equivalent

Is there a minimum temperature requirement in a residence? Yes, every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68 degrees at a point 3 feet above the floor and 2 feet from exterior wall in all habitable rooms at the design temperature.

What is the required drainage away from the foundation of my house? Surface drainage shall be diverted to a storm sewer conveyance or other approved point of collection so as to not create a hazard. Lots shall be graded to drain surface water away from the foundation wall. The grade shall fall a minimum of 6 inches within the first 10'.

What is the required anchoring system for an accessory building? A 1/2-inch diameter bolt is required a minimum of 6 feet on center and within 12 inches of a sill plate splice or from corners.

What are the requirements for egress windows in full basements? Basements and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency and rescue opening. Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor. A finished basement must have an egress window in each bedroom, 5.7 sq. ft. If there are no bedrooms an egress window still must be provided.

What are the requirements for egress windows on the main floor? Egress windows are still required in every sleeping room on the main floor, but they can be reduced to 5 square feet of net clear opening.

What size do window well openings need to be? The minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet, with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches. The window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened.

Do I need a ladder in my window well? Window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches shall be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable with the window in the fully open position.

Do I need a guard rail on my deck, porch, or balcony? Porches, balconies, ramps or raised floor surfaces located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below shall have guards not less than 36 inches in height.

Do I need an address on my house? Approved numbers or addresses shall be provided for all new buildings in such a position as to be plainly visible and legible from the street side of the structure.

What information do I need to submit if I want to install a drainfield or add on to an existing drainfield? A soils report is required, If a report has not been filed prior to August 2007. You must also complete a drainfield permit application.

Does my shed have to be on concrete? Yes. Buildings greater than 120 sq. ft. are required to be placed on a floating slab.

What happens if I do work without a permit? Permits are required by State statutes and Local ordinances. Projects not done according to Code can affect your home's insurability and potential sale. Prospective buyers can check the building records.

Can a "Temporary" Certificate of Occupancy be issued? No. Burleigh County does not issue temporary Certificates of Occupancy. Living in a home prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy is prohibited.

What is the required frost depth? 48 inches.

What is the ground snow load? 36 pounds per sq. ft.

What is the wind load? 90 mph

What is the soil bearing load? 1,500 pounds per sq. ft.

What is the Exposure Rating? C

What is the Seismic Zone? Zero

Is Ice Protection Required? Yes. (2006 International Residential Code sec R905.2.7 and R905.2.7.1)

When was the requirement for Ice Protection adopted? It was adopted May 25, 2004,

How long does it take to get a permit? It depends on the type of permit. Commercial project review time is 7 to 10 business days, residential new construction review time is 3 to 5 business days. Drainfield permits are 2 to 3 business days. All other permits can be issued within 1 business day.

Contact Us

221 N 5th St
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone:(701) 221-3727

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