Before You Build - County Standards

You’re wanting to build something new on your property, remodel or expand. Here is the checklist of the process from start to finish! If you would like to print this check list, please click here

Step 1) Building Permit - Building permits can be found online at  or picked up at the Planning & Zoning office, 159 S Main St Rm #105, Soda Springs, Id 83276. Select the permit for the type of project you’re doing (residential, accessory, prefabricated, carport, agricultural, manufactured, etc.). Complete the application in its entirety and make sure you have all the required documentation listed below. An incomplete application will delay the time it takes to review and approve it. Submit your building permit to Nellie Askew with the Planning & Zoning Department at 159 S Main St Rm #105, Soda Springs, Id 83276 or e-mail .  

Structural Requirements for all buildings – all plans must have documentation indicating these standards have been met:
1) Frost Depth: Design Criteria frost depth must be 36 inches from bottom of footings.
2) Roof Snow Load: Must have a minimum capacity of 60 pounds per square foot (PSF)
3) Ground Snow Load: Must have a minimum capacity of 87 pounds per square foot (PSF)
4) Wind Load: Structure designed to withstand 115 miles per hour (mph) wind and sustain up to three (3) second gusts.
5) Seismic Support: D1 Seismic Zone.

Plan Requirements:
Site Plan: Drawn to scale showing the shape of the lot and set back dimensions from all sides of the structure to the property lines and other structures (include type of structure), as well as driveway location and dimensions.
Foundation Plan: Drawn to ¼” scale showing all dimensions, footing size, wall size, and all interior footings and piers. Also identifying whether it is a basement, crawl space, or slab-on-grade. Show vent and knock out locations.
Floor Plans: Drawn to ¼" scale showing all dimensions, each room labeled, all windows and door locations and size, ceiling height, all plumbing and appliance location, attic and crawlspace access, cabinet location, decks (including height) and patios, and bearing wall identified. The more info the better.
Slice Plan: Drawn to scale showing dimensions and identifying footing, foundation, rebar location, final grade, plate, floor joist, floor, wall assembly, wall coverings, wall heights, insulation location and R values, trusses, roof coverings and underlayment, and roof pitch.
Elevation Plans: Drawn to scale showing all four sides of the home. Also showing all exterior finishes, roof pitch, and window elevations.
Electrical Plan: Drawn to scale showing all lighting, switches, outlets, and meter locations. Also, inter-connected smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Roof Plan: If roof is hand-built, engineer design plans required.
Dwelling Plans: Plans for dwellings must be a minimum of 18 x 24 inches in size if printed, but PDF is preferred.

Once the building permit is turned in a Zone Certification is done on the property, this has a fee of $25. This determines if your proposed project meets all of the requirements in the County Code in order to proceed. Once this is completed, and if a septic is required for the project, a copy of the completed Zone Certificate is forward to the SE Idaho Health Department so you can proceed with procuring a septic permit. For any questions, please contact Nellie Askew, Planning and Zoning Administrator at 208-547-1780 ext. 25 or
Step 2) Septic Permit - A septic permit is required for all residential permits, if you do not have one currently for the proposed building you can apply for one through the Southeast Idaho Health Department (SIHD), located at 55 E 1st S, Soda Springs, ID 83276; 208-547-4375. If you are doing an addition, a letter from the SIHD is required indicating the septic system will support the addition.
Step 3) Address - An address is required, if you do not have one currently for the proposed location you must apply for one by contacting County Assessor Ally Schwulst at the Court House, 159 S Main St, Soda Springs, Id 83276; 208-547-2164.
Step 4) Electrical, Plumbing & HVAC Permits - The State of Idaho manages all permits for plumbing, electrical and mechanical/HVAC work. You can file for these permits online at
Step 5) Building Permit Approval – Once all required documents are submitted the Building Inspector will your review your permit and notify you after review whether it has been approved and what the fee is, or if it has not been approved and what your remediation measures will be. This may take up to 10 business days. Fees are determined by a State-wide adopted fee schedule. All fees must be paid before work begins.
Step 6) Inspections - When your building permit is approved you are required to have inspections for the following phases of the process. You cannot move onto the next phase until you have been approved to do so by the Building Inspector. Failure to have the required inspections will cause a “Stop Work Order” to be issued, and may require you to re-do some of the work at your cost. To schedule an inspection call Rowdy Larkins at 208-339-2759. A two-business day (48-hours) notice is required in advance of all requested inspection times.
Setback -
1) If a setback inspection is required, the location of the building must be flagged on the ground, prior to the inspection. The building inspector will let you know if this inspection is required.
1) Excavation to proper depth (36" below final grade).
2) Rebar must be in place in the footing forms, tied and lifted off the ground (approximately 3"). Also, insure the UFER electrical ground is in place.
     a) There must be no frost in the ground.
     b) Set rebar dowels 24" on center after concrete is poured.
1) Forms in place, rebar in position both horizontal and vertical (24" o.c.), any block-outs in place.
2) Cold joints must be doweled.
1) Once all framing, the roof, sheathing (before the house-wrap is applied), windows installed and fire blocking and bracing are in place (before insulation).
2) Rough electrical, plumbing, mechanical/HVAC is in place and inspected by state inspectors.
1) Installation is installed but before sheet rock work begins.
Sheet Rock
1) After sheetrock is installed before taping and mudding.
Final Inspection
1) Prior to moving in and with finish grade and building completed.
2) Final electrical, plumbing, mechanical/HVAC finals are issued
3) Certificate of Occupancy issued, if applicable.