I’m a homeowner and I have questions about my house. Who do I call?
1. How do I obtain copies of permits or plans for my house?
- Most plans and permits are public record and therefore, copies can be requested. If you would like to request a copy, please fill out the online form available here.
2. What can I do about illegal work done on the home/business I just purchased?
- Any level of construction that was done without obtaining required permits is considered illegally constructed. There are several reasons why you would want to obtain a permit for the work including; making sure that the work was done safely and up to code and insuring that any future sales of the property are not negatively impacted. If your property has illegally constructed work and you would like to obtain a permit after the fact, there are three options available.
- All work is visible: If all work is visible such as water heaters, fences and roofs, then you may fill out a regular permit application and obtain a permit.
- Work is concealed: This would fall in to projects where the work is not visible for inspections.
- The first option would be to expose the work prior to inspection.
- If exposing is not a viable option, it is possible to have the work certified by a third party. A licensed professional such as an engineer, architect or contractor may be able to provide certification.
- It is possible that a project is not able to be certified and therefore, not able to obtain a building permit. In these events, a demo permit may be required in order to bring the property into compliance.
3. How do I find out who owns my fence?
- Fences on private property are outside of the City’s jurisdiction and therefore, a civil matter. If an owner would like to determine the exact property lines and/or build a fence solely on their own property, the best way is to get their land surveyed. If an owner has questions on who owns a sound barrier, please contact City of Sparks Maintenance at 775-353-2271 or NDOT.
4. What if I need an emergency repair done on my home that requires a permit?
- If there is an emergency in your home and that needs to be repaired immediately, it is the homeowners’ or contractor’ responsibility to file for a permit on the next business day. Please provide the Building Department proof of the emergency in order to avoid any potential penalty fees.
5. Does my water heater need to have straps?
- Yes, this requirement can be found in the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) in section P2801.7. Water heaters shall be anchored or strapped in the upper one-third and lower one-third of the appliance when subjected to lateral forces generated during an earthquake. The required strapping is intended to prevent movement of the appliance during an earthquake. This requirement came into the code in the early 1980’s, so there may be houses before that time without bracing straps.
6. Who do I contact to verify if a Contractor is licensed?
- Contractor licenses can be checked here. You can search by License number, Principal name, Company name or Disciplinary Action.
- Please remember that just because a Contractor is licensed by the State of Nevada does not mean that they are licensed in Sparks. Please click here to see if your contractor is licensed to work in Sparks.